How to keep calm in a crisis (Corona Pandemic)
It’s a frightening time to live in with Coronavirus spreading around the globe like wildfire. However, panicking could make things worse. It is crucial to be calm in situations like this.
Don’t get me wrong; It is normal to feel a bit anxious. It is nature’s mechanism of asking us to stay alert and take the necessary precautions.
But how much anxiety is too much?
If you find yourself in the following situations, you might be way too anxious.
- Can’t focus on anything
- Get easily irritated
- Unable to sleep
- Are sleeping too much
- Don’t get hungry
- Get tired easily
- Cannot stay in one place
- Constant Fidgeting
- Shaky hands
- Headaches/muscle aches
- Expecting the worst
- Taking unnecessary or obsessive-compulsive Precautions
E.g. 1: You are alone at home unexposed to the world outside. Yet you can’t go 10 minutes without needing to wash your hands.
E.g. 2: You need to wash your hands 5 times before you feel it is clean enough.
Related Article: signs of anxiety (in detail)
10 ways to keep calm in a crisis
#1. Limit your exposure to the news and social media
Ever heard the phrase out of sight out of mind. It works for Corona too. Let’s face it; the only reason it’s making you anxious is that it’s everywhere. Turn on the TV, and there it is. Go to Facebook and every other post has something to do with it. So, of course, you will find it hard to keep calm during a crisis like this.
If you have severe anxiety, skip social media. Don’t watch TV. Get the latest update by reading an online newspaper. Set aside a particular time to read it. Do it in the evening and not the morning. You don’t want whatever you read to occupy your mind all day. Also, don’t spend more than 15 minutes on it.
If your anxiety level is moderate, it’s okay to watch TV or go to Facebook. But set a time limit. Don’t get carried away with it. Also don’t switch on the TV or social media every time you feel bored. Try to fill your day with other activities that will take your mind of Corona.
If you love painting and never had the time to do it, this is a perfect time for it. (especially if you are stuck at home) You can also spend your time learning things you like to learn from the internet. So if you wanted to learn to play the guitar or bake a chocolate cake feel free to go for it. Whatever you are doing, make sure it is calming. If you are a perfectionist and get agitated when you don’t learn fast enough, learning something new may not be the best idea.
#2. Write down your thoughts
Sometimes all you need to do to stop the never-ending trail of negative thoughts is to express them. So take a piece of paper and start writing everything that pops up in your head. Don’t filter it. Be as rude and irrational as you want to be. Once you are done, burn the paper. Imagine all your worries burning up with the paper as well. Now you can concentrate on more important things. This can be used in other situations as well not just to keep calm in a crisis.
#3. Stop Googling everything that pops up into your head
The tool that once solved all your problems in life can now become the biggest threat to your sanity. This is because it contains information that can make your anxiety worse. Sometimes this information is fake, and you will be Worrying over nothing. So don’t Google information regarding Coronavirus, especially things like ‘How deadly is Coronavirus?’. What’s the point of getting the answers when you don’t know if it is true. Besides knowing this information isn’t going to change anything except your anxiety level.
#4. Only refer to trusted sources of information like your health department or world health organisation.
Today information is money. The more visitors you can bring to your website, the more money you will earn. This is why there are a lot of sites that spread false information to make money.
They even back their claims with fake videos just to make them feel real. It’s not that hard to create false evidence these days. Using free applications, people can make very realistic counterfeit videos.
So for news only visit trusted newspapers with real journalists that verify the information they receive. For health and safety information refer to trusted sites like the world health organisation or department of health.
#5. Take deep breaths
Coronavirus or not, deep breathing can help you relax and instantly uplift your mood. That is why it is a part of practices like meditation and yoga. Next time you feel agitated just take some deep breaths and let it out slowly. Do this for a minute or two, and you will feel the difference instantly. Of all the tips on how to keep calm in a crisis situation this is the easiest to do. Plus, it works fast.
#6. Move your body
Staying in one place is one of the easiest ways to feel worn-out, bored or anxious. You may be stuck at home, but there are still plenty of ways to move your body. Clean your house, exercise or dance to keep your energy levels up and mood uplifted.
#7. Avoid foods that increase anxiety
Watch what you eat because it can make your anxiety worse. To make things worse, things like alcohol that seemingly help you with your anxiety actually do more harm in the long run. Alcohol changes the neurotransmitters in your brain and makes you feel even more anxious after the effects of alcohol have worn off.
Coffee is another one of those drinks that changes the serotonin level of your brain and contributes to anxiety. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps you feel good, so it is no wonder that your stress increases after drinking coffee.
Other things that increase your anxiety include food with a high content of sugar and high-fat dairy products.
This means that soda is a big no-no. If it is diet soda, it is okay, right? Wrong, it still has caffeine, and it is more likely to make you depressed than regular soda. Processed meat; fried food, aged or fermented food can also negatively impact your anxiety levels.
By now you may be wondering what you are supposed to eat then? The answer is simple, fruit vegetable and whole grain. Food with high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids like fish; high levels of zinc such as liver, beef, and egg yolks; high levels of Vitamin B like avocados and Almonds; and high levels of antioxidants such as being nuts, berries beans have been proven to help with anxiety. For more information, refer to this article by Harvard Medical School.
#8. Use Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are powerful ways to keep calm during a crisis situation. These techniques include meditation, yoga and even visualising. Does that sound boring to you? Well, think again because it’s not as easy as you think. Most people give up on meditation because it is too hard, and they cannot get it right. So are you up for the challenge? Then read my article on relaxation techniques for further information.
#9. Limit talking about the situation
Just like with TV and social media, if all you do is talk about the current crisis, then you are going to feel stressed and anxious. So limit how much you talk about it. At home, you can set aside a particular time to talk about the Coronavirus. When your friends call, try to Limit talking about it for 5 or 10 minutes. You can tell them that you don’t want to talk too much about it because it will stress you out. Then change the topic to something positive like Reminiscing about the good times you had that will help your friends calm down as well as yourself.
#10. Watch comedies
They say laughter is the best medicine. This is especially true for stress and anxiety. At times like this, watching comedies can help you uplift your mood and stay positive. So even if you are not a big fan of them, watching 1 episode of a Sitcom every day will help you keep your sanity. You don’t have to like it very much, as long as you are laughing, it is working.