I’m taking a break from my hurricane Irma prep, sipping on some coffee and doing what I do in situations like this… reflecting.

I can’t help but think of what three years ago Megan would have done in this crazy chaotic situation. My anxiety would have been OUT THE ROOF. I would have been in full on panic mode, running back and forth worrying about every single little thing. I would have probably already evacuated and still been worrying about all of the things! It would have been draining, exhausting, and pointless.

Look – weather is nothing to mess with. Especially category 5 hurricanes. You don’t fight the odds with these things. I am not telling you to ignore the evacuation orders, I am not telling you to do nothing. Preparation is key in these situations. But panicking, having an anxiety attack, making a big fuss over it all will do absolutely nothing. You can’t stop a hurricane. You can’t change the path. What will be, will be. And you have to surrender to that fact.

There are SO MANY factors that go into leaving or staying before a hurricane. I’m not going to lay it all out for you, but when it came down to it… here is the number one difference between present me and past me. I sat with myself and felt into what was right. Was I reacting to the situation? Was I reacting to the hype of the media and the emotions of everyone else around me? Or was I responding to the situation that was going on in my environment.

I chose to respond to what was handed to me.

Anxiety, worry, panic whatever you want to call it is just fear showing up as a reaction to the situation.

The fear based reactions in these situations are an unnecessary suffering that we bring onto ourselves. When you choose to react to the situation instead of responding, you miss opportunities to do the best thing for you and your loved ones. When you react instead of respond, you take it out on people instead of showering them with love in a difficult situation.

In the midst of some craziness, in the middle of the chaos, I want to share my best tips on how to respond to high panic situations instead of reacting.

Slow down and listen to yourself

Your intuition is FREAKING POWERFUL. Call it a coincidence, call it an act of higher power, call it whatever you want. I personally think it’s a combo of all the above. But if you stop, if you tune in, you will always know what is right. You will always know what to do and where to go.

When Andrew and I were booking our next plane ticket in Guatemala, we were having a REALLY hard time choosing where to go. Nothing felt right, every location brought a different emotion. Something told us to go to Florida. There were some things going on and we felt a strong pull to go there. When we got here the hurricane was predicted to hit here strong, and our family and community needed our help. I can’t help but think we were brought here for a reason.

If you are feeling the worry, the anxiety, the panic set in just stop. Slow down and tune into yourself, do a quick 5-minute meditation alone. And ask yourself what you really need to do. It will come in.

Stop, count to ten.

This is what I do when I can’t get away alone for a five-minute medi. Stop, breathe and count up to ten and down from ten as many times as you need to bring yourself back to the present. Anxiety and worry are not present emotions. They are the result of diving in deep to too many what-ifs. You are literally diving into situations that have not occurred yet, you are wasting energy on things that may not even happen. Do you ever get done with a situation that you were really anxious about and say… “wow I am so glad I panicked!”

No. You usually have regret for how you reacted in the situation and realize that it all turned out okay. Don’t suffer. Take a minute to bring yourself to what you can do right here, right now. Solutions are now.

Really look at the situation

When you move into something chaotic, or something fear based, we love to think of all the possible bad outcomes, honestly a lot of the time we completely forget about the good outcomes. If you are feeling it out the situation and are having trouble with the read really look at the facts. The anxiety and worry are coming from an emotional place, get a little logical with yourself. What are the concrete facts? What are the pros and cons? When you come from a place of fear it is so easy to forget about these important things!

Surrender to what will be and what is

It is what it is. And what will be, will be.

You can prep, plan, prepare, stress, worry, freak out, panic until you exhaust yourself and in the end, it will still be what it was supposed to be. Surrender to the fact that you have done the absolute best you can do.

When you are coming from a place of fear, it is so easy to miss the best opportunity for you. Once you slow down, breathe, look at the situation you can truly make the best decision for you – then you surrender to the results.

Show love and gratitude

Fact: You cannot be grateful + anxious at the same time. Allow your gratitude to overpower your anxiety. Call someone you love and talk to them about something other than what you are stressing about! Spread the love, and it will be returned to you.

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