Due to the recent incident where campus was on lockdown, I decided that I would share some of the ways that I have managed to keep calm (on the outside) during what can be a chaotic and terrifying situation. I live in the Kensington area of Philadelphia. It is a neighborhood known for violence, and as a kid I experienced a lot of dangerous situations both in school and on my block. Not everyone can be level-headed in a situation where there is a threat to your safety. When there is someone with a lethal weapon on the loose nearby, it's hard to know how to handle it. Most places go into a lockdown like my school did. This is not something to take lightly and it is never something you get used to, but there are ways to get through them without panicking. Here are some things you can do to relax and stay calm during those lockdown situations:

Pray:

Praying is probably the best thing you can do. Pray for protection not only for you, but for everyone involved. God hears prayers and his protection is fool-proof. God has all control and knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. Pray to God for peace as well so that you won’t get as worked up as I do sometimes.

Read:

Pass the time by reading so that your mind can focus on something else. Also if you can calm down enough to read, then when there is a text alert or announcement about what is going on you can process it with a calm mind. Reading the Bible can be especially comforting.

Listen to soothing music:

Maybe something instrumental or classical, or just something that you like that calms you down and will soothe your anxiety. In a high intensity situation you need to relax so that you don’t do something rash or dangerous.

Call and check on family and friends:

This is something that I always do. I worry a lot about my friends and family and I always make sure, especially if they are also involved in the situation, that they are okay and not in any danger at all. It soothes your nerves a bit to know that the people you love and care for the most are safe and sound. If you are stuck somewhere with someone and you are able to talk, then get to know them more. Consider it an opportunity to make new friendships or build on existing ones. This is also a very good way to pass the time.

Do something with your hands:

Doing something with your hands can really help to ease the tension. When you get anxious, nervous, or scared, you usually end up doing something with your hands. Some people tap their fingers, some people play with their hair, etc. If you draw, write, play games on your phone, and so on, then you can relax a little bit more in the intense situation.

It always depends on the predicament you are in, but if you are ever in a lockdown or a cautious situation try doing one of these things to help keep you calm, cool, and collected, and help diffuse some of the tension until the threat is gone.