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Staying Calm in a Crisis

Posted September 16, 2014 by Marie Arcidiacono in Life After Five
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A couple of weeks ago I found myself going into shock for the first time in my life when my shin lost a battle against a metal spin bike pedal. Yup, you read that right, a metal pedal shredded my shin. Trust me the irony of having just written about how much I love the gym is not lost on me.

I’ve been really lucky in my life, I haven’t really had to deal with many crisis situations so like many people I was unsure of how I would actually react in a real crisis. Of course we can all hypothesize but we won’t really know until we (unfortunately) experience it.

I classify holding my own skin together and applying pressure to my own open wounds, yup you read that right wounds as in more than one, a crisis situation.

I instantly knew what to do which was mind boggling in and of itself. While I was shaking beyond belief I knew who to call and what to do. Not once did I cry or irrationally freak out, which trust me, was warranted if you saw the wounds.

Others around were not as calm (really lady I did not need to hear you whisper “I think I saw her bone” because you weren’t whispering and that DID NOT help) and I got to thinking about some tips for staying calm in a crisis.

*Always call 9-1-1 if the situation is severe*

The biggest thing is to try and stay rational and not let your emotions get the best of you. This is incredibly hard and I almost lost it when that woman whispered: “I think I saw her bone.Just in case anyone was worried: You couldn’t see bone, I got close but thankfully not that close.

If you can stay calm that’s extremely helpful.

You also want to make sure you actually have people pre-programmed in your phone under “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) followed by their name and relationship to you. Luckily I was lucid and aware so I could call my “ICE” but if I wasn’t anyone who was calling on my behalf would know my ICE’s first name and relationship to me. Also, if you are around in a crisis situation and need to call for someone try typing in “ICE” when you get to their contacts list to save yourself some time.

My own personal tip is to keep the person talking. This not only ensures that the person is awake but also can possibly help take their mind off of whatever is happening. It was beyond calming to have a different woman at the gym sit there talking to me about things unrelated to my open wounds to keep me somewhat calm until my “ICE” arrived.

This last tip is for people who are “rubbernecking” the crisis: Keep your unneeded comments to yourself and if you aren’t actually a nurse or a doctor let’s keep those medical opinions to yourself. Sorry but I don’t need you to freak me out more. And if you are a nurse or doctor say so before you start spouting out advice so I actually listen. Please and thank you.

Obviously you can’t predict how you will react in a crisis, be it your own or one around you but you can try and be prepared. Just remember, if all else fails dial 9-1-1.

Share with me: How did you stay calm in a crisis?

About the Author

Marie Arcidiacono

Marie is a Speech Communication professor who also coaches a debate team. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue to teach for decades to come. In her "free time" she is an avid runner. Marie enjoys running a variety of distances, including the Half Marathon. She is dedicated to living as healthy a lifestyle as she can while balancing a very busy schedule. Marie loves to network and share ideas so writing for Career Girl Network is perfect for her. You can also read about her adventures on Why Not Girl!.