How to keep calm when the going gets tough

Julia Marolton 21 April 2022
A sad looking pug wrapped up in a blanket

Life isn’t always easy. Here’s how you can keep calm when the going gets tough.

Here are some of the best ways to manage your anxiety when the going gets tough and life feels like it’s too much:


Breathing can be one of the most effective ways to regulate the body. When our bodies are faced with stressful situations, they can enter fight or flight mode. Your instinct is to take quick empty breaths, which then cause more distress. 

With simple breathing exercises, this can be controlled. One great technique is “box breathing”, where you breathe in for four seconds then hold for four seconds, exhale for four and hold for another four. Repeat as many times as necessary.


When things get tough it’s easy to dwell on the negatives. Keeping an optimistic mindset will improve your mental state and help you through the tough times. A good practice in life is to be grateful for the good things going for you. This can be done verbally, mentally or physically. Try repeating affirmations to yourself or writing them down in a journal or piece of paper.


Waking up tired from a sleepless night is never a good way to start your day. Being low on energy could be affecting you more than you realise. Getting a good night's rest can significantly improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Sleep is a priority and getting enough is essential for improving your mentality. 


Moving your body releases serotonin and dopamine. The benefits of daily exercise include better sleep, increased energy, and a stronger immune system. While implementing an exercise schedule into your daily routine can be difficult at first, try to persevere. Beginner’s yoga or pilates are good first steps.


Meditating is an effective way to ground yourself and get back to a good place. There are a variety of ways to meditate; guided, chakra focused, and body scans are just a few methods. There's something out there for everyone. It can be weird sitting still and doing nothing for long periods of time if you’re not used to it, so gradually ease it into your daily routine.

Surround yourself with what you love

Surround yourself with what you love, be that people or hobbies, will help you stay calm when the going gets tough. If something or someone makes you feel happy, it’s important to keep them in your life, especially in difficult times.

Talk to someone

Seeking support is always an option and you should never worry about how others may ‘have it worse’. There’s always someone who’s there to help, whether that’s a friend, family member, or therapist. Being able to get everything out is a great way to release tension and ease you through your most difficult days.

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Julia Marolton 21 April 2022