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How To Stay Calm In Troubling Times

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Forge Your Wealth is meant for education and entertainment and should not be used for financial advice.

The world is figuratively on fire. You cannot go online or turn on the TV without hearing more about the Coronavirus crisis. And if you are reading this in the future when the whole crisis is over, there will be some other crisis the media can report on for their meal tickets. That is a little ironic coming from me though. Forge Your Wealth has had more viewers now than before. I guess people care more about money when the economy is in trouble than when everything is fine.

So instead of telling you how to prepare for troubles in the economy or give you uplifting news, I will give you advice on how to stay calm in troubling times.

Turn Off The News Media

The first thing you should do to stay calm during any troubling times is turn off the news media. Media outlets make money off viewership. Guess what stories get the most viewers? The bad ones. We may all say that we would prefer it if the media would broadcast good news, but face it, we prefer to hear the bad news.

Guess which post is the most popular one on Forge Your Wealth? What To Do During A Recession. Hate to break this to you, but a pandemic did not need to happen to make that post the most popular one. I would actually prefer it if you would read more of my posts about how to forge your wealth during better times than how to preserve and hopefully build your wealth during the worse times. No one forges their wealth exclusively because of what they did during recessions. In fact, it tends to be the opposite. It is more what you do not do during a recession than what you do during a recession that builds your wealth.

You told the market what you wanted, and the market produced for you. If you do not want bad news, don’t expect the market to quickly flip a switch to turn off the bad news and turn on the good news. If the bad news is making you panicky, you simply must stop consuming the media.

Write Down Your Emotions

Do you think people write strictly because they like words so much? While I am sure there are people like that out there writing always has a purpose otherwise it would be just gibberish. One of the main reasons people write is to collect and express emotions. In fact, it is also a common underlying reason.

I don’t keep a journal except in lab. When I write, I write in my novel and/or blog. You can start to write in one of those or another form of writing including poetry. As weird as it sounds, you will find that your writing reflects your emotions, probably in ways you would not imagine.

Cook

You can’t exactly go to restaurants right now, but that does not mean you can’t have a good meal. I always find cooking therapeutic because I always have creative ideas for meals and frankly, I do a great job at it. Cooking reminds me that no matter what happens at the job I always have something I am constantly good at. You could be good at it too, give it a try. Even just adding a few onions to instant ramen will introduce new flavors.

Exercise

Most US states have issued stay at home orders. Those that did not will soon enough. That does not mean you cannot get any exercise. Practically all gyms are closed, so don’t bother looking. Even the most strict cities allow people to go out for walks though. Even if you cannot walk you can get a workout at home. Your treadmill is not just a place to hang your shirts when the closet is full. If you do not have workout equipment, you could buy some. There are many home workouts you could try from yoga to muscle training. My employer provides videos to people to stay fit while working at home. Chances are yours will have some too.

Keep In Touch With Loved Ones

One of the best ways to stay calm in troubling times is to keep in touch with loved ones. We are social creatures and we want to be around people. We were biologically wired to survive by doing this. Unfortunately, you cannot (or should not) see them in person now. That is why many tech companies have pushed new products for people to unite online. My family contact each other semi-daily online to talk about being stuck. There is not much variety in the conversations right now. Although there is not much to talk about, there is some optimism that comes out of knowing that pretty much no one we know about has anything to talk about. It enforces the concept that we are all in this together.

As interesting as many of the new products are, there are many classic products that would work. I still text my friends. Heck I utilize an online game, League of Legends, my friends and I played back in college several years ago to stay in contact.

Embrace Boredom

If you want to stay calm in troubling times like right now the key is to embrace the boredom. Chances are you have been told to stay at home during troubling times, especially if the troubling times are a pandemic like at the time this post was published. We were informed that by staying indoors, we are slowing the spread of the virus. Not only that, but staying inside improves how efficient emergency workers can help people in need and prevent uninfected people from being in hospitals. Even if you are reading this during the next crisis that is not a pandemic, staying inside when asked is helpful for similar reasons.

It is boring, it can even be excruciatingly boring. In the words of my greatest mentor: “Boredom is a luxury. You want excitement? There’s plenty in war-torn countries.” My mentor was a soldier. He could not tell me everything he did, but he was in situations that make the most intense action thrillers appear boring.

Boredom means there is nothing you can nor need to worry about in the moment. Some people are constantly worried and they would kill for your life, even at it’s worst. In fact, there is a good chance they have killed to make sure their family did not starve. There are far worse situations than staying inside and being bored.

Production From Boredom

Despite the stay at home orders and the boredom, you can be productive. In fact, I find that boredom sparks productivity. Trying to find other things to work on at home can be a great way to stay calm in troubling times.

Some people I have talked to believe this pandemic will increase the online training and consulting industry. I wonder if that has to do with people trying to find new ways to make income while they are ordered to stay indoors? Who am I kidding, of course it is.

You will probably never have a better opportunity to produce a business online. I strongly believe more people will try consulting work and the sooner you try to do that work, the better. I cannot think of a better way to curb your boredom than by trying to be productive and form a new income stream. Admittedly, there are not as many options to what business you can start. For example, I do not believe trying to start a travel agency at home would be the best idea right now. You will not get m(any) customers in the next few months.

Final Thoughts

It is hard to stay calm in troubling times. They would not be troubling times if that was not the case. Quoting from Paul Brodie: “our character is not defined in the good times, but in the hard times.” We are more than our income and our jobs. If you are without both, you will see what more there is to you. With dedication you can use the more you have to Forge Your Wealth.

Author: Papa Foxtrot

Most of my life I was careful with money and learned where I should invest it. I was very lucky to have parents who taught me financial literacy when I was young. Unfortunately, I am very lucky because many people lack the financial literacy I know. The purpose of Forge Your Wealth is to teach people who are just starting out in life how to obtain their wealth or anyone who just realized they may need to learn more to handle their finances. I currently have a PhD in biochemistry, just started a job in industry (will not disclose where exactly for personal and professional reasons) and am currently married to the love of my life. I am one of the lucky few people in America who graduated with no student debts, my wife was not. Over the series of a little over 3 years we paid for our wedding with no debt and paid off her federal student loans.

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