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Staying merry and bright when the world feels dark and cold

Jojo Fraser with claire from this little house

Staying merry and bright when the world can feel dark or cold isn’t always easy.  I want to share some things that I do in the hope that you will be inspired or encouraged.  But first, I want to remind you to take positive images that you see with a pinch of salt.  Let’s talk about this one below.

On paper, life should have been magic.  It was the end of May, I was reviewing a gorgeous wild swimming spot in Fife, staying in beach view accomodation.  By the sea is my calm space.  We were booked to go on an amazing holiday to Greece a few weeks later.  The first beach holiday in over 3 years, I was delighted.  The week previous had been lovely.  I had been enjoying a great balance of work and play.  I felt excited about life and the mojo injections were flying.  BUT.  The night that this image was taken, I hardly slept a wink.  There was something on my mind that I couldn’t put my finger on.   But I knew it was huge.  With a lack of sleep, my head was spinning with thoughts and anxiety came and hit me so hard.  The next day my mind was racing.  It was spinning out of control.  I had a couple of amazing wild swimming sessions.  But the next night, the anxiety got worse.  I was all over the place.  Come Monday morning, I was a wreck.  I just couldn’t stop crying.  I love a good cry but this was a whole new level.  I just couldn’t stop.  It took me back to January 2020, when behind closed doors, all I could do was cry.  I know from my research, that when we have a panic attack or anxiety comes to hit us hard, it can be because we are out of alignment and that something needs to change. As a result, I became obsessed with working out what that was.  I went into full blown detective mode.  This was confusing and exhausting but I had a lot of amazing support around me not to mention some powerful guardian angels.

A lot of people (on my old Instagram account before it was hacked) commented on this image saying how well and happy I looked.  Yes, I felt happy and excited when it was taken BUT I was about to go on a bit of a journey.  A journey of healing.  A journey which was at times terrifying and utterly exhausting.  But nevertheless, it was a journey that was needed.  I often replace the term breakdown for breakthrough, but I think we need to accept that a breakdown is so hard.  I always love to look for the lessons and be the eternal optimist but I am open to saying – that this breakdown was really really shit.  But when we come out of something like that we learn to truly appreciate everything that shines.

So back to the original question, how can we stay merry and bright when the world can feel dark or cold?

First off, get support and get it fast.  Call your GP if required or speak to trusted family or friends.

Fast forward the clock 6 months and I am sleeping well and being super kind to myself.  But there are days that the inner critic attempts to drag me down.  So what do I do?

I take time to replace any of the negative thoughts with positive ones.  I repeat positive mantras, I smile, I dance.  When my mind tells me to forget about my dreams, hopes and plans, I do a visualisation like the one below.  The brain can’t tell if it is real or not but the energy in our body will change.  I can feel a shift quickly when I reframe with positive words, visualisation, music and breathwork.

I have cold showers or cold plunges.  To help with this I do deep breathing which allows me to last longer.  I do this with lots of other things that I enjoy.

I make something from scratch every day.  Be that a homemade compote for breakfast, a healthy soup or new dish.  I put all my love into it so that it tastes so good.  I see this as a bit of a mindful process and I love to hear that others have really enjoyed it too.

They say that a sea salt bath will raise our energy and vibration. I love to add essential oils to this.

I dance every day to a new song or songs I love.  I keep adding to playlists and I am very open to new songs that are sent to me.

I sing like it is my last day on the planet, every single day.  This instantly raises my vibe.  Music was such a huge, healing part of my recovery.  I am so thankful for music every single day.  It was my best friend at times when I had no words.  It helped me to feel my way through life when I had no idea what was going on.  It helped me connect with my faith in the supernatural world.  There are signs and things that happened that I will never fully be able to explain.  But they gave me 100% clarity that I am so supported and so loved.  I really am thankful for this and it helps me to know that I have so much hope for the future.

I do exercise I enjoy.  I hate HIT workouts so I have stopped them.  I much prefer dancing, walking, spin classes, swimming, twerking.  As long as I have a great playlist, I even enjoy the odd weights session.  I am waiting on getting my running mojo back and being kind to myself. Bonnie is now 10 years old and has stolen my latest pair of running shoes.  So I am seeing that as a sign to hold off.  Maybe that is just an excuse but I know I will get there.  Don’t waste your time doing something you hate.  Do what feels effortless or helps you to feel amazing.

Journalling.  Some days I have found it hard to journal.  But even if you can write one sentence, perhaps borrowed from a book or a song.  Just keep it simple, start small and in no time you may well be flowing all over the page.

Get by the beach as often as you can. It’s amazing for clarity.

On the days that your mind is foggy, be gentle with yourself.  Watch something that makes you laugh.  See someone you have great vibes and chemistry with.  Be super kind to yourself.

I could go on and on but I am getting hungry.

You got this !

Jojo Fraser - motivational speaker and wellness author/podcaster

Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate.   She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio.  Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all.  She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.

Connect with her across social @jojofrasermojo

Instagram (the old account was hacked)

Listen to her Tedx talk about the power of removing our masks.

Contact –


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