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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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Finding strength for your today.

kitchen, flowers, everyday
kitchen, flowers, everyday
My window flowers.

In my kitchen, we built a planter box, to try and convince my eyes away from the ugly fence that stares at me, multiple times a day washing dishes in my little beach shack.

In the last two days, flowers have unveiled gloriously in that little piece of windowsill green. My inspiration garden brings the outdoors, indoors as the water and bubbles fill my sink over and over.

I remember the days, when cooking and washing up was the most delightful of tasks, because it meant I was home. A rarity in the life of corporate hustler. I would open a cookbook, breathe deep and cook all day, so excited to be in my casual clothes and leaning into my home day.

Today, I struggle to find the inspiration for dinner, I roll my eyes at another sink full of dishes and I dream of days escaping my home, when I can leave the house without any cares or responsibility.

These thoughts shame me though, because I see photos of young children washed up on shores, I hear stories of people desperately wanting that pink line to appear, I know that the lot I have been served in life is indeed on the blessed side of my ugly fence.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;

Enjoy one moment at a time…

How do I enjoy my moments, when they are filled with so many dreams and desires and the weight of my own expectations overwhelm?






Plans falling over,

Opportunities not taken,


Every time I think about more than my moments in my day, my serenity fades and I start to feel stuck in my apartment for the rest of my days.

Every time I think about the little moments, the laugh in his smile, the glint when she see’s, the new awakening of a season, an unexpected sleep in; it is in these precious moments that I regain my strength.

You see the way I used to live, I was always planning, I was always hustling, I was always being drawn into greater days, with even greater expectations. I am learning in my today, to find the white flowers that are opening, noticing what is right within my reach, rather than weighted expectations for tomorrow?

Do I believe we should stop dreaming?

No, but as a great friend said to me the other day “Amanda, what is so wrong with God surprising us in our future, rather than spending our days desperately trying to control the outcomes and the details”

Finding strength for my today, is revelling in the messy moments, picking up my knitting and letting things go that just don’t belong anymore. It is having conversations that matter, but keeping my relational accounts short.

It is kissing my husband passionately when he steps in the door, rather than telling him the list of unmet expectations and the struggles that overwhelm my soul.

It is playing a little as I wash those dishes, being grateful for the moments that are present and the duty that is my privilege.

The true story is that I have prayed desperately for the moments I have been graced with, yet when they arrive I can be so desperate to reach into the new, that I lose sight of the beauty in the realisation of my dreams.

Our strength for today is found in the messy moments, when we release and let go. When we smile and forgive, when we attend to the little details that often are forgotten. When we look heavenward with gratitude, when we take a deep breath and feel the sheer brilliance of the sun on our backs. When we walk a little slower, pick up one more toy smiling at their innovation and we live our lives breathing in moments that we might have just missed.

So for today, even though I’d love to fly away and search out hidden wonders on distant shores, as I dream of building orphanages and publishing books, I will surrender my will to this beautiful season and keep smiling as I watch the white flowers on my kitchen window sill bloom.

I will embrace my little inspiration moments in my today, knowing that suddenly it will be tomorrow and my season will have once again moved onward again.

What moments are you missing in your today, because you are desperate for your tomorrow?


One moment at a time.



But overwhelmingly



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finding my humble in the in-between


Today the thought of changing another nappy does my head in. Other days I don’t think, I just do but today, I can’t even. There is something about the in-between that teaches every person who acknowledges their place there, a lesson in humility.

Humility, what a funny word, with so many perceived meanings.

Popular culture seems to perpetuate the lie that it is about making ourselves less, so another can shine.

The church makes it out as if we tell everyone how bad we are, then we can step back and let Jesus shine.

Families may tell us, it is about keeping our opinions to ourselves.

I have found however that humility is not about telling everyone how bad we are, but in actuality talking about ourselves less.

Thinking about ourselves less.

Seeing the world through another perspective.

We can live a very quiet life, but a proud one.

Or we can live a very loud one, that is extremely humble.

Social media perpetuates the myth that we can do, be, promote, design, lie our way out of every situation and make everything filtered again.

No matter how much we filter, no matter how often we edit, at the end of the day, we still go to bed with our own conversations rattling around our heads and see the world through our own experience and pain.

As much as the world of nappies and midday sleeps is challenging my patience today, I am so glad that I have the opportunity to take stock in my in-between.

As I hung out the washing on the line today, I breathed deep and smelled the ocean, so glad that I had the opportunity to stand outside in my jeans and bare feet, rather than sitting in an office in my high heels and suit.

My place of humility is changing me.

My season of hidden-ness is opening my eyes to the story of another.

My days of novice motherhood are creating a well worn track of prayer to my Father, teaching me his will above my own.

No matter your social status or how powerful you feel you are. We are all equal. We came here by birth and we will leave by death. The in-between gives us a little breather to find truly what we are living for.

The possibility to choose beyond self in the in-between, even when we are grasping to find our own identity is the most defining of days.

I am learning to think of myself less and look out for another in my in-between.

I am starting to listen more to someone else, than to sprout my own ideas and opinions.

I am responding quicker out of obedience to My Picnic King when he asks me to run away and pray.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Philippians 2: 3

This is not the way of this world. This stands against everything that social media promotes. This my friend is a worthy pursuit in our season of waiting.

When we realise our worth with confidence, yet love everyone without any judgement or prejudice we step a little closer to living a life of brilliance.

Humility is not when we step back and hide in a conversation telling everyone how bland we are, it is knowing our worth and the equality we hold with every person present, but not needing to put our hand up and fight.

When we embrace the in-between with two hands and kiss its potential, we walk towards the defining moment where we understand that our worth is not based in what we do, but in whom we serve.

We begin to dream again knowing that a full calendar does not equal a successful life and a quiet disposition can be the most fulfilling of pursuits.

We live days of hidden-ness, discovering the depth of who we truly are without anyone giving us accolades, encouragement or high fives.

Big does not always mean better.

Busy does not always mean happy.

Money does not always equate satisfaction.

A little beach shack, a little coffee, a deep breath of sea air, a cup of tea with a friend, lots of prayer and time to think. These are becoming my favourite pursuits of a quiet life.

My ambition is slowing and my heart is breathing deeply again.

Humility is teaching me some fine lessons in this place of quiet.

A call to surrender my will and seek His will a little more.


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she is slow to anger

she is slow to anger

Anger is such a strange emotion. You would probably think that anger is more of a male associated weakness, but don’t worry it can take hold of the best of us and leave those around us shaking in its wake.

I find in my own life, anger disguises itself as defensiveness. When I am found on the defensive, it doesn’t matter who is in my way, I will argue my point until I feel like I have had my way. I suppose its on those days you could call me a bully.

I talk over people, I stop listening, my voice tone changes and I get louder, much louder.

Proverbs has a lot to say about anger and it’s little companions, defensiveness, bullying and harshness. Like this one;

Proverb 15: 1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

I am learning as a novice Mum, that a gentle answer achieves so much more than an emotion packed one. When I ask my son to stop, decreasing my voice rather than raising it, I am more likely to get a response. It’s like the louder we talk, the less capacity people have to listen.

Proverb 24: 10 says this

If you fail under pressure your strength is too small

That honestly makes me stop in my tracks. If I am failing when the pressure is on, then it shows my internal strength is too small. I have found the only way my internal world strengthens and grows, is through processing, talking, praying, thinking, writing and generally cleaning out what is happening in my heart. The funny thing is if we bury shame, it often manifests someday as anger. If we bury guilt or grief, the same thing happens, suddenly just like a volcano, one day anger erupts.

Proverb 20: 22

Don’t say “I will get even for this wrong, Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.”

My immediate response to this scripture is but…

Why, What, How?

Proverbs 21: 2 says

People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.

The funny thing about us humans is we justify our own responses in accordance to the injustice that has occurred to us. If we do not process the emotions, circumstances and happenings and find a way to let them go, to forgive and to truly clean house, we will always struggle in the emotional arena’s of our lives.

A woman of wisdom is slow to anger.

She takes a deep breath.

She doesn’t respond immediately.

She listens.

She evaluates.

Then show goes away and finds a way to process what has happened.

If I find my heart starting to beat fast and defensiveness rise, I am learning to turn away and come back to the discussion at another time.

Whether its with my children, my husband or a colleague.

This is not an area I have under control, I promise, as balanced as I may sound in this forum, their is a feisty, roaring lion inside of me that often needs to be tamed.

How about you?

Where are you in the anger stakes?

A woman of wisdom takes the time to assess this area of her life and softens her responses especially to those closest to her.

The next part of this series can be found over on Kinwomen’s blog it is called She is centred.



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she shares her stuff

Flowers, Mums

Lately I have been struggling to share.

I spend my whole life telling my three year old to “sharrreeeeeee, Maximus” but personally, I am struggling.

Recently I was having a day where I had to take deep breathe more than once and I remembered a little story that had a huge impact on me at the time.

I was in a small town in the middle of Thailand and we were running a creative festival for the children in a village. Most of the children had lost their parents to AIDS and it was an opportunity where their Aunts and Uncles, come yearly to visit their nieces and nephews. A special afternoon, one that I have never forgotten.

A little boy whose name was “Got” stole a little piece of my heart that week when we spent time with the children preparing for the concert together. He had just seen his Uncle for the first time in two years and had been given the Thai Baht equivalent of one Australian dollar. He ran off into the little village, with his pocket money, so excited because he rarely got given anything that was just his own.

About fifteen minutes later, I saw him running down this dusty road back to the group of friends, that were sitting with me on the side of the road. In his gorgeous little hand he was holding the most expensive ice cream he could buy with his precious coins. As he slowed to walk back towards the group of his friends, you could see all the eyes of the children who didn’t get anything from their family drop a little.

As Got re-joined our circle, he had the biggest smile you had ever seen. The next thing that happened is as one of my all time favourite memories of my trips to Thailand. He walked from child to child and gave each of them a lick of his ice cream.

He wasn’t asked to share. He knew what it felt like to be the child who doesn’t get what he wanted and sharing was just a natural part of their culture. The little that he had, he knew that he needed to share it with all of the kids who were his gang.

Enter my current reality. We have a tiny apartment, filled with lots of amazing, creative personalities and as a novice mum there are just some moments that I want my own space.

Recently I was pretty overwhelmed when I won a brand new Ipad air on facebook. I was seriously so excited. When it arrived, I remember thinking straight away, “I am not sharing this with anyone.”

As soon as this thought hit my brain, I remember thinking about this story of my little friend “Got”

It was like his little face, his big smile and his kind heart bombarded my soul.


Wisdom says that a generous heart will live a generous life.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

I know the way I want to raise my kids is with a generous heart and life. It is one of the core values I hold dearly, but children follow what we do, not what we say.

So lately every time my little man comes to me and asks to share my food, my desk as I work, my ipad as I scroll, my bed in the middle of the night, I am trying to remember the beautiful lesson that my little friend Got showed me, that when you share, even when you don’t have very much, your life is deeply enriched.

That my friend is a lot easier to say, than do.

To read my next post in this series click here: She knows who is in her tribe