Recently life has thrown me a few curveballs all at the same time.
Sounds like life as grown-up, I hear you say. And you’d be right!
And while the solutions to my challenges continue to elude me, I've discovered an upside - a sudden appreciation for things I've taken for granted.
As life becomes more complicated, all five of these things have had an undeniably positive affect on my mood and general sense of wellbeing.
They may not have the power to solve world peace but they bring a stillness and order to difficult days that encourages you to keep on keeping on.
1. Talking with a good friend
Nothing beats a half-hour chat with someone who knows how to listen. Sometimes, when all seems lost, a fresh perspective will give you the motivation to keep moving forward.
2. Hanging out the washing
OK, hear me out laundry-loathers! Until recently a heaving basket of wet washing wasn’t my idea of a good time, either. But there’s something instantly calming in the combination of a) being outside, b) looking up at the sky, and c) methodically pegging clothes on a line.
Listen to Kinderling Conversation: Rediscovering 'you' after motherhood
I’ve always flirted with meditation but now I’d describe our relationship status as: Heavily committed. I have a go-to 20-minute evening meditation that soothes me to sleep, and on really challenging days, I’ve added in a 10-minute morning session. The more time I spend meditating, the better my day seems to flow.
There’s something to be said for the power of a direct vitamin D hit. Even 10-15 minutes of sitting, or lying on a blanket in the backyard with the sun streaming on your back, can do wonders for my overall mood.
5. A cup of green tea
You may eye-roll at this one, as I have in the past when someone alluded to the power of a non-caffeinated beverage. But for some reason, at this moment in my life, a steaming cup of hot green tea has an almost medicinal effect. Calming, restoring, uplifting.
Which rituals helps you stay sane on difficult days?
6 bedtime routine ideas that will help your kids fall asleep
They'll be sleeping sound in no time!
No Breastfeeding Zone: New mama hangs this important sign up in hospital
And don't judge before you hear her story.
Maggie Dent: 5 ways to raise our boys well (and the value of a well-placed fart)
Mums have a big role to play in raising healthy, happy boys, says Maggie Dent.
Quit work or manage the impossible: Without flexibility, carers face tough decisions
“I got the flexibility but I lost all of the job security.”
Terrible jokes and endless love: Why TV host Matt Baseley loves being a dad
"When I met my wife I thought I couldn’t possibly love someone or something as much as I love her (and Test Cricket)."
Twice as nice: How to survive the first six months with twins
Double the trouble or twice the fun?
Ever thought your kid prefers one parent? Here's why
Like most toddler phases, this too will pass ...
6 steps to making an exercise program (and sticking to it!)
Choose exercise that you enjoy and you're much more likely to succeed.