Mental Health

Every once in a while something comes along and hits us out of the blue. It could be the sudden death of a friend or loved one, losing a job, the threat of redundancy, or the breakup of a relationship.

These events are difficult to navigate, even when they are visible in the distance and you’ve had time to adjust to their inevitable arrival. When there is no forewarning, trying to overcome the shock AND having to move forward brings an altogether different set of challenges. These are the moments when you genuinely have no Plan B to fall back on.

In each of the above scenarios there is an element of grief and/or loss, and it’s generally accepted that people need time to process and come to terms with the new reality. Sometimes though we can’t afford (often literally) to simply down tools while we wrap our heads around the changes.

Focusing on your next steps can help ease some of the emotional pain. Giving the brain a constructive distraction and some practical things to do isn’t necessarily a cure-all, but can certainly help alleviate things in the immediate aftermath of bad news.

If you feel overwhelmed by everything that you are having to process, try to find someone to talk to, or try writing down thoughts and feelings. Getting things out of your head and on paper or discussed with others can provide much-needed perspective. As always the go-to advice of remembering to breathe holds as useful as ever.

Whatever the circumstances, life carries on and the decision is how to absorb those changes into your life, rather than allowing them to dictate the path going forward and sending you wildy off course.

There is more to come on this topic but alas a minor curve ball hit today and while I’m not in a spin, I find myself, like Marty McFly, “outta time”. Stay tuned for more insights on navigating life’s unexpected challenges.

to be continued…




just let the air out of your lungs and feel the tension leave your muscles.

Now do it again.

Concentrate on just the movement of air and the process of breathing.

It won’t fix everything that’s wrong or causing you stress (it doesn’t have magical powers), but the shift in focus from a hundred and one things, the spiralling maelstrom that is desperate to make its destructive escape in some form or other, down to just one action that has no emotion attached to it, no agenda, no internal dialogue, will provide you with the necessary pause that your brain has so far been refusing to take.

The pause is the chance to step back from the edge, to reflect, to choose another path that isn’t as reactive, or simply to achieve a more balanced perspective on the current situation.

It’s the shortest form possible of meditation or mindfulness and sometimes literally the best thing you can consciously do to improve your situation.

If this isn’t one of your current go-to coping strategies then try it. If you think you need more than a quick fix then checkout the links below to more strategic approaches (I can recommend both from personal experience). (Free “scholarship” available for those who need it)

Got a top “calm me” or “timeout” tip? Drop it in the comments below.

Until tomorrow… just remember to keep breathing