Making a book activity 9: What calms you?

What helps you to manage when you’re nervous?  What eases the butterflies in your tummy?  What helps you stay when you want to run away?  What calms you?

Everybody feels anxious sometimes, although they may not show it.  Let’s help each other by sharing  ideas for what works when you’re feeling full of anxiety. 

This week we’re working on the theme of ‘big feelings’, choosing the words for our diary and the subject for the artwork.

Please help us by sharing your thoughts, and your answers to our questions, in the comments below.

What helps you to have your ‘big feelings’?

So many ways to find calm!  You’ve shared so many good suggestions with us on Facebook, Instagram and in the comments below.

Here is what Tanja our artist was inspired to create after reading all your ideas.  This theme and the cat picture will form the content for one of the months of the Mother-Daughter Date diary that we’re all co-creating together.

What shall we call our cats?

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  1. Taking a walk, speaking to a friend, listening to good music, working out, cuddling the cat, cooking on my own

    • What a great list. How about your children, what calms them?

  2. Nature walks, read a book, yoga session and when my kids are happy ?

    • What brings us calm is often so simple. Too often these simple and calming pleasures can get squeezed out in a busy day. I think many of us are rediscovering their quiet power in these times of slow-down.

  3. Journalling helps me to get the nervous thoughts out and stop them going round and round my head. Also tapping helps calm anxiety for me ?

    • Writing things down can be a brilliant way of letting our brain know that we’re paying attention, recording the concerns, and keeping them somewhere safe.

  4. Singing aloud has always been my go to instant calm. It has helped go to sleep as a child and has got me through many a panic attack as a new mum

  5. What helps you to have your ‘big feelings’? I like to read or do something productive.
    What helps you to manage when you’re nervous? What eases the butterflies in your tummy? I give myself mental encouragement to keep myself from worrying too much.
    What helps you stay when you want to run away? What calms you? I think about what good will come from the situation instead of focusing on the negatives.

    (age 12)

  6. Yoga with Adriene! It’s so calming I almost nod off to sleep!

  7. Chamomile tea. Escaping with a good book ?

  8. Live in the moment. Do not think ahead. Enjoy what you are doing in the here and now.

  9. Hypnotherapy tracks, just a ten minute relaxation on YouTube changes my whole headspace ☺️

  10. Amy 9y/o: reading, playing with my pets, hugging my mummy, long chats at bedtime

  11. Walking off the nervous energy in the forest ??

  12. Walking by the sea with my dog, dancing/moving, doing something creative x

  13. Nature, music, knitting, spinning, reading books!

  14. Mindfulness, meditations, reiki, walk in nature, gardening, a bath, books, grounding, singing and dancing x

  15. I find going for a run and having some time out away from everyone else really helps me when I feel anxious. It helps to control my breathing and the physicality of it helps shift the anxiety away. The endorphins you feel after are amazing. I get the same felling when out paddle boarding or surfing. It really lifts the soul and brings inner peace.

  16. I use the headspace app and their sleep stories when I’m anxious at night

  17. The best method I’ve found is distraction or more formally known as a grounding technique name 5 things you can hear, 5 things you can see, 5 things you can smell and 5 things you can feel.

    • This is a really useful, easy to understand and do technique for children too.

  18. I too do the 5 senses method and I also find sucking on a mint helps to calm me down! (random) but helps when I feel like im about to have a panic attack x

    • Mint in bag at all times then, I hope!

      • My counsellor told me about an app on iPhone called ‘worry time’ you write down your worries there and then and then you can go back and visit them and delete them if your not longer worried! (May help you worry less if your writing it down somewhere) xx

        • That makes me think about when I was a child and I have a little bag full of worry dolls and you were supposed to name each doll/worry and put them on your bedside table before you went to sleep

  19. Square breathing – count 5 breathing in (draw line up), count 5 holding breath (draw line across), count 5 breathing out (draw line down), count 5 holding breath (draw line across). Now you have drawn your square. Complete three times.

    Will it be possible to buy the diary please?

  20. Lucy Maclean’s yoga tonight ? feeling very zen ??‍♀‍

  21. Deep breathing whilst tracing the outline of your fingers on one had with your index finger from the other hand. Breath in as you go up the finger then out as you go down slowly. Swap hands if you need to. I tend to use this with children at school.

    • The best techniques are often the most simple

  22. Focusing on my breathing (breathing technique) has been a god send with my anxiety to help calm me, focusing on my breathing helps me to relax too when I’m stressed or panicking ?

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