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Ten ways to help feel less anxious this year

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finding peace

This morning I lined up at the uniform shop, with my list rattling around my head. I had been thinking about this day for quite a while, hoping and praying that I didn’t forget. Over and over in my mind, I have been subconsciously checking off everything on the list of what Max needs for school. Is his shoe regulation? Is his hair too long, short, styled or inbetween?

The pressure of a new school or a new class or meeting a new set of people can often create discomfort whether you are an introvert, extrovert or somewhere in the middle.

In the middle of last year after three operations in a short space of time, I woke from anesthetic in the midst of a panic attack. The cycle of reoccurrence with this health issue impacted me greatly last year. Little moments of anxiety have been laying dormant close to the surface and I have been on a journey of discovery around anxiety and its ways.

In an ideal world, I would watch a movie by myself, sleep for three days and restart my emotional health. As the Mum of two people, owner of businesses and wife I don’t have this luxury. Here are some ways that I have been creating space to feel less anxious over the last year.


Acknowledge the feeling and don’t try to ignore it.

Anxiety manifests in everyone in different ways. For me personally, I know I am feeling anxious, when I have a soft awareness of tightening in my chest. For no reason, with really no pattern or trigger, I can feel this grey shadow start to rise in my chest. It is like I can’t get enough air, into my lungs and I am breathing shallower. I am realising that one of the greatest ways to feel less anxious, is to actually admit that I am feeling anxious. Revolutionary hey. When I acknowledge the feeling and don’t try to ignore it, especially to those closest to me, I am one big step towards it fading away. Admitting that you need a break, that you need help or you just need a listening ear is the greatest step towards relief.

Find resolve in something simple.

Only recently I have found one of the hardest parts of parenthood is the relentlessness of the season. I personally feel most peaceful, when I have a sense of resolve. The more out of place things feel, the more unsure I am of my responsibilities, boundaries and opportunities, the more anxious I feel. Being anxious is not just a feeling for the shy and unsure. The confident, those with a great sense of purpose and those in leadership positions feel anxious often. What helps me find a sense of peace and rest is finding resolve in something, anything, not necessarily what is the cause of the anxious feelings. By writing a list, answering emails, making dinner, decluttering a room, ringing someone and generally just taking the time to bring resolve to something, anything can help me breath deeper again.

Reading and repeating positive verses.

Philippians 4: 6-7 says this;

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I absolutely love this verse, it might even be one of my all time favourites. When I read this verse and I repeat this quote, it helps me reframe emotionally what is happening in the moment. A lot of people say that we need to empty our minds, but I believe when we fill our minds with good thoughts, it is a much more satisfying and long lasting space for growth and change. This scripture also goes on to talk about meditation and how we fill our minds. “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Reading and repeating positive verses and quotes reframe anxiety and bring the most amazing shift.

Drinking water.

I have found anxiety can be directly correlated this year with how much coffee I have consumed. After coffee number two, it is like a beacon that shines brightly saying “warning, warning, warning caffeine overload.” Unfortunately, though I don’t always listen to my body. Beverages with caffeine can increase anxiety. Replacing soda, tea, and coffee with water is a good place to start. It is important to limit the consumption of caffeine, sugary drinks, and alcohol. All of these liquids cause dehydration because it takes the body, even more, water to remove it from your body. As simple as increasing our water intake can help us feel less anxious.

Replacing coffee with tea.

Coffee is one of my greatest loves. I am a coffee connoisseur. I am learning though that one really good coffee a day and herbal tea is a much greater decision. For all the reasons above but also to reframe where I get my energy and motivation from. If you buy a great tea, the difference in taste is huge. If you are looking for a brand to try Seven Seas Tea is my absolute favourite.

Teaching myself to slow down.

I grew up in a family that didn’t really know how to rest. We had play down, we had working hard for others down but rest, yeah not so much. It has taken me most of my adult life to reframe busyness as being successful and being focussed on what is important. Lately, I have been listening to Erin Loechner’s latest book Chasing Slow and I relate so much to her theories about life. Chasing Slow, reframing what I say yes to and sitting comfortably with the discomfort of not achieving. Each and every time I slow my pace down, anxiety comes to say hello, but I am learning to say goodbye to it as well. I have been listening to this book via Audible as an audio book and that in itself has been teaching me to slow down as well.

Framing my spaces.

Over the last few months, I have really been loving discovering the simple beauty of the sense of smell. Through essential oils, I have been reframing stress, fatigue and the spaces that I exist in, encouraging deep breathing. You will often find me now diffusing a peace blend of essential oils and often I am surprised by how much joy oils have been bringing me. Deep breaths, clearer spaces and a calming environment that helps me move forward.

Short chats with friends.

My friends and I have been promoting a new rhythm in our friendships, that we chat on the phone more than we text. Messaging back and forward makes me feel quite stressed. I never know when the conversation is finished and whether I have answered someone properly and whether we have brought resolve to our conversation. I have been having more short chats with friends and this has helped me feel heard and helps me feel like I have been able to talk out some of my thoughts as well.

The healing power of the ocean.

I worked so much of my career inside offices and cafes, so I didn’t realise that normal people spent a lot of time outdoors. Walking kids to school, swimming in the ocean and generally just seeing the sun. A few years ago, when I retreated down south in the midst of near burnout, I was swimming at a beautiful beach and I heard these words. There is healing power in the ocean. This experience marked me so much, that I went home and wrote those words and I realised I had run away from the ocean because I had some really difficult memories there. Each and every day since I have been drawing myself towards the ocean. When I swim and dunk my head under, it is like I am resetting my soul to receive more from the new day. The ocean in its expanse and beauty, has the capacity to make us feel small and alive, all in the same breath.

Distracting my sleep time routine.

Scrolling through social media is one of the worst ways to try and develop a good sleep routine. Anxiety was reframed pretty much immediately when I limited how I fell asleep and woke up each day. Laying in bed scrolling on my phone is a terrible way to get our minds ready for deep and restorative sleep. Now I charge my phone away from my bed in our lounge room and I have a rule that I need to have a conversation with a human in the flesh before I have a conversation with someone online. It has been revolutionary. For stress, for relaxation, and for sleep. Deeply breathing in my sleeping space and falling asleep with peace and purpose.

I hope these little thoughts have helped someone out in my internet space.

What ways do you combat anxiety in your everyday?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Amanda Marie.

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He is enough

New Zealand


Have you ever known something, but even though you know it, like really know it, you still question it all the time?

A hesitant knowing.

I have known that I have needed to write this post for weeks. Weeks of musing, weeks of thinking, weeks of mind debating but I have a hard out heart-war to declare what I know to be true.

These coming words have not been flippant, quick cliches, that are rolling out of my keyboard without deep contemplation. These coming words have been an internal fight to turn into an external song.

Over the last couple of years (Okay maybe five years) I have really wrestled with the idea of prayer and healing. Not specifically prayer for healing, the concept of them separately.

I have questioned after many a series of calamity, whether prayer is actually as powerful as I have been lead to believe.

I have wrestled.

I have pleaded.

I have asked simply for revelation.

You see I have seen many answered prayers come to pass over this season of contemplation. It is not whether I have seen fruit from my faith. The problem is I have seen and watched many people at the same time pray with as much fervour and faith, without any answer.

I am hesitant to write, that I have often questioned whether God is enough.

Is He enough?

I really want Him to be, but so often I live a life that does not show this to be absolutely true. A life that wrestles with the possibility that maybe, just maybe, He just cannot hear all the time.

Maybe just maybe He skips some prayers and answers others.

Maybe just maybe He is playing a divine game of Russian Roulette.


Or Maybe not.

The haunting part of this state of questioning, is that I know. I know that I know, He is real. I know that I know, that I know, I have prayed and He answered so clearly that either I am a little loopy or He is a lot real.

I’ve seen people helped, I’ve seen miracles unfold, I’ve spoken words that are profoundly not my own, I have written passages that have come to pass, I have seen Him move.

I have heard His voice.

I have known that He is absolutely good.

The problem is often my perspective and often I have just seen many crazy things done in His name as well. These two things combined, has wearied my heart to trust that He is enough.

People and perspective have been my greatest let down but I layer this belief onto the sovereignty of His will.

My heavy heartedness from the way people have projected their questions onto His way, has grown and grown.

When people are experiencing devastating seasons of loss, the last thing they want to hear is that maybe God has another plan. When friends have waited and waited, prayed and fasted, yet their breakthrough has been slow to unveil, the last thing they need sprouted off to them is a quick witted cliche that makes the person saying it feel better about the awkwardness of the situation.

Every time we fake our response to someone and speak irrelevant, insensitive untruths to make ourselves feel somewhat more comfortable in the state of in-between for the person we are interacting with, we reinforce this unspoken question of whether He is enough.

He is enough.

I know He is.

He has shown me over and over again at the power of His presence.

The problem I have always battled with is changing my perspective on what enough looks like for me, this side of eternity.

My enough, is so different to His.

My version of solution is very shallow in comparison to His.

My answer to his tarried response is never with the insight of what is to come.

He is enough.

Even when we have come to the very end of our capacity to trust and hope.

He is enough.

I am certain of it.

Even though I question.

I know it to be true.

But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.

2 Cor 12:9

As I step into this New Year, with the potential for amazing grace and heartfelt mercy, I am reminding myself once again that His power is made perfect in my weakness.

In the midst of my questioning, this wandering heart is leaning in to hear from his soft, gentle whisper.

Amongst my heart that heaves and groans awaiting his perspective, I can say without a shadow of a doubt He is enough.

Lord, change my perspective this year about what is enough in my world.

Help me see your ways above my own.




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she keeps things simple

she keeps things simple

Have you ever been in a situation with a friend and a little thought has gone through your mind, man she is making this way more complicated than it needs to be?

As women, we have the capacity to make very simple things extremely complex.


In our careers,

Our own sense of self worth and confidence.

I am realising the times that I become complex, are those times when I overthink things. My expectations are often the quickest ways I make my days full of disappointment and fear. Worry takes place of peace in my internal world and life just becomes heavy.

We live in a tiny two bedroom apartment, which means our nearly one year old and our three and a half year old share a little room. There are somedays, that I get very overwhelmed by our lack of storage but other day it propels me into a culling frenzy, that I never regret.

Every time I give something away, there is something so satisfying because my world becomes a little simpler. When I overthink it, when I become too nostalgic and I give stuff more power than people. It is then that my world starts to feel complex and overwhelming.

It is quite a practical side of wisdom, but I know the more I have, the more overwhelmed I feel. The less I have in my environment, the more peaceful I feel. Just the other day I was thinking, what if I just had two towels per person in my household?

What if each person only had three pairs of pants, three t-shirts, three jumpers?

What if we weren’t allowed to have more than three of everything?

Every time we simplify our surroundings, I have less washing, I have less to clean, I have less to pack away…

Life becomes simpler.

The external of our worlds mirrors the internal and a woman of wisdom knows this.

Proverb 4: 23

Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.

A woman of wisdom takes stock of her thoughts and culls, cleans and measures their content.

Is life feeling complex lately?

Maybe a little spring clean and re-arranging of our worrying, thinking and pondering needs to occur.

This my friend is the call of wisdom.

Tomorrows post link can be found here: She is slow to anger


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Finding joy


I’m not sure whats happening to me, but all of a sudden I am finding joy in the very ordinary.

This adrenaline junkie has needed some time to come off my driven highway and I am really starting to like it.


The feel of the hot water on my hands and the bubbles as I wash the dishes.

The satisfaction of making my own presents for my friends.

Riding my bike to the post office and sending a letter, rather than the quick fix of facebook and insta craziness.

Meeting new friends at the playground as my son rips his shoes off and flings sand everywhere.

Cooking a roast.

Listening late night in bed to the ocean and the rain.

20130916-194052.jpgWatching my son attempt to play the guitar.

Making lunches for my husband so he can work overtime so we can holiday.

Calling my friends with no reason than just to check they are okay.

Dreaming about summer and new seasons and new days.

The seemingly ordinary moments, that we so often scoff at in pursuit of bigger lives.

Finding joy in the ordinary is just as important as stretching your capacity for those once in a life time/ dreams are made of moments.

When we find joy in the ordinary moments, somehow we find a wide open inspired place, that we never knew was available.

We are released.20130916-192156.jpg

It is not circumstance or possessions or status or titles that consume our thoughts.

It is shalom.

It is peace.





Till we meet again