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Chill the Freak Out, Prince George: How to stay calm in times of COVID-19 panic

Zandra Ross helps Prince George make positive lifestyle changes. (via Submitted)

This informational column was submitted to PrinceGeorgeMatters from Zandra Ross, Founder of Zandra Ross Coaching and Consulting.

As COVID-19 slowly makes its way around the world, it’s increasingly more difficult to remain calm and not completely lose your shizzle.

We’ve been told by authorities to stay in our homes in order to prevent spread, but that doesn’t mean that we should go crazy inside and solely focus our attention on what is happening with world outside. Try to limit how much news you watch, especially some of the overhyped reporting that only propagates fear and anxiety. First and foremost, get updates and facts from reliable sources, and then focus your attention elsewhere.

You can avoid contact with other people and wash your hands more carefully, but your ability to remain calm comes from within (and sometimes wine).

That means you’ll have to take the necessary steps in reducing your stress and anxiety and promoting calmness while the virus runs its course.

We’re going to go over three of the best ways you can stay calm and centred in times of COVID-19 panic!

Meditation and mindfulness

So, you’re anxious and stressed. If you’ve never attempted meditation or any mindfulness techniques in the past, this is the perfect time to try them out and get some practice before you start trying to cut your own bangs with your kid’s scissors because you have nothing else.

According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can play a huge role in helping you to maintain your mental and emotional health, even benefiting aspects of your physical health.

Here’s what meditation can do for you:

  • Greater outlook on life (positivity)
  • Increased feelings of calmness
  • Greater self-awareness
  • Reduced levels of anxiety and stress
  • Improved focus
  • Being kind to yourself and those around you (especially if they are annoying the crap out of you!)

The best part… there are plenty of different types of meditation.

  • If you’re able to focus for long periods of time, you might want to try out guided meditations or visualization techniques
  • When you’re looking to stay more active while you’re quarantined, you can give yoga or Pilates a go
  • You can listen to music that you love and lose yourself in the beat
  • Breathe deeply for three to five minutes

I firmly believe that meditation can happen during times of quiet, but also when we lose ourselves in doing something that we love that is repetitive and doesn’t take much brain power to do.

Whatever you do, just breathe.

Finding a creative outlet

You might be stuck in the house for the next few weeks, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to going stir crazy.

In fact, that’ll probably only increase your feelings of panic during these trying times.

This is a great time to try out some new (or old) creative hobbies. When you’re focused on building or creating something new, you’re reducing the amount of focus on the negativity surrounding you. That means creativity is a solid way of helping you to relax.

A creative outlet can be almost anything.

Here are a few things you might want to try out (if you have the supplies in your home):

  • Painting, coloring, or drawing
  • Singing or playing musical instruments
  • Taking photos or videos of things you enjoy
  • Building something with things lying around the house
  • Writing
  • Puzzles
  • Reading something and then writing an essay about it (yes, remember English 101 class?). This is a great way to take your mind off the world’s troubles.

Basically, the goal here is to find an activity or task that requires an intense amount of focus and makes you happy.

You won’t even notice that you spent the last hour drawing your favourite cartoon character.

Reach out to people virtually

It’s completely natural to be fearful of the unknown reaching out to others can help you to tackle this fear once and for all.

When connecting with others, you’ll be working to spread compassion and happiness rather than fear and anxiety. When we realize we are in this together, we realize we are not alone even when we are physically alone.

So how do you connect with people if you can’t meet up or go places where people are?

Phone or FaceTime a friend, write a good ole’ fashioned letter or send a card (extra points if you make it yourself), join an online support group (I will add links for two of my groups), listen to podcasts or live casts of motivating hosts and then find out where they go to answer questions afterwards and participate and if you can’t find a people/groups that you can connect with, then start your own group.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life so it’s time to rock and roll folks and find your Spark Team!

Final thoughts

You can’t do anything yourself when it comes to curing or stopping the spread of COVID-19, but there are things you can do that can reduce your panic and invoke an overwhelming sense of calmness.

By taking advantage of mindfulness, looking for a creative outlet, and even giving back to those who need it, you’ll be able to stay calm and centred, even now!

Need some positive people to connect with? Zandra Ross offers several of her own programs.

A free group with a focus on strategies to help personal development game:

A free group to support your team and personal leadership development:

A free consultation to see what magic you can create in your team (including a team of one), organization, company and/or personal life then click here set up a session: