9 Ways to Find Calm in Stormy Times

Written by on July 22, 2020 in Self-Care

Even if you have a knack for managing the stress of normal daily living, there are bound to be times when you could use a few moments of calm in the storm of disruption that has become the hallmark of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are of course many ways to do this, but it helps to have a collection of resources (think of it as your stress management toolkit) to have on hand for just when you need it most.

Here are a few ways to soothe frayed nerves and find calm in stormy times.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace within ourselves.


Simple Ways to Find Calm in Stormy Times

Recognize When You Need a Time Out

Whether back at the job or still stuck at home, it’s important to recognize that even if you’re not as physically active as you used to be, your mind is likely working overtime.

Worries over the coronavirus, the economy, relationships, and of course, physical and mental health, are ever-present and cumulative so it’s more important than ever to recognize when you need to take a break.

Turn off your digital devices and give yourself a half-hour of uninterrupted quiet time.

If you can get a little sunshine, even if it’s just standing outside on the steps or in your backyard, all the better.

Try this power breath, inhale for 4 seconds, and then imagine releasing your stressful feelings when you exhale for the following 6 seconds.

Repeat 10 times.

For Quick Relief

Drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.

Another way to find quick relief is with an ear massage.

Start by gently rubbing your earlobes with your thumb and index finger. Then squeeze the outer edges of your ears to the top. These parts of your ears have tiny reflex points that can relax specific areas of your body.

Finish by using your index fingers and middle fingers to massage behind the ears on the bony part of your skull.

This is a great way to release endorphins in your brain and make you feel good and it only takes a few minutes.

Get Moving

It really doesn’t matter what you do here; just move out of your head and into your body for at least 5 minutes.

Stretch, walk in place, dance to your favorite song, jump up and down, do some head rolls or shoulder shrugs, move in a way that feels good to your body, and your natural rhythm.

Know Your Triggers

We all have them, topics, circumstances, or people that never fail to push our hot buttons.

The more aware you are of these things, the better you’ll be able to avoid or at least minimize your exposure.

The effects of the pandemic have many people on edge, emotions are raw and occasionally someone loses it. If a conversation turns unpleasant or a situation is overwhelming you, simply excuse yourself put one foot in front of another, and depart.

Give yourself time to re-center before deciding what to do next.

Write in Your Journal

Journaling is an invaluable tool to increase self-awareness, solve problems, clarify your thoughts, and reduce stress by expressing your feelings – sadness, frustration, and (especially) gratitude.

You may not feel like it when you’re stressed, but most people have way more to be grateful for than they realize.

Typical advice recommends listing 5 things you are grateful for each day.

I suggest listing just one or two things and then 5 reasons you are grateful for each of them. What this does is force you to focus and that generates more emotion and meaning.

Create a Tea-Time Ritual

Studies have shown that a cup of tea can reduce stress, not just by drinking it but also because of the calming effect of making the tea.

So instead of microwaving a cup of hot water, actually put a kettle on and create your own tea ritual. Try some chamomile tea, known for its calming properties.

Or, sip an aromatic cup of antioxidant-filled green tea — it’s a wonderful way to take a few minutes for yourself, unwind and feel that you’re being kind to your body.

Do Something Creative

One of the reasons that clinical art therapy is so effective is that the act of drawing and creating art can help you relieve stress in several ways.

There are many different options to explore, adult coloring books, paint (with or without brushes!), doodling, work with clay, or learn to make origami.

Pray, Say Soothing Mantras, or Affirmations

If you are religious or spiritual you are likely already aware of the benefits of prayer.

But there are many forms of expressing beliefs, hopes, and desires including mantras, chants, and even affirmations.

Create a Feel-Good Collection

What TV shows are guaranteed to make you laugh? Are there songs that bring back special memories or just make you smile?

For example, the classic Carol Burnett and Tim Conway elephant skit never fails to make me laugh, and my favorite music videos are Uptown Funk with Bruno Mars and Learn to Fly by the Foo Fighters Rockin’1000 version.

If you love to read half as much as I do you may already be a fan of rereading. We all have books that have touched us in a special way, made us laugh right out loud, or feel that we were a part of the story.

When I am feeling overwhelmed or just a little sad, I reach for one of these books because I know it’s guaranteed to touch my heart and soul.

Closing Thoughts

There are many ways you can take time during the day to give yourself a little nurturing, the key is for you to believe that you are worth the effort.

Related reading:
Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach, and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies, and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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