January has been filled with a lot lf uncertainties. It certainly wasn't the quiet start to the year I was hoping for! In the second half of the month we had a nasty surprise with a bill from the council for a huge amount of money we didn't owe. To cut a long story short, there were days of waiting to find out if we had to call a solicitor or even be faced with having to pay, but in the end it turned out to be a system error (wtf!?). Thankfully the situation resolved itself, and despite a few other things hanging in the air, I'm surprised how calm I've been able to maintain!
After a thought provoking brunch with some of my favourite blog girls (Lulu, Ché, Siobhan and Jo), I was reminded how the energy you put out has so much to do with the way life treats you so, with that in mind, here are a few ways to create calm to help you make rational, levelheaded decisions when life throws a curveball at you.
1. Lose the tension - take a few slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax your jaw, drop your shoulders and repeat.
2. Set the scene - dim the lights and light a scented candle. Masculine scents like Amber, sandalwood or Diptyque's mysterious Baies really help to clear the atmosphere.
3. Think before you act - this might sound obvious, but sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the moment. I could have easily kicked up a fuss on the phone to the council, but instead I took a calm, but firm approach to the situation to work out the facts before I jumped to conclusions. I really think this helped me get a clear and concise response from them (and an apology). Effing and blinding doesn't endear you to anyone and might get you pushed to the bottom of the list.
4. Prepare - if you have to make a difficult phone call, jot down some notes beforehand so you don't lose your point in the heat of the moment. And while you're own the phone, don't forget to write down what the other person says. It's easy to feel like you've resolved something by the time you put down the phone, but when you think back on the conversation it's hard to pinpoint exactly what.
5. Create distraction - easier said than done, but it really helps to get out and do something to set your mind at ease, if only for an hour. Take a gym class, visit a museum you haven't been to before or grab coffee with someone you don't know very well - you'll be busy trying to find out more about them to think about the problem and you're less likely to unload on them than a friend or partner.
6. Schedule time to do nothing - this might seem like a contradiction to the point above, but it's also important to take a moment to yourself. After scheduling dinners and drinks to try and forget the situation, there was nothing I needed more than a night to myself to have a bath, read a magazine and get an early night.