This is not, as one might deduce from the heading, a blog about an elephant and a water fountain, but rather about steps that you can take when you’re convinced that you’re about to have a meltdown rivalling that of Chernobyl.

  1. Close your eyes (preferably not when you’re driving your lorry).  Gently let the world disappear, and go within to regain your equilibrium. This makes sense as when one thinks of how much information one is exposed to every waking minute of the day – mobiles; TV’s; iPad’s, iPhone’s, iPod’s; Kindles – it can only be a blessed relief to switch off that constant input for a little while – and not just while one is sleeping, as that’s a whole different kettle of fish. Consciously closing one’s eyes and drifting off can calm ones frayed nerves immensely.
  1. Go outside. This can be easier said than done, as we don’t all have the luxury of a village green, Common or park near us, but you can try to find a safe(ish) open area with a bit of grass or a bench where you’re not jammed in cheek to jowl with other people.
  1. Breathe deeply.  Breathing is the foundation of sanity, because it is the way we provide our brain and every other vital organ in our body with the oxygen needed for us to survive. Breathing also eliminates toxins from our systems. One of the simplest ways to calm the nerves is to stay still (sitting or standing) and breath in through the nose, mouth closed, deep into the stomach, and exhale, again, through the nose, mouth closed. Repeat 3 x.
  1. Find some water. Whether it’s a local pond or a gentle babbling brook, being close to running water is very calming. On the rainy or snowy days that you can’t really venture outside, take a shower and imagine (albeit briefly) that you’re on some tropical island underneath a waterfall – and [insert name of favourite fantasy companion here] is preparing your meal nearby
  1. Drink water.  When you’re overwrought, keep drinking it – a big glass of it once an hour. Walk beside some water, look at it, and listen to it. Get into some if you can, for a bath or a swim. Hot baths and hot springs are popular for good reasons.