There are many ways to maintain calm in your everyday life.  During a pandemic, maintain calm and promoting calm is a vital way to cope with the world around you and avoid self-induced anxiety and depression that may come from feeding into the fear of the unknown.  The anxiety is almost as contagious as the virus itself.  There are many things in this world that we cannot control.  For each of them, there is a need to ensure we maintain calm through those storms.  Here are a few tips to help reduce or manage the stress in your life:


Limit your exposure to negativity.  Whether it is too much media, overwhelmingly dark internet posts or messages, to people, we must commit to ourselves to reduce our amount of time we spend being exposed to toxic elements.  Some social media post, for example, are not too bad the first time you see them, but through repetition can become quite toxic.  The same from television news where are subjected to the same basic story in the most sensational form over and over.  Try to block out times in your day away from that exposure.   There is important news out there and you can digest it in bite size pieces at different times of the day, but you can quickly lower your anxiety by reducing your intake.


Quiet your mind.  During moments of uncertainty, the mind can begin to race as it seeks clarity and understanding.  When you are stressed, a mind can make things seem worse.  The powerful mind can affect other parts of your body as well and the body cannot tell what is real and what is not.  Use deep breathing and visualization methods to calm yourself.  Slow your breathing. 


Remain in the present.  True calm can come from remembering where you are and focusing upon the present.  Not the fear of what could happen or the unknown as the vision the mind may imagine is either a future of that may never exist or a past full of regrets.  By staying in the present, you can center yourself to what is before you.  Focus upon your breathing, the environment around you, the sounds you hear or find solace in meditation.


Allow yourself to relax.  Each of us have different ways to bring upon relaxation.  The important piece is to give yourself permission to do so.  In doing so, you allow your mind, heart, and body to slow opening the door for a soothing calm.  Try listening to soothing music, reading, stretching, or exercising.  Give yourself a break!   


Meditate.  A remarkable way to reduce stress is to meditate.  Start with a small amount of time and build up to more as needed.  Begin with one minute, then five minutes and then ten minutes.  Allow yourself the ability to de-stress.  Affirmations are a great way to meditate.


Stay active and eat well.  Diet and exercise regularly.  We hear it all the time.  There is a reason why we are told that a healthy diet and exercise can keep us fit and help fight off disease.  A self-paced routine of exercise can inspire our body to perform and lift our spirits.


Maintain structure.  A normal routine brings a sense of normalcy to a chaotic or stressful situation.  Whether we are focused upon skillful management of our time or excelling in our regular day, the focus of a structured effort can help keep the mind on track with less ability to let anxiety in.  In addition, the ability to manage your day allows your mind to maintain control that helps lower anxiety. 


Seek out a person you trust.  When the anxiety seems too much to bear, talking about your stressful situation with someone you truly trust helps you let it go.  Sharing them with another can help you see another perspective and provide insights as to how to deal with them whether from advice or self-discovery.  Permitting yourself to vocalize them, makes them real and ready for working through.

If you are feeling great anxiety and having difficulties finding the right combination to help, seek out help.

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