Top tips on how to stay calm and manage everyday anxiety

Lots of people describe me as a calm person. It’s a word that comes up time and time again. I find it interesting that people call me calm; those who don’t know me that well along with those who have known me for years. On the outside I probably seem quite calm but just like a swan I’m busy paddling quickly underneath. I guess going through different things have given me a perspective on what I really need to worry or panic about. So as we’re all different, how else is it possible to stay calm? Here’s some top tips on keeping your cool and managing everyday anxieties…

Know yourself…Each of us can feel calmness but at different levels. We also stay calm in different situations. What encourages some one to stay calm but cause another to panic or worry. So know yourself and think about what triggers your calmness or your worries? Also recognise your signs when you start to panic. Is it your heart beating faster? Do you speak faster? Do you get anxiety butterflies in your tummy? Knowing these signs will help you to respond to any panicky moments. It will also help you to prepare for any moments when you know you won’t be feeling calm.

Pause…Sometimes it might feel like we don’t have time to pause. We might be busy juggling work, studies, home life and other things. It only takes a few moments to stop and pause. Taking a short break in your thinking can help you retain a bit of calmness instead of making your brain work overtime. If you need help to pause, try it a bit of practical mindfulness. This isn’t about sitting on loads of cushions in a quiet room away from everyone. Pausing through mindfulness can be practised on the move too. Check out the Transitional Pause developed for busy people (designed by Dr Tamara Russell). Lots of us practiced this at the Lucky Things Meet Up in January. It helps your brain and energy ready for the next space, activity or task.

Find your calm inspiration…Is there anyone you can look up to who seems to stay calm? Is there someone who never loses their cool? How do they approach situations where they need to remain calm and just carry on. Ask them about how they keep their cool. Listen to their experiences and tricks for injecting calmness into their busy lives.

Have your uncalm moment and get it over and done with…There will be times where we can’t control how we initially feel about a situation. You may not be able to be calm and just carry on. So acknowledge how you feel and think about how you’d like to feel. Then do your best to move on so you don’t waste previous energy on negative feelings. Don’t forget to remind yourself it’s going to be OK. Even say these words out loud if you need to. When my little family went through ups and downs last year I kept saying this out loud. I think it reassured me that I can get through the tough moments.

Speak to someone about your everyday worries or anxieties…Staying calm takes practice. In a way it’s a skill. There are lots of things that I may feel calm about like technical hitches at an event. However there are things I don’t always feel calm about, like the fear of my children hurting themselves. Find someone you trust to offload your worries so you can also come up with some ideas on how to stay calm the next time you’re faced with a hectic situation. I often discuss things that make me worry with trusted family members and close friends. When you speak to someone about your uncalm moments, you can also gain perspective on whether you need to worry as much about something similar in the future.

Find your calm tools…There are some tricks to help you stay calm or respond in a calmer way. It might be a motto you pop up on a post it on your mirror. It might be a special thing you wear to remind you of calmness (you assign calmness meaning to your watch, ring or necklace). I learnt this from a career coach years ago. If I started to feel nervous or anxious during interviews, I could just touch my watch as it reminded me everything is going to be OK. It may sound like a trivial approach but it helps to start training our brain into more positive thought patterns. Find other calm prompts. I’ve found loads in the book The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim.

What do you do when you need to feel calmer? Have you any tricks to share? How else can we manage everyday anxieties? Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear what you think too.

Thanks to Sarah at @the_mama_works for introducing me to Haemin Sunim’s book. Sarah is speaking at the London Lucky Things Meet Up on 14 October 2017 in London. Tickets have now sold out for this event, but please get in touch if you’d like to go on the wait list or if you’d like to hear about the extra date for London in November.

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How to stop comparing yourself to others and dealing with comparison culture

Comparing yourself to others is an everyday thing. It’s what I also call comparison culture. Some people spend a few moments; some people spend heaps of time doing this. For some, it feels manageable as they’re just fleeting thoughts. For others, it can feel exhausting or even bring on anxieties. As we talk a lot about looking after your confidence and wellbeing on Lucky Things, it’s important to talk about how we can stop comparing ourselves to others. Continue reading

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Inspire interview with photographer and stay at home dad Ariel Majtas

The Lucky Things Inspire series kicks off your week with a bit of inspiration. As Lucky Things blog chats about feeling confident (not always easy), wellbeing and career it’s great hearing from a mix of people. I’m hearing more stories of mums and dads making career moves to support their families in different way. A work-life balance is becoming more and more important for my generation. I first heard about Ariel through his wife Christelle who is the founder of Mumoclock.com (check out the clever monthly subscription boxes for mums). We were chatting about her Instapost on her husband changing his career to take on the full-time childcare for their daughter.  Here’s what Ariel had to say about blurred photos, patience and working flexibly.

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Let’s talk about flex – Mother Pukka’s #flexappeal campaign for more flexible working

Flexible working. Over the last 15 years in my HR career, these words are becoming  more and more important.  As lots of people experience parenthood, different lifestyles or life changes, more flexible working conversations are taking place in the workplace. So what’s the #flexappeal campaign all about? Created and led by Anna Whitehouse of motherpukka.co.uk, it’s about raising awareness of the benefits flexible working brings to a business and its teams.

Thanks to @emilygrayphoto for this photo

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My experience talking about blogging and Instagram life at the the BBC

At the end of last year a message popped up in my @luckythingsblog Instagram account. It was from BBC journalist Bela Shah. She asked if I was interested in featuring in a BBC news story on blogging and Instagram life. Bela mentioned she wanted to do a story on Instamums. As with many journalists she still had to pitch her idea to her producers and directors at the BBC. So it wasn’t guaranteed this would really go ahead.

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Seven ways to support International Women’s Day

Did you know there’s a different theme for International Women’s Day each year? For 2017 it’s #beboldforchange. Not many people know but the first official “lnternational Women’s Day” event was held back in 1911*. As championed over at internationalwomensday.com, for 2017, they’re asking us to #BeBoldForChange where we can call on the masses for support or as an individual help move towards “a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world”.

Whoever we are and whatever we do, we can influence our social sphere to help other women feel more confident and reach their potential. I’m a strong believer that small actions are really important too. As Lucky Things is all about looking after our wellbeing, career and confidence, here’s seven ideas for supporting International Women’s Day today (and all year round).  Continue reading

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Top tips on dealing with failure

Failure is a funny thing. It comes and goes. Sometimes we can’t avoid it. Check out my earlier blog post on why failure can be a good thing. Failure can even do us a favour, if  you see it as a learning experience. It’s also good to know how we can work with a bit of failure. What, if anything, is going to make us feel better about it? Here’s seven top tips on how to deal with failure.img_0303

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Why failure can be a good thing

Failure. It’s not a word a lot us like to hear is it? It’s viewed as the opposite of success. But is it always a negative thing? As a word, it gets a raw deal. It makes us feel bad, when we can try and take away the good bits out of it. The word failure can even scare people. It can stop people from trying things out that might go well. What will people think of us if we fail? How are we going to move on after a bit of failure? In some situations, I think there are lots of things we can learn from failure. It can actually help us out. So here’s seven things that are good about failure.

  1. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not…We are not super-beings. Yes we’re masters at juggling all kinds of things and winging it through life. But we can’t do everything. So accept that failure is going to crop up here and there.
  2. It teaches us something we didn’t know before…When something doesn’t go to plan, it’s always a chance to learn something. Failure teaches us about ourselves but also about things that are beyond our control.img_5914
  3. We know for next time!..Ever experienced a failure and then afterwards saying to yourself “That won’t happen again!”? Sometimes it shows us what we’re not comfortable doing. It also hows us what we can try differently next time. So don’t let failure put you off trying out things again. Failure can happen for a number of reasons, some might not affect things next time.
  4. It’s part of the journey…Whatever we’re trying to do or work on, dealing with a bit of failure on the way is part of moving closer to success.
  5. It doesn’t mean we are complete failures as human beings…Just because something goes wrong it doesn’t mean we are failures or incapable. It also doesn’t mean that things won’t go right next time.
  6. It happens to everyone…It really does. Anyone you admire – bet they’ve experienced some kind of failure. At some point everyone has failed in their life. Not everything can be plain sailing. Some people are better at hiding at managing their failures than others. Some people are more comfortable about experiencing failures. Some don’t realise they’ve failed and keep going anyway. Failure doesn’t discriminate so it can affect all of us at any point.
  7. It actually makes us stronger…When you’ve experienced things going wrong, the experience makes us more resilient and more importantly more aware.

Check out next week’s blog on top tips on how to deal with failure.

Over to you…What do you think about the word failure? How does it make you feel? How do you deal with failures?

Mummuddlingthrough
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Career: Celebrate your skills and talents

Whatever we do as day jobs or careers, over time, we build up a collection of skills and talents. Some we know we have but we may also surprise ourselves with our hidden skills. We pick up skills through training, on the job and every day tasks. We pick them up as we try out new things or projects. A we’re busy with work and life in general we can forget about our many skills and talents. Whether you’re in a job, working on your own business, trying both or a stay at home mum or dad, it’s important to celebrate your skills and talents… Continue reading

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Top tips on looking after yourself

Where are the weeks going? There is always lots to do so it’s important we take time to look after ourselves. If we look after ourselves then I believe we’re also able to feel more confident and focused.

It was pretty cool sharing my top tips for looking after yourself to an inspiring crowd at the Lucky Things Meet Up in January. I wrote these top tips especially for the event. As promised, I wanted to share these on the blog too. I know I’ll be looking back at this list throughout the year! Here you go… Continue reading

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