Less than perfect

So, as most of you would know, our little man started school this year and with that, I’ve been thrown into a whole new world (of course he has too, but let’s focus on me for a minute, it is my blog after all ha!) I’ve had to learn all about readers and golden words and assemblies and canteen ordering….and the list goes on. It appears school has changed a lot since I was there!

Anyway, I digress, what I really wanted to talk about today was a certain certificate that the lil man was recently awarded at school. ‘Perfect attendance for Term 1’ it read. He was also given a little badge to wear on his chest along with all the other kids in school that managed to show up to school each and every day of term one. Normally I’d be super proud of any award my son wins, but this one just doesn’t quite sit right with me. I get it’s intention, I get that many schools are struggling with poor attendance and some children have parents that just don’t seem to understand the importance of regular school attendance. But what about all those other kids? Those kids that maybe had a day or two off because they were genuinely sick? I feel as though they’re kinda being punished for that; they’re being told they’re less than perfect. Sure, they’re not coping the strap or anything drastic like that but I’ll bet they felt left out when the other kids their class got an award and they didn’t. It’s like saying they did something wrong just by being sick.

I don’t think my son really got it; he was rapt he got an award sure, but I’m not sure he fully understood what it was for. But he’ll eventually get to the age that he will and I hope that he doesn’t feel any pressure to go to school when he’s not feeling well just because he’ll miss out on a certificate (because I’m pretty sure there will be some kids out there who would do just that). And it’s not even just about sickness; what about holidays? Yes, kids get school holidays but not all parents do (case in point- my hubby and I). The reality is, we probably will choose to take our son on a holiday away from school holiday times because it’s ridiculously more expensive! Yep, I totally get school is important but I also think life experience and travel is just as important.

So, an award for perfect attendance…hmm, I’m just not sure about this one. I don’t know what the answer is and how we can encourage those families whose lack of school attendance is negatively effecting their kids, I just think it’s a more complex issue….or maybe I’m just over thinking the whole damn thing, who knows! I would really love to hear your thoughts on this one.

 

I’m OK

“I get worried when I don’t see you writing” That’s what my beautiful friend said to me last week. It’s been a few months since I last wrote here. It wasn’t planned, I didn’t ‘decide’ to take a break, it just happened. Life. I’ve been busy. With going back to work, the little man starting school, adjusting to new routines and getting back into the groove of old ones..it’s been busy.

Of course we all know that busyness is most often just an excuse. Because if something really means that much you will always make time for it. So the truth is, I just haven’t really felt like writing; ok that’s kind of a lie, I have felt like writing, just not here. I’ve written countless blog posts in my head; only to realise that I can’t really share them here. Why? Because some things just shouldn’t and don’t need to be shared here. And I didn’t want to be one of those people who is all cryptic and elusive and says things like ‘oh there’s so much going on but I just can’t tell you any of it’ because that’s just annoying right? And so I’ve chosen to not write anything at all… at least not here anyway. Because the real truth is I have been writing. I wrote a post that I felt I really needed to write and then gave it to a friend to read; she’ll probably be the only one who every reads it. And I’ve been writing little snippets of a book, two books in fact, on the notes in my phone whilst I sit beside my sons bed as he drifts off to sleep each night. I write everyday in my job; both of my jobs. And I wrote a letter to my son on his first day of school; because I want to remember it and I want him to remember it when he gets older but I don’t need to share that with the whole world; because that’s his story and I’ve always tried to be respectful of him and the older he gets, the more aware of it I become.

And so, perhaps if I’m honest, I’m struggling a little bit with what this space is now and what it will be. I’ve taken the pressure of myself to write here once a week, every week and I have to say that’s been a bit of a relief; there was no one holding me to that except myself. The pressure is off. But that’s not to say I don’t still want or need this space. My writing has always come in ebbs and flows, a little like my reading. Sometimes I will read every day, at every chance I can get, devouring several books in as many weeks. And then sometimes I can go for months, with a stack of books on my bedside table that haven’t been opened or even touched. It comes and goes and I’ve learnt that’s ok. Just like I’ve learnt that it’s ok if I don’t blog every week or if the bed doesn’t get made everyday or if we have takeaway on a weeknight…that’s just the reality of working mum life and that’s ok. It’s just where I’m at right now and I’m going with it, no pressure ‘to do’ and trying my best to remember my word for this year, ‘be’.
So yeah, I’m busy ‘being’ and for now that’s ok… Im ok. I hope you’re doing ok too.

’til next time….

Reading, Watching, Listening.

When it comes to finding new books to read, shows to watch and podcasts to listen t,o I often base my choices on recommendations from others. So this week I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately…check it out, you might just find something you like.

Reading: Over our summer break down the beach I finally got to read Me Before You by Jo Jo moyes. I devoured it over a few days and really enjoyed it. There is a sequel book, After You, but I’m yet to decide if I want to read it. I feel like the story finished as it should and wonder what more there is to say. I’m not sure if the sequel will be too depressing? If you’ve read it I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’ve also got the movie sitting at home ready to watch, I’ve been told to have the tissues ready.

I also recently finished reading Motherhood and Creativity: The Divided Heart by Rachel Power. I won a copy from the beautiful Lauren (aka- Me and My Girl.) She told me I’d love it and I certainly did! In the book, Rachel interviews a number of well known professional creatives (from actors and writers to painters and musicians) about how they juggle motherhood and their creative pursuits and how one affects the other. Whilst I am by no means a ‘professional’ creative I could certainly still relate to much of what was said. It was a really interesting read and I discovered so many common themes threaded throughout. If you are a mother and a creative soul you, this book is a must read.

Watching: Last week hubby was away overnight for work and so with the little man sleeping soundly next to me I finally got to sit down and watch The Minimalism Documentary on Netflix. I’ll be completely honest and say that whilst I’ve heard a lot about The Minimalists I’ve never actually read or listened to any of their stuff, so I thought I’d start here. I loved it and fell in love with Josh and Ryan (how could you not love them?) And I’ve since starting listening to their podcast. Whilst I don’t think I could ever be as hardcore minimalist as these guys I can certainly relate and agree with a lot of what they have to say.

Listening: To podcasts, all the podcasts! Here are some of my favourite episodes that I’ve listened to lately:

No Filter- Mia Freedman interviews Jodi Picoult: Rather than listen to the No Filter podcast in order, I just pick out the episodes that I’m interested in. So of course when I saw that Mia had interviewed my all time favourite author, Jodi Picoult, it was at the top of my list and it didn’t disappoint. I also loved her interview with Kasey Chambers and Rebecca Sparrow.

Conversations with Richard Fuller: with Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. I’ve had Jon’s book on my ‘must read’ list for quite a while now (I really must get to it) and after listening to this podcast episode I want to read it even more! In this interview, Jon talks about some of the most famous cases from his book and gives a really interesting insight into not only the real stories behind them but also what happened to those people after they were so publicly shamed on social media. It’s quite sad how one small moment or action can literally ruin people’s lives. It’s certainly mad me rethink what I choose to share my social media pages.

The Well: The Grief Episode. I listened to every episode of The Well last year, except this one. I wasn’t sure if I could listen to it, I knew it would be a tough one but eventually, alone in the car one day not long after Christmas, I finally did. Listening to Robin and Rebecca talk is like listening in on a conversation with friends and this episode was both touching and insightful.

What have you been reading, watching and listening to lately? Got any good recommendations for me?

 

 

Ready

We’re on the home stretch everyone, the end of school holidays is in sight! Oh I don’t mean to be one of ‘those’ parents that can’t wait for their kids to get back to school but I must admit this past week (or two) I’ve felt very ready. Ready for the little man to start school (well, as ready as I’ll ever be) and ready to go back to work. But more than that I’m just ready for a bit of routine and normalcy to come back into our lives. The past week has involved me driving in and out of the city to visit my dear friend in hospital every few days. Thankyou for all of your kind thoughts and messages after my brief mention of her in my last post; all of our prayers were answered and I’m so so happy to say that after coming far too close to loosing her, she’s on the road to recovery.

Our little man also seems to be going through an anxious time which he is expressing in the form of never letting me out of his sight…like literally. If I get up and walk into another room in the house he follows, if he needs to go to the toilet I have to go with him. It’s become a daily battle just to get him to let me have a shower and even then, half the time he ends up getting in with me. He’s been asked on play dates and sleepovers but refuses to go. “I just want to be near you always” he tells me. Sweet? Yes. Exhausting? Yes. As an introvert I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m craving my own space at the moment but I’m trying to be patient. I’m not entirely sure but I feel that the start of school looming may be the cause. A few other parents have suggested that might be it. We’ve been trying to down play the whole school thing but he’s a pretty smart kid and with everyone constantly asking him if he’s excited about going to school (of course no malice intended, it’s just because they’re excited for him) and the fact that mummy is soon going back to work, well, maybe he knows our time together is going to be limited. I’ve tried to talk to him about it of course, but I don’t really get any answers and so I just continue to try to be patient and reassure him that I’m not going anywhere.

And on top of all that, I’m readying myself to go back to work after a year of long service leave (has it really been a year?!) People ask me if I’m looking forward to going back and the honest answer is yes, yes I am. I have always enjoyed working, I like my job, I like the people I work with and I like to keep my mind busy. And, oh yeah, I like the extra income too 😜

So, with just one week left until school starts and another week after that work, I’m busy ticking off to do lists, buying school supplies and filling out calendars. Because in the midst of change, planning and being organised is what makes me feel calm…and ready.

How are you feeling about the return to school? Any first time school parents out there? And for all those parents who have done it all before…any advice for keeping my shit together would be greatly appreciated!

Choosing the right lunchbox (plus an awesome giveaway!)

Who knew that something as seemingly simple as choosing a lunchbox can be so complicated? But it really is! I’ve been through many a lunchbox (and drink bottle) in my years, trying to find the perfect one. When my son started kinder a couple of years ago we had to try a few out before we landed on the right one for him. We ended up with the Nude Food Mover, Mini Rubbish Free Lunchbox and it’s done us good for almost two years. But with the little man starting school this year and me heading back to work it was time to update so when Smash Enterprises offered to send me some of their goodies to try I jumped at the chance.

Smash Enterprises have a massive range of lunch boxes, drink bottles and eating accessories; they seriously have something for everyone and everything! Personally, here’s what I look for when choosing the right lunchbox.

Size: Is it big enough? Will it fit all the items I would usually pack for an average school/work day? I also don’t want it to be too big; you want it to fit comfortably in a backpack without having to squeeze it in.

Material: Is is strong and durable? It needs to hold up against being opened and closed constantly and thrown on the floor (because that’s pretty much what most kids do with their bags when they walk in the door). I don’t want to be replacing lunch boxes constantly, that gets very expensive, I want it to last. I also check if the material of the lunchbox is safe (BPA free), insulated (or with the option to fit ice blocks) and easy to wash and dry.

Style: Let’s face it, not only do we want a lunchbox that’s practical we also ant it to be nice looking too! Kids want their lunchboxes to be cool, colourful and fun and personally, I love nice colours and more sophisticated patterns. The style of lunchbox also needs to be easy to open, this is especially important for young children who may struggle with twisting open or unlatching containers for example.

Cost: Too cheap and I know it just won’t last but I also don’t think I shouldn’t have to pay a fortune for a good, strong lunchbox.

So, with all that in mind we laid out our goodies from Smash Enterprises and here’s what we chose:

For the little man:

Clockwise from top left (with item code numbers): Fashion tritan 750ml drink bottle 27263, Dino double decker lunch pack 27302, Green sandwich box 27528,Green cookie movie 27531,  2 Green snack boxes 27529, Green/black snack orb 27345, Green/white gel ice 27527,

I let him choose what he wanted (can you tell he likes the colour green!) but I was very happy with his choices. The lunchbox is insulated and easy to open with zips and I love the idea of using little containers for all his separate snacks and lunch. The drink bottle is perfect size and also has a centre insert that can be frozen to keep the drink cold. Our favourite though is the snack orb; a fun little container to store snacks. Most of these items are from the Nude Food Mover range which is also great for schools that have a rubbish free requirement.

For me:

Clockwise from top left (with item code numbers): Large Rubbish Free Lunch Box 27548, Stainless Steel 800ml Teal Drink Bottle 27245, Paint tote 27272, Geometric tent 27268.

The lunchbox ticked all the boxes for me and I love how it has all the separate compartments/containers and pulls apart for easy washing. I’m also totally in love with the new range of adult insulated bags which come in a range of gorgeous colours and patterns. I found it hard to choose so I mixed it up with a tote bag and smaller insulated bag in different patterns and drink bottle to match both.

Now for the awesome giveaway bit. I’ve got this huge bundle of Smash Enterprises and Nude Food Movers products to give away to one lucky family…

It includes: Large Rubbish Free Lunch Box, Checker smash lunchbox, Nude food mover cool skin, Stainless Steel 800ml Teal Drink Bottle, Fashion tritan 750ml drink bottle, Paint tote, Boy ice sheet small 3 pack.

Enough lunch gear for the whole family! All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me what your favourite go to snack is to put in your child’s lunchbox. Look, I’ll admit, I have an ulterior motive here; I’d love some new ideas for what to pack in my son’s lunchbox this year. I’ll let the little man choose his favourite and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 24th February.

If you’re not the lucky winner but are interested in purchasing some of the Smash Enterprise range anyway you can find them Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Kmart and Target or see HERE for a full list of stockists.

Good luck everyone!

Competition terms and conditions: Open to Australian residents only, must provide email address for winner to be contacted, competition opens 6am Tuesday 17 Jan and closes 12am Tuesday 24 Jan.

This is a sponsored post, I was gifted all items shown. All words and opinions are my own.

Summer Holiday Memories

A little over two years ago we purchased an onsite caravan in a quiet little coastal town on the Bellarine Penninsula in Victoria. We wanted a getaway place for our family, somewhere we could escape to whenever we wanted or needed. We had hoped it would be a place where we could make many happy memories with our son; a part of his childhood that he would look back on fondly when he is a grown man. It’s proven to be one of the best decisions we ever made. We’ve just spent two glorious weeks at our little home away from home. Sometimes it was just the three of us, others times our caravan was filled with friends or family who came to visit and stay a night or two. We loved it all. When I think about our Summer holidays at our caravan here’s what I will remember:

– Watching our son make new friends, ride his bike and play outside every day until after dark.
– Slow mornings and snuggles in bed.
– The smell of sunscreen, insect repellent, the beach and BBQs.
– Taking the time to read a book..or two.
– Kevin, the old guy a few caravans down, telling us war stories from Vietnam.
– Drinking cider in the sunshine.
– The walk from the caravan to the toilet block, made many many times each day.
– John, the caravan park caretaker, doing his daily rounds, telling the kids to slow down, put their helmets on and stop jumping in the pool.
– The view of the ocean as you drive into town.                                                                – The day trips we took.                                  – Long chats with good friends.
– The donuts from the donut van at the pier; the best I’ve ever had.
– The clear night sky, filled with stars and the sound of silence (often experienced during an early morning dash to the toilet)
– Riding dogems cars at the local carnival.
– Swimming in the ocean.
– Family bike rides after dinner.
– Hunting for shells and skipping rocks on the shore.

We came home from our holiday a couple of days earlier than planned after getting some bad news about a dear friend. At the moment, we are still waiting for more news. I don’t mean to be vague; it’s just not my place to say anymore about that in this space but I also felt it was something I needed to acknowledged here. You see, we are currently in a state of limbo and it’s a strange thing that when terrible stuff happens life still goes on around it. And so it does; life goes on as we wait and those happy memories we made on our Summer holiday still remain, even with a tainted ending. Thankyou to everyone who has sent kind messages and well wishes, they are greatly appreciated.

What have you been up to these Summer holiday? Have you managed to get away?

 

 

 

One Word

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and hopefully managed some time with your family and friends, away from the daily grind. I’m currently down the beach with my boys, enjoying a nice two week holiday.

It’s tradition at the start of a new year to make resolutions; promises to ourselves that we either will or won’t do something in the coming year. I’ve never been one for new years resolutions, it’s just not really my thing. But I know hat many other people choose a word, just one word, that they want to represent that coming year for them. I think this sounds kinda nice so I thought that this year, I would do that instead.

My word for 2017? Be.

Last year, I discovered I find it really hard to ‘just be’. I’m forever thinking ahead, planning, worrying, preparing for the next thing. That’s not always a bad thing of course; it’s good to have goals and things to look forward to but not when it’s to the detriment of enjoying the present moment. As my son starts school this year I have this overwhelming desire to just press pause on life. I just want to be.

Be still. Be present. Be in the moment.

Be happy. Be sad. Be excited.

Be curious. Be kind. Be myself.

Let it be.

Just be….

And so that is my word for 2017, just two little letters. BE.

Have you made any new years resolutions? If you had to choose one word for 2017 what would it be?

 

That’s a Wrap!

fast five friday, www.sarahdipity.com.au

It seems we say it every year but man, this year has gone so fast! Christmas is over for another year and next week it will be 2017. This is a time when we often sit back and reflect on the year that was and so today, I wanted to look back on this blog and share with you my top five posts for the year (based on views, readership and comments). I’ve also provided a little update on where I’m at today with the things I spoke about in these posts. So here we go, my top five posts for 2016:

The hardest decisions are sometimes the right ones: In this post I talked about my decision to give up working from home. At the time I was working two social media management jobs, plus freelance writing. I took a couple of months off but there was one job in particular that I really, really missed and so I ended up going back to it but with a promise; that I would not work when my son was home. I’ve kept that promise, managing to do the bulk of the work when he is at kinder. Sure, there’s an odd phone call or text message sent here and there but on those days when he isn’t at kinder or it’s the weekend it’s family first all the way! I’m just doing a small amount of hours each week and that’s working well. I’ve been tempted to take on more but I know it’s just not the right time and that’s ok.

Habit, Addiction and the Challenge: It’s no surprise that this post seemed to resonate with so many people. I think we’re probably all a little guilty of using our phones and social media too much. I’m ashamed to say that I have definitely fallen back into some old, bad habits. I pick up my phone way too much. I scroll mindlessly way too much. It’s purely habit….and bad habits can be heard to break! This might be something to work on in the new year.

I will be ok: The response I received to this post was overwhelming. I received tons of comments, messages, emails and phone calls from both friends, family and strangers. I had people confide in me that they too suffer from anxiety. I had people tell me that they appreciated me telling my story because it helped them to better understand someone in their life that has anxiety. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better. I am now on some new medication, which seems to be working really well and I am visiting my counsellor regularly. More than that, I’m learning it’s ok to ask for help and sometimes rely on other people without feeling guilty (something I will probably always struggle with).

Creativity and Career: This is also one of my favourite posts. It’s the moment I realised that I don’t need to make a career out of my creativity in order for it to be valuable. Since this post I’ve continued to enjoy creating for enjoyment; I write, draw, take photos and paint…sometimes I share these things, sometimes I don’t. And I love it, I enjoy it, I need it. Creating things will always be good for my soul.

One Step at a Time: Following this post I received the results from the skin specialist. Whilst it came back that the lesion wasn’t skin cancer he still wanted to remove it. But I was hesitant. I’ve had bad experiences in the past of doctors being  little too knife happy and I really don’t want to go cutting into my face unless it was necessary; especially when he said he wouldn’t refer me to a plastic surgeon but rather do it himself under local anathestic in the chair. So I sought a second opinion. My GP also looked over the results and agreed that unless I wanted it removed for cosmetic purposes the spot was fine to stay. So stay it has. I will continue to keep and eye on it and monitor any changes.

So that’s it, a round up of my most popular posts for 2016. I will be taking a week or two off blogging to enjoy some time with my family but I’ll be back in 2017, that’s for sure. But for now, that’s a wrap!

blog signature, www.sarahdipity.com.au

 

 

 

 

What I learnt in 2016

At the beginning of 2016 I began twelve months long service leave from my part time job in local government. Taking the year off work meant that I could take my son to and from kindergarten and spend some quality time with him before he started school. I’m so glad I took that time. I’m glad I was able to be there. 2016 was a year of change and realisations for me, here’s some things I learnt:

  • We were wasting a lot of money: I took my LSL at half pay, which meant that I was on half the income I had been on for the past five years. It surprised me how little this affected us. I found myself wondering what I used to do with that extra money? It made me realise we can always live on less just by making a few minor changes. It also made me realise how lucky we are. We are in a fortunate position. We aren’t rich by any means but we live a comfortable life. We have big plans for that extra money when I go back to work. We know we can live without it now so will be saving it and making some good investments for the future.
  • Working from home doesn’t work for me: I hadn’t planned it, but I ended up working from home for the majority of this year. I fell into a few opportunities and also chased some. I always thought I would love working from home (it’s the dream right?) and I did but it also has its own set of challenges. I realised I like getting up, getting dressed and going to work in an office with other people. Working from home can get lonely. It can be hard to switch off, the lines between personal/family life and work life become blurred. And it’s super hard when you have a kid to look after at the same time. Kudos to all you work from home parents out there!
  • I am a writer: I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to say that and not feel like an absolute fraud (ok maybe I do still feel like a bit of a fraud). This year I started to make money from my writing but more than that I had other people tell me that I was a good writer. People outside of my own friends and family. I became more connected with my writing and came to understand just how important it is to me, how much a part of me it is. How much I truly love it.
  • I can’t just be: I am forever doing stuff. I can’t sit still, I can’t switch off. I’m always doing more than one thing at a time. I feel guilty when I relax, there is always other things I ‘should’ be doing. This is something I know that I really need to work on.
  • I learnt what true friendship is.
  • Time goes fast: I mean I knew this, we all do, but wow, I actually can’t believe it’s been a whole year! I can’t believe our little man will be at school next year. I can’t believe I’ll be back at work soon. Sometimes I look back and think what did I do with that time? Did I achieve enough? Did I make the best of it? But it is what it is. And at the end of the day I was there every day to pick my son up from kinder and that was what it was really all about.

I learnt a lot in 2016 and I’m sure I’ll learn even more in 2017 because in life you never stop learning and that’s a great thing!

What did you learn in 2016?

Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

anxiety, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Since writing this post about my recent struggles with anxiety I’ve had many people email and message me suggesting different things to try that might help. I am always open to suggestions and have tried many different things over the years and will continue to do so. I am not anti-medication and I do believe that for some people, this is needed. For me, I knew a couple of months ago that I was in need of something more. I was struggling with everyday life, struggling to leave the house and that just wasn’t ok. So I went to my GP, we discussed it and I am now on some new medication. It is helping but that doesn’t mean I have stopped working on natural ways to manage it. I guess I just want to be really open about the fact that I am taking medication because I’m not ashamed about it and I don’t ever want anyone else to be either. The only thing I will say is that if you do ever decide to take medication (for anything really) is it important that this is done in partnership, and under the close supervision, of a trusted doctor. It is important to understand what you are taking, why you are taking it and the risks associated. Always follow the dosage your doctor prescribes and never start or stop without first seeking medical advice.

Ok, enough about that, what I really wanted to share with you today is some other things that I have tried over the years to help manage my anxiety. Some have worked, some haven’t. But I share them here today in the hope that if you suffer from anxiety, maybe they might just help you! Please remember, I am not a doctor or an expert, I am just somebody who has lived with anxiety for many years and am still figuring it for myself.

Research and understanding: Over the years I have done a lot of research on anxiety. I’ve found the more I understand it, the less afraid of it I become and the more confident I feel in managing it.  My favourite book of all time on the subject is Power Over Panic by Bronwyn Fox. It’s an easy, relatable and informative book that I had reread a number of times. There is also a companion book called Working Through Panic. I would highly recommend both. My advice is to stay away from Dr Google; the internet can often be unreliable and overwhelming but you can try asking your doctor their suggestions for helpful websites and online resources. My GP recently gave me a list of websites which provide information and free courses for people experiencing anxiety that you may like to check out:

mentalhealthonline.org.au

moodgym.anu.edu.au

mycompass.org.au

Counselling: I have been to counselling on and off for several years and I am not ashamed to admit that. Personally, I think everyone can benefit from counselling. When it comes to managing anxiety, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is highly recommended. This type of therapy helps to unlock and challenge the negative thoughts you may have that are causing your anxiety. At the end of the day I really think talking helps and having the guidance of a professional who understands anxiety can be life changing. It’s really important to find a counsellor that you feel comfortable with so don’t be afraid to try a few different ones (I have!) until you find one that you really like.

Meditation and mindfulness: I know this can be so helpful in managaing anxiety. I also know I’m slack and just don’t practice it enough…but I really need to start to make it more of a priority. Learning how to breath properly, slow down your breathing, be present, be aware of your thoughts and learn to stay in the moment is key to combating anxiety and it’s all learnt through meditation and mindfulness. There are some great free apps and podcasts out there that provide guided meditations that you can listen to and do anywhere. My current favourites are Calm, Smiling Mind, and The Meditation Podcast.

Get healthy: You need to look after yourself. It’s as simple (and as hard) as that. This is something I am constantly working on. Healthy body equals healthy mind! You need to eat right, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. I always find my anxiety is worse when I’m tired. Get outside, enjoy some fresh air and sunshine..I find that always helps.

Herbs and Tea: A few months ago I visited a Naturopath and was given some herbal supplements (in tablet form) to take. Apparently turmeric is very good for anxiety. For me, I didn’t find it made a big difference but my anxiety was really quite high by that point so maybe if I had gone earlier it may have helped to prevent me getting to that point.  I’ve also been drinking herbal tea before bed each night to help me sleep. I’ve been using Sleepy Soul from Love Tease.

Crystals: Some people might think it’s a load of hippy crap; me? Well I’m willing to try anything and figure it can’t do any harm so why not! I recently purchased some crystals and often carry them with me. I’ve been told the best place to put them is inside your bra. For a list of crystals that are believed to help anxiety see HERE.

Oils: Many people swear by the healing powers of oils…and they sure do smell nice! My favourite calming scent is lavender. I burn it in a diffuser every night before bed and also carry a vile of it to sniff and dab onto my pulse points if I’m feeling anxious. I’m told Doterra is the place to go for essential oils.

So that’s a few of the things I use to manage my anxiety. Have you tried any of these? Do you have any other suggestions?

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