How to Stay Calm Under Pressure

Tips for staying calm in stressful and urgent situations.

Cherylyn Feierabend
4-minute read
Episode #113

How to Be Prepared for Emergency Situations

There are some things that you can do to help you feel prepared for emergency situations. Keeping your CPR certification up to date is one of the first things you can do.

  • Whether you have children or not, CPR is a good skill to learn and you’ll want to follow-up and stay informed on any new procedures.
  • Your home should also be prepared for accidents and emergencies. Make sure to keep your first aid kit stocked and let any adults or older children staying in your home know where it is.
  • Make sure, also, that all children old enough to dial the phone correctly know how to call 911, and make sure they know it’s for emergencies or any time they feel they are in danger.
  •  It’s also a good idea to have a list of emergency phone numbers in an easy-to-access location. You can list your doctors, the police department, fire department, or your child’s school. Any phone numbers that would be helpful to have easy access to should be listed there, even if 911 is your emergency number.

Just because something isn’t life-threatening, doesn’t mean you won’t feel under pressure. I’ve spent a good 30 minutes looking for the phone number to cancel my daughter’s bus pick-up in the morning because I didn’t have it in an easy-to-find place. Nobody was going to be hurt, but I would have felt really bad if the bus driver came to pick her up and we weren’t home. We all worry about different things.

How to Handle Stress Under Pressure

Another tip for handling stress under pressure is to ask for help. That seems like pretty basic advice and it is, but the key is often in how you ask or what you ask for. Be specific. Have you ever asked your spouse for help with cleaning and he responds with, “How can I help?” and you want to bop him on the head with your wet mop? This is not the time to play the “how can I help” game. You have to tell whoever it is that’s going to help you exactly what you need. If you need someone to call 911, ask ONE person to do it. If you say “someone call 911” four people may call and that’s fine, but four people may also stand around thinking one of the other three is going to call. “Hey, you with the purple hat, call 911.” That’s much more effective. If you feel like you are in over your head, let someone know. You can say, “I’m panicking and I don’t know what to do.” Sometimes that will allow you to breathe and will give the heads-up that if someone else can step in and give you a break, now would be a good time to do so.

No matter what happens just remember to breathe. If you feel like you can’t cope with a situation, take a deep breath in through your nose and blow out through your mouth. As my daughter’s pre-school teacher would say, smell the flowers and blow out the candle. You are doing the best you can to look at your situation logically. We can do amazing things under pressure.

That’s it for now.

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Stressed Woman image courtesy of Shutterstock