COM0011: (Blog #1) 

Weathering the storm: Three of the best methods to hurricane proof your mind!

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At times I wonder what it would be like to have an app on my phone that would give me a 3-day forecast of my mindset.

Alerts could be highlighted with a bright red banner warning of an imminent meltdown.  “100% chance of crippling anxiety with extreme gusts of inadequacy.  Feelings of impending doom on the horizon! Isolate in bed for the next 24 hours”.  It would be SO much easier to plan for the weekend.  No more cancelling on friends at the last minute, because plans would not have been made in the first place!  “My app told me it’s not a good time to go out, maybe next time”. The reality is, such an app doesn’t exist. Sad stuff!  But the need to be able to deal with that fight or flight wanting to hijack our mindset is very real.  You may be questioning, “so when the storm clouds roll in, how can we be prepared?”.  I’m glad you asked! Read below for three of my tried, tested, and true methods to weather the storm.

While I sip my coffee and look out the window, I see what little sun we have peering out from behind the clouds. That sun is about to be swallowed up by the dark brooding grey skies that are rolling in.  Within moments, huge gusts of wind pick up, and sheets of rain come down hard.  Trees are bent to their breaking point. I notice branches give in to the sheer force of their own weight, and come crashing down below. Bearing witness to mother natures brut force, I say to myself, “this is what happens in my head everyday!”

1) Use the good weather to build your shelter

To deal with what I like to call, “mind-storms”, I’ve taken steps to build my shelter on clear-headed sunny days. The sun can’t shine every day, but it’s also worth betting on that it also won’t storm every day.  These are the moments we can use to reinforce our shelter in preparation for future storms.  A good self-care routine is the foundation to which our shelter is built upon.  Starting each morning with a quiet meditative moment to practice gratitude can set the tone for the day. When we approach life where our fight or flight is not engaged, we have the capacity to take on the present moment, and succeed in being a conscious parent, partner, and citizen of the world. Smiles come a lot easier in this state.

Finding an exercise regimen to get our bodies moving is also key.  Studies are now linking how exercise can aid in neurogenesis (a fancy term describing how our brain can develop new neuron pathways) and in this process, we are forming and strengthening a new, healthier mindset.  Building this strong foundation through mediation, practicing gratitude, and exercise, will keep you from questioning if your shelter can withstand its next storm. 

2) Have an emergency back-up plan

Back-up generators, candles, food and water are all contingent to a good emergency preparedness plan.  But what about when we become overwhelmed in our lives where routine self-care schedules can’t be maintained, and our world feels like it is falling apart.  We need to create an emergency back up plan for when we no longer have the capacity to put in work, and just need to survive. 

I myself am a big fan of using codewords.  Setting up a simple phrase to send to a loved one when we are struggling could be the difference between suffering alone or receiving the support we need.  Sending a message of, “I need you”, or even, “pineapple”, when in crisis is easier than writing out a long message explaining what is going on.  We are more likely to ask for help, if the process is simplified. 

Distraction is another part of the emergency plan.  When a mind-storm rolls in, it is important to understand and accept that we may not have the capacity to do a lot, but we need to distract.  A pre-curated playlist of soothing songs is my go-to. Coupled with candles, chocolate, essential oils, and a pillow to hug, this method promotes the use of a well promoted cognitive behaviour therapy technique to ground us when anxiety becomes overwhelming.

3) Remember that you’ve survived your worst storms

So far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst storms. Congratulations! You’re doing great! At times, automatic negative thoughts seem to overshadow our accomplishments.  Simple reminders to nudge our mind back into a positive place can be the difference between drowning and keeping our head above the water. 

On my phone, I keep an album of inspirational quotes and memes to remind myself that I’m doing okay, and to inspire me when I’m not.  Find something that works for you to continue affirming how great you are doing!  Be it a journal/blog to document your journey, a series of inspiration quotes, or even purchasing a new umbrella as a symbol of strength.  These positive reminders will continue strengthening your brain’s ability to create that neurogenesis, which will lead you on a new pathway of being able to weather your storm!

Final thoughts

There are so many methods and tools to utilize when life becomes overwhelming.  It takes trial and error to determine what will work best for you.  Don’t be afraid to try something new. I was once told, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting”. What I was getting wasn’t conducive to building a solid foundation for my shelter. It was time for me to incorporate new tools and materials.  Thankfully these methods have helped me, and I was eager to share them with you. I’m hoping you found this article helpful and would love to hear some of your strategies that are utilized to help you weather stormy days.  Leave a comment below! By building a community where people share in their vulnerabilities, we’re destined for a forecast of sunny days ahead!

Photo by Pixabay on

Take good care!


2 thoughts on “COM0011: (Blog #1) 

  1. Hi Nick,

    I really liked your blog post; you’re a fantastic writer. For me, I deal with my “mind-storms” by reaching out to friends, no matter how long it has been since we last spoke. I find that social media has helped me a lot with this as it has made it easy to remain in contact with long-distance friends. I know that whenever I get a message from a friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time, it always brings me a lot of happiness so returning the gesture makes me just as happy. Another way that I deal with my “mind-storms” as they are happening is to look to social media for a distraction. Looking at puppy videos on TikTok or watching funny home videos on Facebook always seem to take my mind off whatever is the cause of my anxieties and resets my mind.

    Take care!


    • Good morning, James. Thanks so much for your kind words. I can echo that sentiment of gratitude for having great friends. No matter the distance (be it time, or kilometres), having that person to call upon really is a blessing!

      And speaking of blessings, puppies and funny animal videos are one of the best distractions.

      Appreciate you replying to my post! Look forward to chatting more in the near future!

      Good luck with this course!

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