A status quo. Stagnant water. A sterile dish. A society just going through the motions. All of these are calm, and at least two of them are dead, or unappealing to life. But ‘Calm’ isn’t the problem, it’s stasis. Let me show you.
An elephant on the long walk to water. A jogger, out for their morning run, or Gorillas grooming. All alive, all activities driven by purpose, desire and movement, and all as serene as the swan appears to be. Sure the runner gets hot and sweaty, the elephant thirsty and the Gorilla, bored, but there is calm in repetitive, necessary activities. Unneccessary repetition becomes maddening, maddening, maddening, maddening, maddening maddeningmaddening you get the idea.
So over the festive period, when you are sat still, brooding over debts and decorations, think of that elephant in its long, steady plod. Maybe even admit you admire that bloke or lady that runs past your house every morning.
Stasis brings a destructive calm, the inertia of the corpse. Stable movement, motion, even if only of mind, grants one creative, productive calm. Remember this, and use it.