The pandemic, the wars abroad, the political divide at home, inflation, commuting again – sometimes it seems the world has gone crazy. How are we to keep ourselves sane and grounded amidst all that turmoil? The question is not rhetorical. I read the research on mental health and talk about these things with my clients all the time. Here are some ideas that can help you stay sane when the world seems to be going crazy:

Get back to your cushion.

I know, the meditation cushion is almost cliché. That doesn’t mean it’s not important! In my case, it’s a futon in the spare room. Wherever you sit, go sit. Do it every day. If you haven’t started a mindfulness or meditation practice, this is a good time to do it. There’s a lot of research that shows how meditation changes our mood and even changes our brain. It’s probably the single best thing you can do to ensure a little smoother sailing when the waters are rough.

Connect to your peeps.

Your friends and family need you and you need them. Human beings exist in relationship to others, and we just can’t thrive without them. So, send a message, or dial the phone. Have a talk or plan a date. Meet for a walk or a coffee. Whatever you do with them, make your people your priority. They’ll remind you what’s important and what’s eternal, and your life will be better for it.

Stay in your body.

It’s interesting to see how often people are unaware of the signals of distress their bodies are sending. I remember being unaware of them myself, but with practice, I learned to notice and respond to them. You can, too. Things like walking, running, exercising in general can help you burn off extra energy, which we often need to do. Other things like EFT tapping or yoga practices can shift the energy in our body-mind. All of it can help us stay centered, grounded, and calm.


Watch a funny sitcom or stand-up show. Listen to a humorous podcast. Spend time with your funny friend. When all else fails, watch laughing babies on YouTube. Whatever tickles your fancy is fair game – but make laughing a priority. It changes our body chemistry and makes us feel better long after the giggles stop.

Appreciate nature

If you can, go outside. Appreciate the quiet of a snowfall or the din of an ocean or the soothing sound of early birds. Smell the roses! Or the salt air, the moss of the forest, the dry dust of desert sand. Feel the warmth or coolness or shock of cold on your skin. And look! The natural world is beautiful. Cultivate a beginner’s mind and take it all in with appreciation.

Slow down.

When we are in a rush, our body is filling with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Over the long haul, that’s not good for you. Even in the short term, it doesn’t feel great. When we are stressed, we feel, well, stressed. Cultivate the opposite: Take a pause before you cross the threshold of any room. Take a breath before you talk. When you transition from one activity to the next, take a moment to notice that you are shifting. This is one that I need to practice more this year.

How about you? What from this list strikes a chord with you? What did I leave out? I’d love to hear from you!