6 Tips to Help You Keep Calm and Carry On

Janet Tiberian Author
By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
June 16, 2024
Man on a porch, laying on his back reading a book

Ten years ago, the World War ll-era British motivational catchphrase, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” reemerged as a worldwide meme. And for good reason. We’re always dealing with a regional, national or global crisis, be it a weather-related catastrophe, war, economic decline or a pandemic. Even so, the stress level of these remote crises pale in comparison to that of personal challenges like illness, death of a loved one, divorce and financial woes.

In a world plagued with chaos, how do you keep calm and carry on?

Social entrepreneurs and activists recently tackled this question at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, and their solutions may surprise you. Here are some of their tips for bringing order to chaos:

  1. Start small. A crisis often must be handled like a project. When you have a large project or goal you wan to accomplish, split it into small projects and focus on these smaller goals. This can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. And seeing accomplishments can keep you inspired. Need a little guidance? Here’s how to breakdown larger goals into more manageable steps >>
  2. Keep a journal. Writing your private thoughts, dreams and concerns can be very cathartic, helping lower stress and anxiety. Journaling is widely used tool for coaching, counseling and the treatment of mental health issues, according to a study published in the journal Family Medicine and Community Health. There are two main types – expressive writing and gratitude journaling. It’s also a good way to journal to track successes and do some private humble bragging, helping to keep you motivated. Start journaling today >>  
  3. Look at the pain. Being honest and vulnerable may be difficult, but it has benefits. Vulnerability fosters authenticity and can help you achieve greater inner strength, stronger relationships and improved self-acceptance, according to author Brene Brown from her book “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.” Vulnerability if often an important ingredient in overcoming obstacles. Here’s why >>
  4. Identify your purpose. Finding or identifying a purpose can drive action. Purpose helps align goals with values and motivations, helping to bring joy and fulfillment, according to Proactive Psychiatry. Feelings of fulfillment can help lower stress Here are three simple steps from Forbes to help you identify your life purpose >>  
  5. Consistency trumps intelligence. Both consistency and intelligence are important traits to that help foster motivation. While intelligence is necessary for learning skills, critical thinking and problem solving, consistency is credited with achieving long-term goals, meeting deadlines and overall success. If your crisis makes it hard to stay on top of tasks, don’t over think it. Keep doing — the consistency will help. Here’s more on intelligence versus consistency from LinkedIn >>
  6. Be open and flexible to learning new information and changing your mind. No one ever benefited from close-mindedness and rigid thinking. Being open-minded to new ideas and solutions can help lower stress and maintain motivation by introducing alternatives and ways of looking at problems. Here are five benefits of being flexible during a crisis >>

During a crisis, it’s important to adopt some emotional well-being and coping tactics. And of course, let’s not forget the value of optimism to keep you calm during a crisis. Optimism also plays a key role in motivation, stress control and crisis management. Here’s more on optimism >> 

Finally, if you are stressed, work with your doctor. Your primary care physician may be able to provide you with stress-management tips and techniques, prescribe medication or refer you to a specialist.

Don’t have a doctor? Consider partnering with an MDVIP-affiliated physician. They have time to work with you and develop a wellness plan. Find a physician near you and begin your partnership in health » 

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About the Author
Janet Tiberian Author
Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES

Janet Tiberian is MDVIP's health educator. She has more than 25 years experience in chronic disease prevention and therapeutic exercise.

View All Posts By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
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