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Mindset StrategiesSelf Care

I’m gonna be real with you

By October 25, 201838 Comments

Hey champ,

I’m gonna be real, life has been pretty intense this year.

My business is powering and that’s amazing, but it involves a lot of travel – which, with an 11 month old in tow (and the many sleepless nights that involves!), has been tricky at times. I’ve also started training for the Mountain Run at the Kathmandu Coast to Coast, which is super exciting, but also another thing that demands my attention.

The more Mums I speak to, the more I realise this is all part of the famous “juggle” every parent has ever described to me.

I say this knowing I’m super damn lucky. I’ve got my Mum just down the road to help out with Hakavai, and Michael and I are hands on about everything – housework, parenting etc. And I’ve got a great team that keep my business moving.

But in those small moments, when overwhelm kicks in, there’s one strategy I’ve been using to bring me back to centre. It’s the simplest and most basic technique in the proverbial book (but also in mine!):


When I need to re-focus before a conference call, or when Hak is upset, and I’ve had no sleep, I breathe.
When I feel overwhelmed and anxious, I breathe.
When I feel frustrated and tired, I breathe.

Specifically, I breathe in for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of seven. The trick is to breathe evenly, especially on the exhale.

It’s a technique I learned from Dr Oscar Serrallach’s book ‘The Postnatal Depletion Cure’.

Now, I know, I know. It might sound stupid for me to tell you to “just breathe” – but it’s a cliche for a reason, it works!

Breathing properly is one of the easiest ways to change your physical and mental state. It can relax and re-energise you in seconds, and, best of all, it’s a tool that you always have to fall back on when you feel depleted, tired or stressed.

It’s simple, and powerful, and you can do it literally anywhere.

I want you to give this a go today.

Wherever you are right now, I want you to breathe, in for four, out for seven.

Breathe this way for a full minute, and see how it makes you feel.

OK, that’s it from me.

But, before I go, I’d love to know:

  • If you can relate to the juggle – with or without kids! And;

  • If you’ve ever tried breathing to help re-energise and refocus?

Let me know, in the comments below.

Until next week,
Turia x


  • Linda says:

    Yes I’ve done the juggle! And I use deep breathing to help stressful situations and I even incorporate a yawn at the end!

    • Colin says:

      When I went back to get my Master’s Degree, I had three kids all under the age of 6, I traveled an hour to and from school, TA’ed two classes, did an internship, and finished the two year program in one year. It was one of the most brutal times in my life. I did breathing exercises many times a day to not to completely lose it. It was so very valuable. I still use it today when I find myself losing presence in the moment.

    • Christina Armstrong says:

      Yes i do breathexx

  • Janine says:

    I used ten deep breaths with my 9 & 11 year olds in the car on the way to school this morning. We were all a little emotional after the late night before! It worked a treat!!

  • Valli says:

    Great tip. I also picked up from a yoga teacher that if you cover your right nostril and breath in through your left it helps with anxiety and slowing down and cover the left and breath in through the right if you want to get more energy e.g. before a presentation.

    • Brookella3 says:

      Alternate nostril breathing! I try and do it everyday. Especially if I’m about to get stuck into my uni or pick up the kids

  • Colin says:

    When I went back to get my Master’s Degree, I had three kids all under the age of 6, I traveled an hour to and from school, TA’ed two classes, did an internship, and finished the two year program in one year. It was one of the most brutal times in my life. I did breathing exercises many times a day to not to completely lose it. It was so very valuable. I still use it today when I find myself losing presence in the moment.

  • Sandra Cramb says:

    Yep been there too. I have only recently learnt about abdominal breathing, from Dr Libby Weaver. That is great Turia you will teach the young mums this technique. It would of been so useful when you feel like everyone wants a bit of you.
    Love your work Turia. Keep it up

  • Martin McLean says:

    Yes absolutely…some breathing technics have worked very well for me and recently I’ve been taught some mindful relaxing exercises that do a lot to put you back in a stress free State….think of a three step slide. Breath in pause. Breath in pause. Breath in…then exhale down the slope then slowly back in and down the steps again…repeat for several minutes before breathing normally.

  • I breathe to get to sleep using the headspace way of breathing.

    It empties my mind from curcular thoughts.

    Juggle? I am the circus and trying to get the curtain to drop for a break. Desperate to apply for my masters degree the family drama needs to stop so I can get some work done.


  • Evelyn says:

    I’ve been dealing with heightened anxieties lately and when I feel the start of one- my Apple Watch actually pops open the breathing app! I think it’s the same 4-7 seconds inhale/exhale ratio. It’s nice to be reminded to breathe, definitely helps. And that breathing technique also helps when having trouble going to sleep.

  • Gill says:

    Thanks for this as it is definitely a reminder needed right now when work is so stressful. Without being able to manage stress it comes out in rashes (currently my face). Meditation and breathing is definitely the key and something I keep needing to be reminded off. Thank you Turia, you are definitely my inspiration 🙂

  • Eloise says:

    Yes i juggle! I have 2 kids with after school activities, a husband who works arvo shift, I work at least 40 minutes away from home and have just agreed to go back to full time!! Need to start deep breathing!! Also I think I saw you at the MCC on Tuesday afternoon Turia! Wish I had come over to say hi!

  • Kelly says:

    Thanks Turia !

    I definitely use deep breathing techniques when I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious . I can relate to the struggle. I’m a single parent with a small business I am running alone and recovering from a car accident . All of that being said I also feel lucky as I have family an hour away. As I read recently it’s a privilege not all are afforded to age and grow older so staying positive everyday is key. Thank you for being a positive inspiration and kudos to you for training again . You’re incredible and I appreciate the motivation .

  • Erin Pollock says:

    I work with children and it’s a juggle at times especially when most of them are unwell and you get sick as well . I use breathing techniques on a daily basis . They really help and it’s very relaxing

  • Chris Kenavan says:

    O yes!!!
    I’ve had a really tuff year in 2017 & was seeing a specialist, second one in 3 months & went into full melt down & texted a few really close friends & one said…

    Don’t forget to BREATHE, & l had, mentality & physically l was tense like a rubber band about to snap & being reminded to breathe was a life saver?

  • Sera says:

    I have never tried the breathing techniques before – but now that you recommend it, I shall give it a go! Juggling studies, kids and living in a different country away from family has been the toughest challenge in my life – but I guess I manage the stress by doing exercise. I usually go for a run in the afternoon or do a workout in the garage. It really makes you feel you have something else other than work and family. I think I need a real hobby to be honest haha! Thanks Turia for your motivation and encouraging advice – I always love reading your thoughts 🙂

  • K says:

    Totally relate to both right now. Trying to juggle full-time uni, two kids and a husband that works away, phew. I hear ya. Thank you for your perfectly timed email! I’m off to bed to do some breathing.

  • Julie Asiimwe says:

    I have a tried it and I will keep try or using it every time I get stressed I think it’s works. Just curious how u discover all these things?

  • Sandra says:

    I hope followers listen to this piece of advice. I have raised three girls and worked 32 years Child Welfare. I took Lamaze classes twice but never used it in child birth as I had 3 c sections. However, when stress came my way, I used those breathing techniques over and over again??

  • Meredith says:

    You have no idea how perfectly timed this post is Turia! I have a 6 month old wonderful boy but it’s like in this last week the sleep depravation has caught up with me and I just feel awful. I have a wonderful supportive husband but we live away from our families and sometimes I feel like I’m just keeping my head above water. I’ve started getting back into exercise but just not feeling that buzz yet. I will remember your post about breathing and maybe tuck into your book ‘Mindset Magic’. Thank you so much, you just never know how far reaching your messages can be. Love your work!

  • Marion says:

    Hi Turia
    Yep, it works for me.
    I’ve been assisting my clients for many years to learn how to deep breathe when things tend to get out of control.
    I’ve had schoolteachers as clients (what interestingly stressful lives they can lead). I’ve suggested when things are getting tricky in the classroom to get the kids to stop & take 5-10 slow deep breaths to help refocus. What a difference it can make.
    Love your work Turia. I take a lot of it on board for many personal reasons. You’re an absolute inspiration.

  • Annette says:

    Thank you, Turia, for the breathing reminder…seems that mindfulness towards breath sometimes gets lost when I get lost! Always, always…back to the breath. Yes, it makes a difference!

  • Brittany says:

    I have a 1 1/2 year old little guy and a full-time job that also has me traveling quite a bit. (Unfortunately for me, I’m unable to bring the little nugget with when I go, so my husband or my mom steps in). Sometimes, life, work and momming get to be overwhelming and yep – I’ve done the breathing 🙂

    I had a panic attack on the very first night I brought my babe home from the hospital. Classic first time mom, here! Convinced I was having a heart attack, I called an ‘ask-a-nurse’ phone line at my hospital, and the nurse on the other end taught me something I’ll never forget. She talked me through “box breathing”. She told me to close my eyes and envision a box. (I immediately rolled my eyes but gave it a try). Close your eyes and imagine that box. Now breathe in as you trace one side of the box, hold your breath for another side, exhale for the 3rd side, and do nothing for the 4th. . and repeat. A couple times of that and I felt like a different person and a calm washed over me. I’ve never had a panic attack since, but I struggle with anxiety quite a bit and this has helped me out more times than I can count!

    Love reading your emails and following your hilariousness on insta. Love from North Dakota, USA.

  • The suggestion to breathe came at the perfect time today! I’ve meditated for years, focused on breath, but my meditation practice has been sketchy of late. I’m in a very stressful period of my life, lots of changes beyond my control, little time for relaxation. People near and dear to me having serious issues and turning to me for love and comfort — which I give freely. But it takes a toll on me. So I’ll remember to breathe more, its so simple but profound. Thanks for providing that information.

  • Joanne says:

    I’ve done the juggle many times. Sometimes with support, sometimes alone. My most recent juggle, is recovering from surgery, leaving me unable to lift, push, pull, stretch, so basically I can’t do anything I would normally do to run a household. So I need to breathe as I ask for help and my girls get frustrated with me. Not that they don’t want to help, but in their time, not mine. I breathe because I have to let some things go, and am thankful their will be a recovery.

  • Cathy Beer says:

    Thanks, it seems silly to have to be reminded to breathe but when I read this I realised again that I really do need to be reminded. I feel better already using your technique, sitting at work waiting for the onslaught of the day to start. Thanks Turia

  • Andi says:

    My dear Dad always taught us when catching waves at the beach ‘if you get dumped, close your eyes and count slowly to 10, before you know it you’ll be at the surface’. I’m pretty sure that advice saved my life once when caught face-down, underneath a raft going down rapids.
    I think it’s about stopping, regathering yourself and taking a moment.
    Although I’m sure Dads advice was to stop us panicking, it kind of works above water too (and you can breathe instead of holding your breath!!)

  • Lisa says:

    Such a great post, thanks Turia! I have read about breathing but it hasn’t become a regular practice for me though it should! Your suggestion is an easy way to incorporate it into our day. I just tried it and I hadn’t realised how I was clenching my core muscles so tight, I’m almost always a tight ball, clenching muscles without realising so this breathing will sure help me! Thank you.

  • Monica says:

    A mum of two ages 5 and 10 and lots and lots of juggle and overwhelm – your blog post came at the perfect time I was asking myself what the heck to do to calm down! YES! BREATHE DEEPLY AND CONSCIOUSLY A FEW TIMES! Thank you Turia, with all you have to contend with, you are a phenomenal and inspiring individual, mother and wife! You give me strength!

  • Estar says:

    Very simple and practical. I am going to start using the breathing technique. Thanks Turia

  • Maria says:

    When do I need to breathe is when I am dealing with difficult in laws, skids who don’t listen and before work meetings and busy schedules. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed I get so nervous, my hands shake and start to feel nauseous . Thank you for reminding me to breathe! ?

  • Ines says:

    I can relate to the juggle too, my son is 9 and seems to enter puberty already. We started arguing a lot lately. This is a great opportunity to show him the breathing method too!

  • Ambika says:

    Lately i am doing some mind relaxing excercises where i do alot of breathing. But i didnot know about breathing slow and even makes a big difference. Its a great information. I will definitely work on it. Thank you so much. Please keep doing what you do. It does make a difference in someone’s life 🙂

  • Karyn says:

    Anxiety got the better of me today and I couldn’t face going to work. I paced between the bedroom, bathroom and phone so many times asking myself “Should I stay or should I go?” I made myself feel ill. Minutes of angst turned in to hours, too afraid to leave the bedroom. I finally read all of your email about breathing. I have to say breathing as you suggested brought my heart rate back down to normal. For how long it doesn’t matter, but right now that feeling of anxiety has been alleviated. Quite often in times of stress, such a simple technique can be forgotten. Thanks for reminding me Turia.

  • Shelley says:

    I totally understand the juggle. I juggled with 4 kids in five years and now the juggle is even bigger with a business too. I do get overwhelmed at times and my go to is usually a cup of tea and a quick sit down. I am not so overwhelmed today, however I just tried your breathing technique and it is a great re-setter. Thank you for this simple reminder and for every wonderful post to date! x Shelley

  • Donna says:

    Thanks Turia for the reminder of the even breathing out, I have used breathing before when I have felt fearful especially when I’ve been close to having a panic attack. I also use it when I want to respond instead of reacting and saying something I don’t need to say. Thank you for your wise words.

  • Evita says:

    I look forward to your emails Turia. And yes even though im not a mom im a senior manager in a company and sometimes its extremely hectic. I`ll try the breathing Exercises and let you know how it goes !