From Chaos to Control: How I’m Staying Calm During Busy Times

Times when there’s too much happening all at once

Did you ever have times when there is so much happening all at once that you don’t know where to start? It’s hard to stay calm.

I’m currently in that situation.

Having submissions at work and for university is hard to juggle. The whole year long everything was working well parallel to each other and now suddenly the submissions are in the same week.

A few years ago I would have started

  • sleeping less,
  • working long hours
  • and stress-eating

After being through those kinds of unhealthy times I know now that this is not how I can give my best.

Here is what I’m doing now instead:

Keeping my Routines

I’m keeping my morning and evening routine. I’m still doing my meditation, affirmations, and writing habit.

I’m maybe decreasing the time in total but I need the routines to keep me healthy, motivated, and calm.

A calm start in the morning can help me stay focused longer and be more productive.

Having this calm time for myself makes me more productive in the long run for the next days.

I’m consciously controlling my sleeping routine and sleeping more than 7 hours. My body needs to rest to process everything I did and learned.

I’m in control of my day by starting when I’m ready and ending when I feel tired.

I don’t get controlled by stress and unhealthy patterns anymore which helps me to be more productive and be done faster.

Keeping your routines is the best way to not get into unhealthy habits you establish while being stressed. Try to keep them out because else there is the possibility that they stick and it’s hard to get rid of them again.

For example smoking: it started for a lot of people as a coping mechanism. It relaxes them. But after the stressful period is over you are addicted and you continue smoking even though you don’t need it anymore to calm you down.

“If you protect your routine, eventually it will protect you.”

Barbara Oakley

Taking Conscious Breaks – Calm Down

Working in a team and at university for my project was really unhealthy for me. I was pushing my limits as an introvert being outside of my home with people in a loud room for more than 12 hours.

I didn’t eat properly and was pushing to finish it as soon as possible without breaks.

Don’t make the same mistake!

Take your own time and boundaries! Listen to your body and mind!

I am now working from home on my laptop in a quiet room with calm music to get as much focused time as possible.

Then I take breaks whenever I need to: relax or go for a walk.

I can also take a break to spend time with my boyfriend and just watch Netflix. Leaving my brain some time to relax too.

It also helps to do some housework as a break. You will get something done but your brain doesn’t have to think for a while.

In stressful times the normal reaction is to cut healthy routines and food to get more time for work. But actually, the opposite happens.

Your brain has to work more to get out of your routine and keep your body healthy.

If you are stressed, the best you can do is to relax and keep up your routines.

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

— Zen Proverb


Those are my 2 go-to strategies to calmly get through stressful times. You can try them out and see if those work for you too or you find yourself other ways to relax.

A lot of people are doing gym breaks to get their stress out of their system by pushing physical boundaries.

Whatever it is: add it to your routine before entering a stressful period and you will have a healthy habit to relieve stress when needed.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”

— Mark Black

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(c) Karina Ahrer

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