Welcome to Keep Calm and Relax.This website was inspired by the profound and insightful wisdom of courageous people throughout the ages. Historically events and circumstances that can cause us stress, have remained surprisingly unchanged. These words are my interpretation of how the inspirational philosophy of yesterday can be a positive influence on how we cope with tomorrow. I have woven my thoughts on coping with difficult times and how to survive them around the wise and wonderful words of great men and women.

Do get in touch if you agree or disagree with anything I have to say. I don't have answers just my thoughts and the thoughts of wise men and women that might just make you think differently.

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Sometimes life deals us such a savage blow it can seem as if the whole world has tipped off its axis and we are free falling into space. These disasters take us off guard and come at us with speed, making it difficult to breathe and impossible to form rational thought.  So in blind panic we continue to fall, hoping to be caught but missing all the safety nets.

 It is at this time that survival instincts kick in, everyone has an inner reserve of strength, and an inbuilt ability to self-preserve, this is our parachute moment, when things start to slow down and we can take deep breaths again. Instead of panic we have planning, we remember that although the landing will be rough it won’t be fatal and we can see the road below. It may not be a road we recognize but as L.David said “If you do not know where you are going any road will take you there”.

Once we have landed even if it is in unfamiliar territory and the landing has battered our self-belief we can now start to recover and we will be stronger from having survived alone and with a courage we did not know we had.

Promise me you will always remember, you’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

Christopher Robin to Pooh


Finding the path

When you are in a dark place and  you are struggling to find a path, no matter how many signs you read, or how many routes you follow, it can feel as if you have lost your way.

Try not to be concerned with where to put your feet when trying to find safe footing, instead look down the road ahead to where it might take you and having found a turning that tempts you, follow it with a certain swagger and determination, and if all you  managed to do was keep going, take pride in that, gain strength from it and learn to trust yourself again.

 There will be times when you feel as if you are going anywhere but in the right direction, but things will get better, if not today then tomorrow or next week, remember everything does not have to happen right now.

When something you know you must do scares you, the adrenaline will cause you to fight or take flight, choose to fight and do it anyway, but don’t think you have to do it perfectly; just do it right, right for you, not anyone else.

 Don’t waste your life worrying about things that don’t matter or you will never move on to those that do... Spend your life however it comes, don’t save it for the time everything changes.

  “Hope begins in the dark; the stubborn hope that if you just turn up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come"

 Anne Lamott


the off button

Mae West said “Anything that is worth doing is worth doing slowly”There will be times of regret in all our lives when we have acted in haste, spoken before thinking, or made snap judgements about people and places. These regrettable instances will by their nature almost certainly have occurred during times when we did not have time to do it any other way.

Modern life can feel like you are stuck in top gear with your foot pressed to the floor. We become so obsessed with getting there that we don’t enjoy the journey. We all need to slow down, living in fast forward is not really living at all and with no time to think things through we make instant decisions to show others that we are capable and dynamic. These decisions are often the wrong ones, making us despair when there is no going back and they cannot be put right.

The consequences of wrong decisions can make us afraid to trust ourselves to make any decisions at all and life can become one long list, upon which we always seem to be writing yet one more thing we have to do. Living with a constant sense of urgency is draining and all consuming, it leads to feelings of inadequacy and low esteem.The mind can sink into depression as a way of slowing us down.

We need to find a balance, to stop extolling the virtues of multi-tasking and to learn how to just be again. Only then can we take back control and create quiet, calm and unstructured periods of time to recharge and re-energise.

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over”

John Wooden


Can Time Heal?

 Auden wrote, ‘In headaches and in worry vaguely life leaks away, and time will have his fancy tomorrow or today’.

Most people’s lives are lived through a series of peaks and troughs, good and bad, happy and sad. It is uphill coming out of a trough, it takes energy to keep going until you are over the top, and for people who are anxious and unhappy, energy is usually in short supply.

The following work is an idea full of hope that even if you feel you have no fight left, just waiting for the old order to pass will bring about change.

The Dyke

"I have met a fortunate few who have never been aware that it existed; that it stood safely encircling their lives. They have managed to survive, their uncertainties in tact, their skies as blue as when they were first fathomed.

Taken for granted like health and happiness you only notice it when the first breach appears. The black waters enter, trickling in rivulets and patterning the land with dark threads, or as the case may be, crashing across the walls, breaking them down and covering the fields.

When the tide ebbs as all tides must, the dyke will begin to be re-built, as all dykes must or as the case may be, simply patched up. The salt mud must be made fertile, in time, with work or alternatively without appearing to bother very much, new grasses will grow even a few trees.

It will not happen again. The dyke is stronger, built to withstand further destruction. The builder knows his apple trees will bloom, that in the autumn fruit will appear and fall just as it did before, only the taste will have altered. So when the blossom comes again, it will be necessary to view the flowers from a new perspective".

Jenny Morgan,  MTP Press.

 This wonderful interpretation of the human spirits ability for recovery and re-growth is not only inspiring it reflects how without any effort on our part there are situations we find ourselves in, which will resolve naturally with the passing of time, and I wanted to share it with you.

Burke called time ‘The grand instructor’, and the secret to recovery may well be to recognise what needs to be repaired right now and what can be left to time.



Sometimes trying to understand sadness in your life is like peeling an onion, the deeper you go into it the more it makes you cry. So despite all advice to the contrary talking endlessly about sorrow does not always result in happiness.  Nurses know that the more you pick at a wound the less likely it is to heal, and often it is beneficial to just  cut out the dead flesh, cover it over and give it time to heal. There may always be a scar, but a scar is proof of healing, a sign that the wound is closed and it doesnt hurt anymore.

When attempting to recover from melancholy or dark depression, don’t judge yourself and don't accept blame, as this can make you afraid to try new experiences and create new choices. Hippocrates said ‘healing is a matter of time, but sometimes it is a matter of opportunity’, so try to think of the future as a place, full of opportunities, each of them having the potential to improve your life.

Healing is not always about getting instant relief, when recovering from emotional wounds it is often about changing the sorrows of the past into hope for the future.

 Recovery takes courage and somewhere in all of us there is courage, even if the doses are so small we only have enough to get us through just one day at a time.  Churchill believed ‘it to be a mistake to look too far ahead, only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time’ 

"When stuck in the river, it is best to dive and swim to the bank yourself before someone drops a large stone on your chest in an attempt to hoosh you there." Eeyore