How to Remain Calm During COVID-19
  • April 09, 2020
  • Merideth Melville

“Leap and the net will appear”.

I’ve made many a decision in my life, both personal and professional based on these 6 words. By that, I don’t mean I didn’t look at a problem (or crossroad or situation) methodically or apply some practical analysis to it. But eventually found that if I didn’t “leap” into the situation or answer, I would remain static. And I had to believe the “net” was the self confidence I had in myself to see whatever happened next successfully through.

But what happens when you don’t have a choice to leap? What happens when you’re actually pushed off the proverbial cliff? Now, that’s scary.

And it’s in that scary place we all find ourselves in now.

This dispatch is taking place under quarantine at home with my partner (his office closed this week) and son (his school is closed for at least a month). The only one who is completely oblivious to the chaos is our cantankerous cat.

Left alone with our thoughts in uncertain times can wreak psychological and spiritual havoc on us. But refusing to recognize what’s happening around us is even more dangerous. If we don’t allow ourselves to see the truth, our minds and bodies will make something up to cope – and we may not be aware of the negativity that unsolicited solution brings.

Here are some ways to cope and stay calm during this COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Acknowledge your fear

Nothing good ever comes from hiding your head in the sand. Give your fear a nod. Say hello. Consider it a neighbor – albeit it an irritating one – that you run into when doing yard work. Learn to live well with fear – it’s the neighbor you’ll never be rid of.

2. Give your fear some room…to be

You don’t have to coddle it. You don’t have to ignore it. You don’t have to chase it away. Your don’t have to be ashamed of it. You don’t have to do anything other than acknowledge it. And let it be.

3. Invite fear over for a cup of coffee

Fear isn’t an outside force. Fear is us. Welcome fear in and get to know it. When you talk and listen to fear, you may find it’s over-reacting. You may be able to offer fear some alternatives – new ways of looking at the problem. You may be able to put fear to rest.

4. Accept uncertainty

The world is fluid, ever changing. We keep busy to avoid this notion. We believe we are in control. We fill the void of uncertainty with people, places and things. Use this time to let go of the notion of control and certainty. Make friends with this, too.

5. Today is a gift

This moment in time allows us to work on ourselves. No distractions. It is a gift! Use this time well. Yes, you can binge on TV shows, but you can also choose to expand your awareness and see the positive during this stressful time.

6. You are not alone

What you are feeling, so too are millions of other people across the world. You are not alone. “This” isn’t happening “to you”. It is a shared event. We are all stressed and overwhelmed and uncertain. But panic, over-reactions because of fear (we’ve all seen the toilet paper panic) adds to the confusion.

Zen teaches us to look at the stream – with rocks in the way, it does not slam into them out of frustration. It flows over and around them as it moves on.

Be like the stream and live in harmony with the rocks.

Merideth Melville

Merideth Melville got her start writing and producing entertainment documentaries for the original Travel Channel. That work took her to Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Bermuda and Borneo. From there, she jettisoned to NASA, where she ran the Motion Pictures Division (responsible for all the pre and post onboard films) during the Shuttle years. She then worked with Houston-based Zen Film for many years before starting Boss Media.