How to adapt during times of uncertainty

Several years ago I wrote my first book called ‘Staying Connected’ to explore the role of parents and their role as supporters and guides of learning for their children. Little did we know then that the role of parents all around the globe would require them to adapt very quickly to the change that is now upon us, to become the main educators of their children at home as well as juggle their own work commitments.

How we adapt to this change will undoubtedly impact our children and their learning in so many ways. It is worth exploring how we are able to adapt our mindset and ability to change to suit the circumstances during this time of uncertainty.

In my book I wrote a short piece exploring the temptations of the mind when we are faced with fears and uncertainty. When we feel control or certainty slipping away, we may choose to react in an unconscious way to make ourselves feel better or we may be choose to be fully conscious and aware of how we are reacting and what we actually do have control of.

Some unproductive reactions may include:

Physical or visible: reacting with the ego of anger; throwing a tantrum, yelling, cursing, laying blame on others or, in extreme cases, becoming violent towards another.

Escapism: filling a perceived void with a different version of what we may see as solving problems or at least escaping from them for a while – shopping, eating, drinking alcohol, binge watching TV, gambling, drugs, scrolling mindlessly through socials etc.

Sometimes these temporary fixes provide comfort and help us to avoid facing the actual issues or recognising that we can control the urge to escape from our problems. It is not uncommon to feel unsure of how to deal with challenges in our lives. It is a process, and this is where a growth mindset provides us with the tools we need to be able to continually improve our behaviour or reactions and adapt to the current situation.

Understanding that we need to embrace changes that occur throughout our lives, none more so than what we are experiencing as a broader global community right now. The changes we are facing in our work and home life, our social life and our family life are all opportunities for learning, not only about how to adapt, but so many amazing things about ourselves.

The mind is your portal for managing and adapting in a crisis, for maintaining control, particularly as tensions arise, our tolerance is tested and our comfort zones and personal spaces are invaded. When we become more aware of what we are thinking, how we are feeling and how we are reacting, we are able to gain a sense of control.

As humans, we have created an environment where are our minds are kept busy. This prevents us from truly knowing and appreciating what is happening in each moment. We are stuck in the future or the past or we have escaped into another world, usually online through our devices. Our thinking, therefore can be scattered, constantly processing messages, causing overwhelm, embracing drama and fear or chaos, rather than peace.

Now more than ever is the time to remain calm in a crisis, to think more clearly, to see each situation that is being presented to us for what it is and maintaining control of our thoughts, feelings and actions related to that moment. Use a simple process to manage your thoughts, recognise feelings and either take positive action or stop actions that are unhelpful that present themselves. This strategy can help you manage as you adjust to new roles, new learning and working environments and the new world that is challenging us to rethink the way we live and adapt to the challenges and lessons we are learning.

If you are feeling you need some assistance to adapt to uncertainty during this time, our coaching programs are able to provide you with support and guidance.

If you are committed to making changes, to gain more clarity in your thinking and taking action to achieve your goals, book a coaching call today at or complete our quick survey to see if coaching is right for you at

Rachel Saliba is the founder of Practically Learning, a Australian-based consultancy, building positive school culture and connection between schools and families to improve student learning environments and achievements.

She provides one on one coaching, consulting and professional learning workshops for school leaders, teachers and parents to build their understanding of parent engagement and developing authentic relationships and purposeful communication between home and school.

Rachel is an author and accomplished speaker, having presented at several conferences around Australia. Her first book, ‘Staying Connected – Guiding and Supporting Children on Their Learning Journey’, is a practical resource for school leaders, teachers and parents in understanding how to support children on their learning journey.

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