Stay Calm in Stressful Situations

When Life Hits the Fan

When everything turns upside down, it’s time to hit pause rather than to panic, but that’s often easier said than done. The key is to stay calm in stressful situations. There are many calming activities that bring relief from traumatic events. It’s up to us to use them. The emotionally challenging roller coaster ride of a loved one’s illness or having car trouble, job loss, or financial challenges can leave your head spinning and adrenals fatigued from the high stress and the pressure to resolve situations. Yes, these events may also lead to sleepless nights, unless we find a way to stay calm.

Simple Calming Activities

Which of these calming activities has worked for you? Let’s look at some inexpensive, practical ways to calm down when everything hits the fan.

  • Go for a walk
  • Read your Bible and/or pray
  • Call a friend
  • Have lunch w a friend
  • Use aromatherapy (like lavender or peppermint oil)
  • Visit a nearby park
  • Go for a run
  • Do a workout
  • Visit an aquarium
  • Go to the lake
  • Buy a small fishbowl and some fish to get the therapeutic effects of de-stressing while watching the fish right in your own home
  • Spend time with your pet
  • Read a book
  • Go for a drive
  • Lie down and rest while listening to relaxing music
  • Do some stretching exercises
  • Draw, sketch, or paint
  • Work on brain games
  • Dance
  • Journal
  • Write a blog
  • Work on a hobby you enjoy
  • Bake or cook something you and your loved ones enjoy
  • Visit with relatives
  • Talk to a counselor or pastor

My key to staying calm in stressful situations is focusing on the peace and the promises of God. After that, I implement any number of the options listed above.

Keep Moving

Exercise is therapeutic if you’re not worn out emotionally and physically. Walking or exercising regularly will keep blood pressure stable and help to de-stress your body. It also clears your mind for making better decisions and helps you relax and sleep better. Whether walking or sitting, I find being near a pond, lake, or ocean can be very de-stressing, therapeutic, and great for unwinding.

If you have stairs in your apartment, condo, or house, use them to keep moving and stay healthier. The key is to move as much as you can throughout every day to stay flexible, mobile, and healthy.


What are You Thinking?

Another way to stay calm in stressful situations is to consider what you’re thinking about. Do realize that your thoughts can stress you more! Don’t go there. The more you focus on negative thoughts, the more you will worry about negative things happening in your life. Over the years, clients have told me that they can only think negative thoughts because they’ve had so much bad stuff happen to them. I beg to differ.

What we think about is a choice we make. We have to consciously think about what we are feeding our minds every day and make sure our minds are fed a healthy diet. What are you feeding your mind? Is it war movies or police shows that make you feel depressed later because of the violence? Is it uplifting educational programs, or animal shows, or Bible teachings or verses that make you feel better and happy?

Sweet Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping at night, check out what you have been focusing on, listening to, or watching during the evening before going to bed.  After all, the goal is to go to bed and sleep like a baby so you’re ready to tackle the world the next day, right? We need sweet sleep so our bodies can rebuild and replenish overnight.

I would like to hear what calming strategies have worked well for you. Leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply. Thanks for reading!

Your Rebuilding Lives Coach,


Thank you for sharing!

10 thoughts on “Stay Calm in Stressful Situations”

  1. Hi, Colleen, I need to read your article like daily 🙂 Stress can definitely kill you so to speak if not managed properly. My favorite things that I like to do to relieve some stress are walks in the parks and writing, This helps me amongst other things like eating which is not always good 🙂 if you overeat but then that’s why you exercise after. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this article please keep up the great work!

    • So true, Viviana, stress can kill. Writing and walking are great ways to process what’s happening in life. Overeating can happen too. Funny how easy it is to eat while thinking about challenges during stressful times, then realize that we’ve had more food than necessary. Ugh. Maybe walking or writing first before eating will help. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it! 🙂

    • Glad you stopped by my site and shared your thoughts, Vivek. Stress seems to come at us from every angle some days, so we have to have a plan for dealing with it effectively. Thank you!

  2. Hi Colleen, thank you for your wonderful article; it comes at a very timely point in my life as I’m feeling very overwhelmed and stressed out at work right now. The reminder to stop and pay attention to what I am thinking about is very helpful, as I am the only one who can give power to these negative thoughts. I find that focusing on the moment is very helpful, as I have a tendency to overthink about the future and stress myself out. I remind myself to breathe and to tackle something that I have control over instead of worrying about those things I can’t control. Have a great day!

    • You’re right on point, Allison! We have to remind ourselves to breathe and to handle what we can instead of worrying about all that might happen in the future, b/c it may never happen! We can look back at how we worried about something only to remember how circumstances changed and everything worked out, but at the time we had sweat bullets over it. Keep taking a breath and going one step at time. I know you’ll get through! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Hi Colleen, What a great post to come across when going through all the work that needs to be done. So many good ideas to calm the stress. I find that staying positive even in adversity is key for me. I love painting, blogging, walking and dreaming. Love the early mornings as I can keep warm and feel the warmth of the Lord surrounding me and giving me strength for the day ahead.
    Many thanks for this lovely post.

    • Thank you for visiting my site and sharing your thoughts, Jill! I couldn’t agree with you more that choosing to stay positive when life hits the fan is by far the best way to go. Mornings are my favorite times too. I like to hang out with God and then go for a walk. That’s priceless to me! Thanks for being a blessing! 🙂


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