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Chaos to calm

Life coach Lisa Parkes reveals how to create healthy habits and improve your family's emotional wellbeing.

Sometimes life can feel like one big hamster wheel that we can’t get off. And while we’re stuck going round and round, our emotional health – and that of our family’s – can suffer.

Being busy can be an addiction, a bad habit or a way of avoiding uncomfortable feelings, emotions or situations.

But taking care of our emotional health is important for our wellbeing and we should always find time for it. Too often we prioritise other unhealthy habits over our emotional health – we drink wine, over eat, and get lost in screens and social media for hours. These are just ways to avoid being connected to ourselves and feeling our feelings.

It’s time we created healthy habits, prioritised our mental and emotional wellbeing and faced our feelings. Here are some of the feelings that come up on a daily basis – and how to deal with them:


Disappointment is present for children when they lose or when they feel rejected by their friends or even when we say no to them. It’s normal for them to feel sadness and yet we often try and talk them out of it because it makes us feel uncomfortable.
Top tip: Empathise and validate.



Anger is a complicated emotion. It’s often a mask for softer more vulnerable feelings which we don’t feel safe enough to show. It’s important to remember that anger is an emotion like any other – and we need to feel all of our emotions in order to be able to do what is right for us.
Top tips: Show empathy, have compassion, validated the feelings of anger, set boundaries and stay calm.



Anxiety is so much more common that you think. Anxious adults and children are seeking out safety, and obviously if we don’t feel safe that overspills into other areas of our life. It impacts our parenting and how safe our children feel. We often try to numb it out because it can be exhausting but you can’t selectively numb out feelings so you miss out on joy and happiness too.
Top tip: Remember that anxiety begins with a thought… and that you are in control. Then make friends with your worries, and listen to them.



This crazy busy life means we get swept up in overwhelm and when we feel this way, we procrastinate and achieve nothing. It leaves us feeling stuck and feeling helpless.
Top tip: Prioritise your day in terms of what matters most. Then prioritise your day in terms of how you want to feel.

Creating awareness is the start of being able to understand and see your feelings as messengers. None of our feelings are good or bad. They all have a job to do.

Lisa Parkes – aka the Smiley Coach – hosts a 45 minute online class called The Energy Pod focussing on emotional wellbeing every Monday at 5pm. It’s a weekly workout for families who want to get real about how they feel. Cost is £10 per session. Book here.


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