Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We are all living with a lot of uncertainty. What will schools look like when they reopen? What will airports look like? Will we have to wear masks forever? We don’t have the answers yet – and we probably won’t have answers until we see what schools look like, what airports look like, and whether we need to wear masks. So, how can we prepare for our new normal if we don’t know what it will be?

The answer is twofold: we can’t prepare for it at all and we can prepare ourselves for uncertainty. The first answer is that we cannot prepare since we do not know what the future will bring. For some, this is the hardest part of the future – that we cannot plan for it. We cannot make arrangements for school or travel because we do not know if and when or what the new rules will be.


That bring us to the second answer to how we can prepare for our new normal. It’s a tough one, but it’s an important skill to learn in these times: how to live with uncertainty. Below, I’ve included a few tips on how to live more comfortably with uncertainty:

Don’t “should” yourself. In times of uncertainty, it’s incredibly important to be kind to yourself. There is really a “should” when you don’t know what the future will bring. Therefore, give yourself a break from the regular pressures you place on yourself. Instead, think about the positive and speak about “can” rather than “should.”

Practice mindfulness. We are a society that is always looking to the future, and it’s hard to stay in the present. This uncertainty forces us to live in that present moment. For the most part, the present moment is certain. If we allow ourselves to dwell in it, we can rid ourselves temporarily of the uncertainty.

Build your support circle. Having people around you who can listen to you in your difficult moments and also rejoice in your small successes is a key element of survival in the present. Seek out and cultivate those people, connect with them in good, bad, and especially uncertain times.


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An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at