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Ten ways to find more space to breathe this year


If I could sit with every woman in Australia tonight I would tell them to breathe. In and out, slowly recalibrating the depth of responsibility that we all carry.





I have been on a journey lately of chasing slow. Unpacking, reframing and doing my very best to stop comparing myself to strangers on the internet. How about you? When was the last time you breathed deeply and brought perspective close by?


1) Stop Comparing-

There is a deep part of us that finds it impossible to slow because even when we tell people we’re not, we can’t help ourselves but live in a space of comparison. If breathing and space are your pursuits this year, then we need to stop comparing ourselves to strangers on the internet.

2) Seek perspective-

There is a phrase that has been rolling around conversations and my reading lately and it has been this “the seeking”. There is a part of seeking that is deeply purposed in finding our voice. Seeking perspective helps us find space. As we find new expressions of our today, we find space in the margins.

3) To embrace silence-

When we breathe deeply, it is nearly impossible to speak. When we breathe deeply after a period of exertion it is nearly impossible to listen. This is a pattern that helps us reframe what it means to sit comfortably in silence. How do you feel in the midst of the only noise being breathing? This helps us find the space required to embrace silence. Silence forces space. It is how we respond to this space whether it is negative or positive.

4) Book in time to process-

I struggle to breathe when my mind is full of tasks. I create space in my mind and heart, by slowly walking around my house and rearranging my space. I struggle to breathe deeply when my space is cluttered. As I process the space, as I sort, as I declutter and as I arrange it is like I book in time with myself to say goodbye to the pressure of the day. How do you best process? Take the time to process and let go of the day, reframing the spaces that you exist in and find the room in your heart and mind to breathe.

5) Allow yourself to be imperfect-

I naturally fit in the category of clumsy. I spill my coffee on notes, I trip over myself as I reach for the phone and I drop my belongings everywhere. When I breathe deeply and accept the imperfections in my day, it is like I allow the breath to cleanse myself from the anxiety that perfection promotes. When we say it is okay to our “not enoughness” we allow space inwardly to grow. We need to allow our imperfections to breathe.

6) Take your shoes off and walk on the grass-

There is something about wet grass in my toes and sand beneath my feet that provokes my breath to explore the depths of its beauty. Whenever I have been working and high heels have restricted my walk, when I kick them off and walk softly on this earth, my breath deepens and space becomes palpable. When was the last time you walked the beach barefoot or park? It could be your defining process.

7) Connect your pen to paper and disconnect your mind-

Julia Cameron is one of my favourite authors and she describes a process called morning pages. Before we have picked up our phones or talked to a human soul, take a piece of recycled paper. It is important that the paper is not important like a journal or notebook and just write. Empty our hearts and minds on a piece of paper. Breathe the words from our head to our heart.

8) Find your phrase for the year-

In the midst of last year, overwhelmed by the pain of seven surgeries and the incessantness of the situation someone commented on one of my blogs, breathe Amanda. Find a phrase that comforts you, slowly and productively repeat it. Find your phrase and meditate on it. For me, I love “Let the peace of God surpass understanding and guard my heart and mind” I say it over and over.

9) Laugh at a good film-

You cannot laugh without drawing the deepest of breaths. Every time I laugh so very deeply, it is like space fills my lungs. We all need a space that we can scream and laugh, release and renew and a brilliant film can do this. Not crazy humour that is disrespectful, but wry, releasing laughter that releases even the hardest of souls. Who is that person who makes you smile? Go and sit with them and deep breathe a little. The breath that comes from a very deep, mighty roar.

10) Listen to an audio track-

There are so many audio tracks that are designed to bring rhythm to our souls. Whether it be a meditative voice, that lulls us to breathe repetitively or a movie soundtrack that grabs our hearts and draws them deeper. In my car, at the moment I have a completely instrumental soundtrack from Hans Zimmerman and there is something about this CD when it rotates into our car system, that it creates a breath in my family life that cannot be understood. Breathe, listen and repeat.

We all need space, we cannot exist without deep breathing but I have realised sometimes I hold my shoulders so tight that we refuse to release.

These are some of my simple thoughts around breathing and creating room to recover.

What is your self-care space go tos?

I can’t wait to hear your strategies.

All my love

Amanda Marie

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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.