• Stephanie Smith

How to Not Go Crazy When Things Get Crazy

Updated: Mar 24


Things are uncertain these days. A worldwide pandemic. Quarantines. Travel bans. Social distancing. All of it is enough to rattle your nerves. I for one have been feeling more anxious as the coronavirus emergency has unfolded. How many people will become sick? Will my family get sick? Should I leave the house ever again? While the outbreak is not widespread in our island home currently, many are expecting a quarantine to be announced here imminently, following the same measures as other affected countries.


But we can't let fear or anxiousness get the best of us. Now more than ever, yoga and mediation will help you stay calm and healthy through this curent crisis. But there are other things you can do to feel at ease in these upredictable times. Below are some things I'm doing to stay cool:


--Turn off the news. I'm not saying be uninformed about what's going on. I'm saying don't keep CNN on 24/7 and let the stream of news stories about infected populations and panic shoppers hoarding toilet paper be the only thing that you listen to all day. Check into a few reputable news sources a few times a day, and maybe peruse the World Health Organization's web site for a clinical overview of the situation. Keep abreast on local news and protocals about what to do if you're sick. Then tune out and do something else, like...


--Yoga. Duh, but yes. Every day. Even if it's just 10 minutes. Roll out your mat and do a few down dogs and sun salutations, or do a full hour flow. Yoga reduces stress, relaxes your muscles and your mind, and gets oxygen into your lungs. All good things to boost your immunity and keep you healthier during this outbreak. (As of today, I am still teaching regular classes at Natura Cabana, but that is subject to change depending on our local health protocals. UPDATE 3/16: I canceled all of my group classes at NC until futher notice.)


--Read. I just joined another book club here on the island (super stoked!), so I'm diving into an uplifting novel unrelated to pandemics. It gets my mind off of the news and my eyeballs off of the Internet. Both helpful to calm my nerves.


--Meditate. I'm meditating several times a day now. Morning, during the day whenver I feel myself pacing without purpose, and in the evening before I fall asleep. I sit with my eyes closed and take enough breaths to allow my shoulders to get heavy and loose. I bring my awareness to my third eye, and when I open my eyes again, my mind is relaxed and I feel in control again. (I will share more of my favorite meditations here soon!)


--Eat well. In past times of crisis, I would have been at my local wine shop stocking up on Pinot Noir before even thinking about buying exta toilet paper. Now, with a quarantine expected to kick in here imminently, we've stocked up on green tea, lemons, ginger and turmeric, and my order of matcha will be arriving next week (assuming I will still be able to receive packages). I'm drinking to boost my immune system, not just numb my anxiety. Eating low inflammatory and comfort foods, like avocados, also helps to calm my nerves. Our pantry is also stocked with peanut butter, dark chocolate, pastas and canned veggies, enough food to last us through a week or two should we not be able to find much at our local stores in the upcoming days.


--Learn. I've challenged myself to learn one new thing while I hang low during the coronavirus outbreak. I'm going to work on drawing so I can publish another coloring book this spring, so I'm seeking out fun art tutorials online. If you're quarantined, use your time at home to learn a new skill--coding, yoga, baking, anything to get your hands doing something other than panic-scrolling Instagram.

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