Mental Health

Top Tips for Surviving the Tough Bits

2014-06-06 11.39.51My little family have had a rough start to 2015 and we’re not alone, every other person I know is struggling at the moment. Whether it’s down to endoftermitis (that pesky disease known to get the better of even the most happy go lucky kids) halftermitis (a common disease whereby parents put too much pressure on themselves to ensure the holidays are perfect) newyearsitis (resolutions broken already) or nosleepitis (matchsticks anyone?) there seems to be something putting up a road block to folks’ happiness.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years it’s that happiness is a choice. So today dear readers, rather than dwell on my lack of sleep and challenging children, I’m focusing on the fact that the sun was shining and it’s been utterly glorious outside. Spring is definitely in the air and today reminded me of my wedding day six years ago. Hubby and I have weathered many storms in our eleven years together, but are still standing tall. I was tempted to write him a gushy letter for our anniversary as I did for my daughter and son on their birthdays last week, but I realised that there might be a teeny nugget or two to pass on which would be more useful. So here we go, my top tips for getting through the tough times life chucks at us.

Be kind to yourself (and each other)
– find solace and solidarity in your partner, you’re on the same team after all. It can be too easy to take out our frustrations on the ones we love, but it isn’t helpful.

– eat well, and steer as clear as you can of processed carbs and refined sugar. When you’re feeling low the last thing you need is to be riding the blood sugar roller coaster. Here are my thoughts on food, and if you need some guilt free treat inspiration check out my latest chocolate cake recipe.

– indulge in a glass of red or G&T but don’t overdo it. One or two drinks over the weekend will certainly help with relaxing, but getting through a whole bottle of vino is likely to make you feel rubbish the next day, especially when sleep deprived. Go for quality over quantity which will also help reduce your chances of a hangover.

– cathartic writing is amazing and it’s one of the reasons that I blog, but there’s a very fine line between telling it as it is and whining. The latter gets very boring very quickly. Avoid getting on social media and venting or writing post after post about the latest bug and gripes about the kids.

Tune out from what everyone else is doing
– put your phone on silent and disconnect yourself from social media. There’s a lot to be said for being truly present with our family.

– have faith that this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever and phases with the children are always short lived in the grand scheme of life.

– comparison is the thief of joy. Nuff said.

Stop stressing
– try not to stress about work too much. When I had to take last week off work because the baby was ill and 3yo had mangled her toe, hubby imparted some wisdom which made me feel so much better. He said that companies understand that if they want to keep hold of their talent they have to be supportive while they’re in the early days of child rearing. He is completely right of course, and I’ve been determined not to feel guilty about taking the time off.

– cry on the shoulder of a relative or good friend. Don’t bottle your emotions up pretending everything is ok when it’s not. There’s absolutely no shame in confiding in your besties and asking them for support.

– ensure you have an endless supply of good quality dark chocolate for an instant pick me up. My favourite is Willie’s Cacao Chefs Drops, which are basically chocolate buttons for grown ups.

Remember it’s not the kids’ fault
– try not to shout at the kids too much. Easier said than done I know, but we noticed massive improvements in our defiant 5yo once we stepped back, assessed our own negative behaviours and did our best to eradicate them.

– try not to take anything the kids do too personally, they don’t have it in for you no matter how much it seems that way at 4am after numerous wake ups.

– put things into perspective. This post came to me after a friend was telling me about the funeral of her friends 2yo son the other day. My broken sleep and the kids’ minor ailments really paled into insignificance.


If all else fails throw a huge party like we did last weekend. Trust me, getting all your loved ones under the same roof will put a smile on the chops of even the grumpiest of grumpsters.

So there you go, hopefully something in this little list of mine will help someone who is having a tough day. Do you have anything to add?


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Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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  1. mummytries says:

    Totally agree… Calm mummy is best mummy 🙂

  2. Great tips- I would add that we pick up our Mummys stress and tend to play up more, so a deep breath helps everyone!! #PoCoLo

  3. mummytries says:

    Let them out lovely lady 🙂 glad you enjoyed the post xx

  4. Fab tips darling, you are so right to try not to blame the kids and to eradicate the stress. It’s hard when you’re in the thick of it but just getting out for fresh air or chocolate cake can really help. The party looks fab. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  5. mummytries says:

    It can be so difficult taking those vital steps back to do some self reflecting, but it’s often exactly what we need to do…

  6. Very well said!! Sometimes it is difficult to step back and look at the bigger picture esp if you’re suffering from one or more of the -itis bugs you mention but it is worth a try
    And, as you say, if all else fails throw a party!!

  7. Definitely needed to read this today and will use the tips youve shared. Im the type to bottle up emotions and stress about it!

  8. mummytries says:

    Thanks so much Carol! Dark chocolate = instant happiness 🙂

  9. mummytries says:

    I really do Carol! Now 3yo is starting nursery there will be no excuses 😉

  10. mummytries says:

    I was almost in tears and I don’t them at all, no-one should have to go through that! Really makes you put things into perspective xx

  11. Great tips and a great reminder about what’s important. Reading what you wrote about the two year olds funeral sent a shiver through me. It’s easy to let the little stuff get us down but we should remember how lucky we are xx

  12. Just skim read the other comments and saw this one from Sian. Great tip and yes, yes, yes my lovely lady Renee, you most certainly do need to do some meditation. It’s awesome! x

  13. Ah and what an utterly fantastic word to read on your blog Renee! The party sounds fab, and all the little tips you’ve given are excellent. Particularly the chocolate one, I might add 😉

  14. mummytries says:

    Me too hon… Although it means I’m forever missing calls 😉 xx

  15. mummytries says:

    Me too hon! Thanks so much for popping by x

  16. mummytries says:

    Sounds fab Sian 🙂 I really need to get into meditation again!!

  17. Great tips! Hope you are feeling calmer now. Since touching on hypnotherapy for birthing, I’ve started to mediate a bit when I feel things are getting out of control and I find it really calming.

  18. Great tips huni. My phone is permanently on silent or I think I would go mad! I hope the year improves for you. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  19. Ooh I’ll definitely have to check that out – it looks delicious! xx

  20. mummytries says:

    Taking a step back can make all the difference. I wrote about doing just that recently here By recognising our own negative behaviours and doing our best to eradicate them, hubby and I have seen big improvements in the kids xx

  21. mummytries says:

    It really does help! Thanks so much for dropping by…

  22. mummytries says:

    Now that is a great rule! I was given a rare moment to write this arvo as hubby has taken the girls swimming 🙂 xx

  23. mummytries says:

    I keep my phone on silent too, the beeping would drive me insane!! Thanks so much for dropping by xx

  24. mummytries says:

    Sending hugs lovely, it will definitely pass xx

  25. Thanks for sharing – there have been days recently when it’s felt as though everything’s going wrong, but it’s always good to count blessings and remember that the situation will pass – somedays it’s all you can do! Here’s hoping life gets back to normal at yours very soon x

  26. Great post – it’s so important to remember that’s it’s the little things in life that make each day special. Like your tip, I always keep my phone on silent. Messages can wait, it’s spending time with my son that’s important. X

  27. Another great post, my lovely. It is tough not to put pressure on yourself, but you are 100% right: happiness is a choice. I also find writing cathartic, and turning all screens off on Saturdays and for the most part of Sundays has really improved my week-ends and quality family time for the past 3 months or so. xx

  28. Yes I totally agree happiness is a choice, seeing the positive side makes you feel so much happier

  29. Hi Renee, nodded along to every single one of them. I’ve definitely been utilising many of these points as the past few weeks in my life have been tough. I am certainly not perfect but taking a step back and assessing is important to do now and then and it really can affect the little ones. They essentially follow what we do. X #pocolo

  30. Sorry to hear that you’ve had a crap week lovely. Here’s to a hard earned glass of vino and much friendlier weekend xx

  31. Thanks hon, we’ve had a much better week! So pleased to hear that you’ve not been putting too much pressure on yourself either, makes such a huge difference xx

  32. Thanks so much Lauren xx

  33. Thanks Ting, glad you liked it. No-one has endless patience hon, I’m sure you do much better than you think xx

  34. It’s a good one to try and remember when the chips are down 🙂

  35. Thanks for your lovely comment Tor, really pleased you enjoyed the post xx

  36. Hi Renee, I really enjoyed reading this and everything felt relevant to one part of my life or another. Such very good advice! It’s funny how sometimes we know what’s good for us but we do the opposite, especially at times of stress or tiredness.
    Thanks so much for sharing these. Tor xx

  37. It’s certainly good to try and remember the good stuff in the midst of a tough time xx

  38. Repeat after me…repeat after me… just remembered that I owe you an email!! #epicfailsosorry

  39. Very welcome lovely. Hope you get your party one day 🙂

  40. It sure is, but it can start grinding down even the most positive people when it goes on and on… hopefully we’re on the up now xx

  41. Great post, it seems like this time of year is tough for everyone, great tips – definietly agree that we should all be kinder to each other and ourselves =D

  42. As always, you have great and insightful tips here – it’s great you can review with such clarity as I know you’ve been having a tough time of late. I will try very hard to remember it’s ‘not the kid’s fault’. I am guilty of losing my patience all too easily! x

  43. I love this, such a positive post. Some great tips, it can be tough when you aren’t having the best of times but with a bit of effort you will come out of the other side. I’m glad things are on the up for you xx

  44. I am so with you on all those itisis! This is a lovely positive post with loads of great tips – I have been very similar about the pressure thing this week and it has really helped. Great to hear that things are improving for you. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo x

  45. This is such a well timed post for (I’m having a bit of a stinker of a day!) Reminded me that I have a lot to be grateful for and that even a serious case of halftermistis will pass!!
    Thank you!

  46. Great word and tips. I think it can be easy to get bogged down in little niggles, but I tend to take a moment, recognise that I have a happy and healthy family, and I feel restored. Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  47. Great tips! I definitely agree with you, happiness is indeed a choice. That’s also my mantra, one that I have to keep repeating to myself when the going gets rough 😉 #wotw.

  48. I wish I can have a party with my family! Its never easy to survive so thanks for sharing your ways on how to =) #pocolo

  49. Fab tips here lovely! Just gotta keep it positive when the chips are down as life is full of peaks and troughs, it’s part of it’s rich tapestry. Love the idea of a party zx

  50. mummytries says:

    It can be such an effective way of coming back to now… Thanks for dropping by, and I’ll definitely check out your post 🙂

  51. Great post…putting my phone on silent or leaving it in my room while I go about my day, taking the FB app off my phone…all these things give me peace! Sometimes we need to detach and take a break! #TheList #Brilliantblogposts I recently wrote about phases:

  52. mummytries says:

    I have a fab post natal yoga DVD which has a great 10 minute rejuvenation workout on it. I feel so good afterwards, even though it’s only a short amount of time. Yoga rocks!!

  53. mummytries says:

    Thanks so much Eleanor 🙂

  54. mummytries says:

    It’s a killer isn’t it!!

  55. Totally agree with the “avoid sugar and refined carbs” part. It’s so easy to reach for that stuff when you’re feeling low but they will only pick you up a bit and drop you even lower. When my cravings hit I remind myself of how rubbish I feel if I had them. Exercise and yoga can also do wonders to your mood when you least feel like doing it.

  56. Lovely post Renee – we definitely had a bad bout of endoftermitis !

  57. You’re so right, happiness is absolutely a choice. Came over from #PoCoLo, like your blog!

  58. mummytries says:

    Thanks so much for dropping by Rachel 🙂

  59. mummytries says:

    Plamil are a lovely brand, I remember meeting the owners at a food fair in 2007. I think Willie’s Cacao is nut free too, but you’d have to check xx

  60. mummytries says:

    Thanks so much for dropping by Clare 🙂

  61. mummytries says:

    I’m usually such a positive person, but these last few months have ground me down… putting things into perspective has made me feel so much better xx

  62. mummytries says:

    Thanks lovely, it’s really helped me by looking at it that way. Your poor girl, really hope she’s all better soon, such a worry and during half term as well 🙁

  63. Love this! It’s so positive and it can be really hard to stay positive when you’re having a tough week!
    Love what your husband said about companies being supportive of parents, so they can keep their best people. I’d never considered that and lately I’ve been very grateful I haven’t needed to go into an office and annoy people by taking too much time off for doctor’s appointments and poorly kids!
    Good point about comparison too – I had to stop looking at Instagram the other day – Disneyland, skiing, even happy kids playing in the garden or the countryside or at the cinema – and me stuck inside with my poorly daughter for a week.

  64. Fab post lovely, it is far too easy to do the opposite of all these things but that really does feel like wallowing and doesn’t really help anyone! Great post, thanks for sharing! Xx

  65. Really good post, with some sound advice. Thank you. #PoCoLo

  66. Absolutely spot on advice. And I am so with you on the magical healing powers of dark chocolate… Plamil is my brand of choice – nut free and organic, which is a very rare combination! Xx

  67. Great advice!! #brilliantblogposts

  68. mummytries says:

    Thanks so much hon. It can be tricky staying level headed when the kids are playing up and you’re already stressed, but as i said not shouting has been a great thing for us…

  69. mummytries says:

    It was a real wake up call for me xx

  70. mummytries says:

    Glad you enjoyed the post lovely. It can be hard to remember the little things in the midst of tough times, but they really do help. Half term has been fun so far thanks, hope you’re well 🙂

  71. Great post. I feel like I should write some of these on post its and stick them around the house! Hope half term is going well for you.

  72. Wise words Renee, sometimes the sad things we hear about help us get some perspective. x

  73. Great post and some brilliant tips there – definitely agree with being kind to yourself and each other and not taking it out on the kids – those little annoyances are so easy to get snappy about on the tough days aren’t they? Hope you enjoyed your party last weekend 🙂

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