Given the constant stream of bad news lately, you may be wondering how to stay calm.
When it seems so many are panicking — yes, we’re talking about the toilet paper hoarders — it can be hard to try to find your sense of chill.
What can you do during these unprecedented times?
Just like your body needs a rest, so does your brain. Even if your military town has ordered a curfew or placed your family in quarantine, now is the time to discover how to relax.
In our rushed world, it can feel like a luxury to discover how to unwind.
But now, we have to do it — not just for our own health, but for the health of those around us, too. More than ever, it’s time to learn how to stay calm. When you do so, it has a domino effect that can help you, your family, neighbors, friends, and inner military circle.
Need some chill pill advice?
Here are some tips for staying calm and carrying on:
1. Keep a Routine Going
If your schedule’s been disrupted (i.e. the kids are home from school for what seems like forever), move forward with as much normalcy as possible. That means getting up at the same time daily, showering, getting dressed, and going about your day. Creating a schedule (even if it’s flexible) can empower you to get the necessary tasks done for the day.
A few ideas to stick to a routine:
- Write a daily schedule
- Take breaks, as needed
- Set aside specific tasks to get done
- Reward yourself for productivity
If you’re on a mandated lockdown, it may be tempting to skip the whole getting ready thing. But when you do it anyway, you trick your brain into waking up and getting motivated, so keep it going. Developing a routine will make you feel like you’re in control, even if the world feels like it’s anything but at the moment.
2. Do a Good Deed
Now is the time to help others. Take the time to see who in your community may need some assistance. Hard times have fallen on many who are left without work, childcare, and the ability to shop for themselves. When you’re helping out someone else, it’s hard to focus on the negative.
Help that’s needed right now:
- Food bank donations
- Volunteering at food banks
- Support small businesses
- Encouraging healthcare workers
- Sending positive letters to those in military training
- Showing others how to order grocery pick-up
- Assisting elderly with grocery shopping
Do what you can when you can. Not only will it make you feel better about yourself, but kindness is contagious — in a good way.
3. Focus on a Productive Activity
Now is the time to get to learn that new skill you’ve been putting on the backburner. If you’re finding you’ve got excess time on your hands, be productive with it. If you’re working remotely, take breaks to fit in little activities you’ve been meaning to do. If you may not return to work for a while, get started on your to-do list.
A few ideas of what to do with spare time:
- Clean out your closet
- Paint the house (exterior or interior)
- Catch up on some reading
- Clean out and wash your car
- Go through your junk drawer
- Organize your child(ren)’s rooms
- Get started on that remodel
- Make a photo book + free up phone storage
By being productive, you distract your brain. It will take your mind off of your worries and help you knock a task off your to-do list, too. Win-win.
4. Turn Off the News
Limit the time you spend on social media and listening to the news. If you have kids, monitor what they watch, too. Kids, in particular, can easily misconstrue news and get worried.
It’s smart to be informed (you can do that right here with Sandboxx News), but there’s no need to check news every hour on the hour. Consider checking in once in the morning and once in the evening for any major updates.
During this time, you may want to:
- Stop your news alerts
- Consult only trusted sources
- Ask loved ones to refrain from giving you updates
For direct information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the best place to get updated, factual information on the Coronavirus outbreak.
5. Just Relax
Many of us are dealing with overactive nervous systems right now. With 24/7 bad news and social media feeds, it’s no wonder our anxiety levels have spiked.
Ideas to relax at home any time:
- Watch a funny video
- Light a candle
- Diffuse lavender
- Do yoga
Easy relax hack: Take a long, deep breath. In fact, take at least three full breaths. Count to five on the inhale and count to five on the exhale. Doing so will relax you and help you to breathe normally.
6. Connect with Others
Yes, social distancing is a thing right now. But it isn’t the same as isolation. If you are taking your trash out, wave to your neighbor and say hi. Just keep your distance. We all need social interaction, especially now. It just has to be a little bit different.
Ways to connect:
- Facetime family far away
- Start a Facebook group
- Create a text thread
- Write letters
Do what you need to do to connect with others to keep you calm. See how this quarantined Army wife is doing it while stationed in Italy at Naval Air Station Sigonella.
7. Take Time to Unwind
Whether you’re still working full-time, working remotely, or trying to entertain a herd of kids at home, it’s important for everyone to have some self-care routines. While it’s a necessity during times of crisis, self-care is an overlooked part of life, especially military life. And when you’re trying to figure out how to stay calm on the fly, it can feel challenging. Make it a priority today, though.
A few ways to practice self-care:
- Read a self-help book
- Take a bubble bath
- Connect with an old friend
- Take a walk in nature
- Watch a comedy
If this outbreak has taught us anything, it’s that a reset button can be helpful. Think about what makes you feel relaxed and recharges you. That’s your self-care go-to.
You Have All You Need to Learn How to Stay Calm
With our above tips on how to stay calm during the Coronavirus crisis, you should be able to carry on.
Life is different right now, but it will get better. After the storm, there’s always a rainbow.
Still need a little extra mental health help? You got it.
Every military member and their family has access to free available counseling resources. While you may not be able to have an in-person therapy session, you can still access valuable counseling services. During times of stress, talk therapy can prove helpful to individuals dealing with anxiety.
Get counseling any time of day through this DoD website.
Connect. Unwind. Relax. It’s going to be okay. Remind yourself of that. Spread positivity to others as well. The military community knows how to come together, so just keep doing that.
You’ve dealt with unrest and unplanned events before. You can handle this, too.
How are you showing others how to stay calm during this uncertain time? We’d love to hear your calming hacks and tricks in the comments below!