How Not to Lose Your Sh*t: Strategies to Stay Calm

I don’t know about you but I think we are losing our sh*t at present. I think an essential (but not desired) part of life is the feeling that you’re completely losing your shit in times like these. I don’t know about you, but I am experiencing that feeling a little more at present as our many of our clients. Most of us will experience it at some point, and a select few of us will become experts in the art of “sh*t losing“.

I don’t want to brag as I coach and teach in this space especially as leaders we can lose our shit, but I like to think of myself as a “sh*t storm expert“. Well most of the time that is…So much so, that I’ve created my own little system to keep myself and others I work with together. I like to think I’m at a point where I can stay calm and cool under pressure, but I guess you’ll have to try my tips and be the judge!

I have even started a free online courageous leadership membership and super cost-effective self-paced program to help everyone keep their sh*t and leadership together – come on had to plug something!!!

Without further adieu, here are my 10 ways to keep it together, when you think you’re going to lose your sh*t and how to stay kind and courageous for yourself and others…

1. Breathe

Okay, now I know you’re thinking, “Really? Breathing? Life changing tip…” But seriously… Sometimes I can get so overwhelmed and frustrated, I literally forget to breathe. Deep breathing is not only a good way to relax yourself, but doing it for a few minutes will also buy you some time to calm your ass down before you do something you’ll regret, trust me as I know from experience.

2. Stillness is the key

Again you must be thinking, “Are you kidding?”. Think about it, we now have a lot more time to step back and be still, reflect, process and meditate. Recently I have been reading a brilliant book called Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. Now this took some focus to practice stillness as I literally run at a million miles an hour but stillness has made a massive difference to my leadership and mindset.

In this book, he outlines a path for achieving this ancient, but urgently necessary way of living. Drawing on a wide range of history’s greatest thinkers, from Confucius to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius to Thich Nhat Hanh, John Stuart Mill to Nietzsche, he argues that stillness is not mere inactivity, but the doorway to self-mastery, discipline, and focus. Give it a go.

3. Create Positive Affirmations and Repeat

Really? Yes really! If you are are actually saying this while reading this then give this a go – “I have got this!” Affirmations work! It is amazing what you can tell your brain. What I tell myself varies depending on the situation, but more times than not, my pep talks include building myself up with “You are a bad ass”, “I am courageous” or “I’ve got this”, or even “please don’t lose your sh*t, you’re too young for a life in prison”. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter what you tell yourself, but any positive thoughts repeated will help calm you down and make you feel more secure in the moment. That’s what it’s all about, getting yourself through the tough moments so you can pull yourself together.

4. Find The Silver Lining or the Positives

I know this can be tricky sometimes considering the state of the world and lack of toilet paper, but it is absolutely vital! When you feel like life is continuously crapping on you, you’ve got to find the silver lining. I get it. So many of us came into 2020 saying – “This is my year!” I was one of those. Then this sh*t happened. Then I started to think about what else can we do to overcome this and what are the positives. Those positives being that above all else, I am healthy, I have a supportive family and friends, a roof over my head, great team, an online program I can now market and at least now I have an excuse to finish my book… No matter how bad things get, there is always a silver lining.

5. Throw Your Life Raft To Your Friends and Trusted Network

Sometimes all you really need is a good vent session. My friends and network are some of the most important people my in life. Guess what, we are all in this together too! Last week I truly lost my sh*t and had a bit of a cry so I called my friends and some of my network. It is amazing how people rally together during times like this and afterwards I felt a million times better. This might be a shocker but I am not a super hero and either are you?

I believe it is ABSOLUTELY vital to our mental health. Message me any time too, literally, I am always here for you.

6. Ask For Help

This brings me to the next tip. Guess what, I was never this person. My daughter once bought me a wonder woman cape as she said she felt I was her and sometimes she would say she wished I wasn’t wonder woman and to ask for help. ARGH….! My whole life I have prided myself on being this bad ass, independent, strong, which I still am obviously but, if becoming a leader has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes you have to ask for help. No one can be perfect all the time. No one on the planet has all the answers. We all need help sometimes, and we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for it.

7. Practice Gratitude

Remember last week when I said I lost it, I did. I started to think about everything that wasn’t going right then started making up stories of things in my head that could turn bad. Easy to do, right? Then I picked myself up and thought to myself – “I coach in this space!” Time to put on my big coach pants and coach myself. So I started to write and think abut what I am grateful for. Here was my list if you decided see my post on this and would love you to write on the comments yours too. Remember attention goes, energy flows.

What am I grateful for…

Health, Beautiful daughter, Wonderful family & friends, Incredible clients and associates, My network for checking in and helping, Brilliant team, My companies are still operating and delivering, Our purpose and vision to build a world of kind & courageous leaders, Leadership, kindness and courage I am seeing, Goverment, Banks, Industry Bodies and so forth doing everything they can to support us, Great health system, Supermarkets working incredibly hard, Our focus on leadership, kindness and courage, We are making an impact and helping others, LinkedIn network and inspiration, We are in this together. ❤️

8. Find Your Outlet

It’s an old familiar feeling. The one that starts as a pit in my gut. Stress, worry and anxiety. I can feel it building. I am about to lose my sh*t or get into a negative mindset again. When this feeling strikes I know I need to find an outlet. For some people it’s screaming, for others it’s crying or it’s even going for a run…Me? I love to dance or learn! I can’t explain it. It might even sound weird. However I either love to play music really loud and dance with my whole heart or grab a leadership book and starting reading and writing lots of notes about what I learnt. But the point is to find whatever outlet works for you. Get all that negative energy out. P.S. Wine at times can be my outlet too…I think we can all attest to this during these interesting times…

9. Do Something for Someone Else

This kindness gig really works, trust me. Not only does being kind gives us dopamine, it also creates a kindness ripple effect. I have been on this kindness movement for years and from what I am seeing today, we need kindness more than ever. Kindness is a SUPERPOWER even though I said we are not super hero’s, we can be super humans by being truly kind, compassionate and considerate to others. It doesn’t take a lot to be kind. If you want to know more about Kindness – read this as it’s my 12 rules. What to be a great leader (or person for that matter) practice kindness.

10. Breathe Some More & Hugs (or Air Hugs)

Yeah, yeah, yeah… we’re back to the whole breathing thing.. But I promise it helps. What helps more? Hugging your kids, people you care about, pets – whoever that might be. I get we are all in this social distancing thing however we are connection machines and social beings and we need connection and love.

Finally reach out if we can help if you are truly losing your sh*t, join our programs, practice these tips and please please please stay courageous and kind. Sonia x

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching, workshops and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.


To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.


At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

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McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

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Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665