How to Find More Calm When Life is Anything But
During these turbulent times, my mind is constantly trying to process all the changes happening in the world, our country, and our community. There is so much uncertainty and fear, it can feel like I’m in a roller coaster that’s taking me over crazy hills and dips while I’m in a dark tunnel, not seeing what’s coming next.
If you’re having a similar experience, you’ll appreciate the following tips that can help you find more calm despite all the chaos and unknowns.
- Know that your brain interprets uncertainty as a threat and will tell you that you’re in serious danger. No wonder our stress levels skyrocket! Recognize that this is normal. When you notice it happening, thank your brain and decide if your thoughts and feelings are helpful or if you need to shift.
- Prepare and plan as best as you can, knowing that you may have to constantly adjust. Don’t obsess. Try to focus on the things that are within your control. Writing out your plans or discussing them with a helpful friend can reduce your worry.
- Reach out to others. Your community of friends and family can be a big asset during these tough times. Lean on each other. Ask for help, even if it’s just sharing your worries. Offer your help to others. Be sure to include “good things” in your conversations, too.
- Manage waves of stress by taking several deep, slow breaths to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Have a conversation with yourself, reminding yourself that you will get through this. There may be challenges, but you will learn and grow and move forward.
- Disconnect from the news for periods of time and add things to your day that help you relax and make you feel better. Examples could be playing certain songs, spending time with your pet, getting outside for a walk, meditating or praying, connecting with friends and family, enjoying a favorite hobby, etc.
It’s easy (and normal) to dwell on all of the scary unknowns. But this is also an opportunity to think about all the things we take for granted in our daily lives (like buying toilet paper at the store ?). It’s also an opportunity to reflect on what really matters, like family and friends and living our values even when it’s challenging.
We are witnessing a time that will go down in history. You can spend this time letting the default stress and fear rule your mind, or you can purposely find ways to add more peace.