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Crisis management: how to stay calm

Hurricane Irma is still fresh in the minds of Floridians and Georgians alike. Natural disasters can rip through communities and destroy people’s livelihoods. When basic resources become limited, people begin to panic. Here are a few ways to keep a cool head when the unfortunate aspects of life hit us head on.

Have patience

Whether it’s waiting in line for gas or finding a store that still has water in stock, yelling at employees won’t change anything. The best thing to do is waiting until you—like everyone else in line—can have access to the utilities. Reminding yourself to have patience for things that you cannot control will improve your attitude of the situation. Also, maintaining patience can reflect on others around you. They could try to follow your example and calm the situation even more.

Have a little perspective

While you might have been without power for several days, others could be facing weeks without electricity. Taking the time to think about the situation in front of you and access how much stress should go into it can help you stay calm.

According to Victor Lipman of Psychology Today, in times of stress, people should  “gain the perspective to see things as they are rather than the size they’ve been magnified to, that will be a very positive first step.”

Most situations are fixable, understanding this can maintain reason. Sometimes situations are blown out of proportion. It’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture. There are others out there who could be less fortunate than you.

Scream into a pillow

First, screaming from stress is a lot different than from screaming from anger. People use this technique to relieve tension. In fact, screaming has been proven to relieve stress.

“Screaming can have a cathartic effect,” according to the website True Stress Management. “For some, it’s therapeutic. When you have a ton of pent up stress brewing in you, letting it out verbally can give you a sense of relief. When you’re feeling flustered (not angry) releasing it out can make you feel a little more free and take some weight off.”

So, instead of screaming at someone to vent your frustration, scream into a pillow instead. Yelling at someone undeserving would probably result in stress later from being rude anyway.

Develop a coping strategy

Having a system in place to combat stress can help you stay calm. Whether it’s counting to 10 or taking deep breaths, a coping mechanism can go a long way. Have one developed for the next crisis.


It is important in a major crisis to be aware of new developments. Staying connected to friends and family is a vital step during natural disasters. However, stay connected to trustworthy sources. Try to avoid using inflammatory and fearmongering sites that can cause more harm than good.

Story and Photo by Alex Dunn, Campus Life editor.

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