Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

A guest post from Kitty Pope, CEO, Windsor Public Library

How to stay calm!

We are living in stressful times, so for many, our first instinct may be to panic. Unfortunately, severe anxiety and panic can result in a complete meltdown and this response seriously impacts your health, wellbeing and ability to cope.

Many successful people: i.e. Oprah Winfrey  Gordie Howe  or Jann_Arden have reached their level of success by learning how to stay extremely calm under pressure. They have the ability to develop and maintain a particular state of psychological readiness, an aura of calm they can summon on demand. They radiate calm when everyone else is friquing out.  Here are a few ideas to help you channel your inner Oprah, Gordie or Jann.

  1. Slow down If possible, don’t react immediately to the crisis. Ask yourself, is this really going to matter a year from now? This perspective will help you remain less emotional invested and improve your ability to make an informed and balanced decision. Slow down.
  2. Stay positive When stressed, your mind may go in a thousand different directions and your thoughts become negative, making it really tough to remain calm. Stop yourself from imagining the worst-case scenario and refocus on the positive, no matter how small….yah even the dog!
  3. Never ask “what if?” This is the worst question you could ask in the middle of a crisis, it induces panic and lead you down a dark and scary rabbit hole. “What if” questions compound your fear and escalate a crisis. Instead, stay laser focused on the facts and work on a solution, it will help you and your family stay calm.
  4. Take care of yourself Make your health a priority, you’ll be better equipped to handle a crisis and stay calm. Eat a balanced diet and get some exercise. By taking care of yourself, you’ll increase your self-control, memory and emotional intelligence while staying calm, these are all really important tactics when responding to a crisis. Oprah is the queen of this skill!
  5. Disconnect and read a book….you know I was going to say that! Pull away from the crisis and give yourself time to decompress, breath and process your emotions. Right now I am reading A Woman Makes a Plan by Maye Musk.
  6. Develop a coping strategy if you remain in a prolonged state of crisis, you may cause long-term damage to your health and undermine your ability to make rational, informed decisions. To better cope, laugh and do something fun i.e. meditate, listen to music, walk the dog! These techniques will help you feel more empowered to stay calm and handle the crisis.

Staying calm, positive and healthy are really important in a crisis.

Kitty Pope
kpope@windsorpubliclibrary.com                                                                     #2 March 17, 2020

PS Yes, that is my fox terrier Atticus Finch this morning.  kp