Scanning headlines, flicking channels and scrolling Facebook? A constant stream of exposure about Coronavirus can keep us in a heighten state of anxiety….. Not to mention… the exposure of incorrect facts, misinformation and everyone else’s opinions and fear based thinking. 

Instead…. STOP scrolling but stay informed 

Be mindful about the Facebook groups you are following and the news articles you are reading….. are they REALLY helpful?

Instead stay informed with credible sources such as:

Australian Government Department of Health


World Health Organization




Don’t be like Alice and fall down a rabbit hole…. The rabbit hole of WORRY….

You know the one…. 

The one filled with …

What If’s…..

Mind reading 

Catastrophizing …..

Making assumptions……

And worse case scenarios 

I am NOT saying be ignorant…….NO be informed and be prepared

Just keep in mind that:

1: We often OVERESTIMATE the likelihood of something happening 

2: We often OVERESTIMATE how bad things might be if they do happen

3: We often UNDERESTIMATE our ability to cope with them if they do happen 

In times of uncertainty and unpredictability we are far more likely to feel anxious and stressed and it is VERY easy to fall down the rabbit hole of worry…. we should stay informed and plan…. Be PROACTIVE not REACTIVE 




The term social distancing does not mean social isolation….. In fact ….. think of it more like Physical Distancing….

In times of uncertainty and anxiety we need to maintain social connections….. This might just look a bit different.

Work meetings becomes Skype meetings

Playgroups become virtual playdates

Friday night drinks now become FaceTime Drinks 

Remember the times of pen pals??

And ….Therapy sessions become online sessions …. With the added benefit of wearing comfy pants….:) 




Taking appropriate, proactive action toward prevention helps to keep anxiety at bay. Taking action helps us feel more in control of the things we have control over.

The World Health Organization recommends a number of protective measures against the coronavirus, including to: 

  • wash your hands frequently
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • stay at home if you begin to feel unwell until you fully recover
  • seek medical care early if you have a fever, cough or experience  breathing difficulties. 




Whether or not you like it… The saying “You Can’t Take Care of Others Unless You Take Care of Yourself First” rings true…. Especially now, in this time of uncertainty. 

Everyone is different when it comes to self care, you just need to find what works for you and make sure you do it!


  • maintaining good social connections and communicating
    openly with family and friends
  • making time for activities and hobbies you enjoy
  • keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet,
    exercising regularly, getting quality sleep and avoiding the use
    of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to cope with stress
  • practising relaxation, meditation and mindfulness to give your
    body a chance to settle and readjust to a calm state. 




If you feel that the stress or anxiety you or your child experience as a result of the coronavirus is impacting on everyday life, a psychologist may be able to help. 

Psychologists are highly trained and skilled in providing effective interventions for a range of mental health concerns, including stress. A psychologist can help you manage your stress and anxiety using techniques based on the best available research. 

It can be tempting to put things like your mental well being on “hold” during times of stress. However, the opposite is true. This is the time to ensure you are receiving to best possible support for your emotional and mental health. 

Many Psychologist are now offering psychology services via secure online platforms or telephone so that you do not need to travel to see a psychologist. Ask your psychologist or GP for details. 


Stay Safe, Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands… We are all in this together

Melissa Johnson
Psychologist | Mindset Coach | Keynote Speaker


Melissa Johnson, is an experienced clinician and the director of Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic based in the heart of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, QLD. Melissa has extensive experience  treating a full range of clinical conditions including: anxiety, stress, burnout, depression, bipolar, trauma and PTSD, obsessive disorders and pain management. Melissa has a special interest in postnatal adjustment, anxiety, stress, professional burnout and behaviour change and habit formation. She works with families in the perinatal period who are trying to conceive, progressing through pregnancy and adjusting to  a new born baby.  And with busy professionals experiencing chronic stress and anxiety, burnout and struggling to establish the elusive work life harmony. She is passionate about using her skills and experience to educate and inspire and create long term change both in therapy and as a writer and keynote speaker.  

If you would like to book an appointment with Melissa you can call our clinic on P: 0428 088 671 or email on


Are You Subscribing To The School Of “WHAT IF”

What If……..

What If …. I fail my exam

What If…. My partner rejects me

What If… My boss says no

What If… My fiends don’t like me

What If… I look like an idiot

Subscribing to the School Of WHAT IF is engaging in the What IF type of thinking. Often we spend a signifiant about of emotional and physical energy worrying about something that may or may not even happen. It is a complete drain on your resources and prevents you from focusing on what is important to you in the here and now

Here is a quick video on some quick re diversion techniques to UNSUBSCRIBE from the school of WHAT IF

ABOUT: Melissa Johnson

Melissa is the Principal Psychologist and Director of Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic, a private psychology clinic based in Buddina in the heart of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, QLD. Melissa has extensive experience  treating a full range of clinical conditions including: anxiety, depression, bipolar, trauma and PTSD, obsessive disorders and pain management.  She has a particular interest working with families in the perinatal period who are trying to conceive, progressing through pregnancy and adjusting to  a new born baby.  And with busy professionals experiencing chronic stress and anxiety, burnout and struggling to establish the elusive work life harmony. If you would like to book an appointment with Melissa you can call our clinic on P: 0428 088 671 or email on

***Your Probably NOT going to FEEL Like it!***

🧡Motivation Is Rubbish – Part 2🧡

Here’s the thing, sometimes we actually forget we CAN CHOOSE our action!

Instead we don’t take action because we don’t have the “Motivation” or we “Don’t feel like it”……. guess what…….Your Never Going To Feel Like It!!!!

Now that we have established that waiting for the motivation or waiting to “feel” like it is a bad strategy…… WHAT are we supposed to do??

Choose your action……..
Take action……. despite NOT feeling like it.

No one every “feels” like getting up early to get stuff done ……. But we KNOW it will make us feel less stressed, accomplished, in control, successful.

No one ever “feels” like having that difficult conversation. ………. But we KNOW if we do…. we might just get that raise, get promoted, leave a volatile relationship.

No one ever “feels” like stepping out of their comfort zone……….But we KNOW if we do we might just achieve something amazing

No one ever “feels” like taking a risk, doing something different, trying something new…… even though we KNOW it may be exactly what we need to do!

So …. if we KNOW what we need to do….. why can’t we do it?????

Because, our brain is wired to stop us from change…… it’s wired to keep you doing exactly what you always do….. I know ……. NOT helpful!!!

So….. new strategy……..

Take action!!! …..Despite not feeling like it….. despite not having motivation to do it…. despite all the excuses your mind will throw at you!

Firstly, make sure what you want to do is actually important to you!

Make sure it is aligned with your values!

Make sure your not just doing it because everyone else it!


Be clear about what you want to achieve… I.e “get fit” “be healthy” “run a half marathon” “stop drinking” “stop smoking” “be more organised” “look after myself”. ….

Then consider HOW you are going to do it. Check your diary, schedule it in, ask a friend to meet you, join a group, see a psychologist, get a PT, get a mentor, study, google, watch YouTube videos……. what ever you need to do to be clear about the how….. schedule it in!!

Then….. spend some time really thinking about how it will FEEL when you get there… imagine how it will feel, what it will look like, what others will see… really put yourself there!!! Create an image in your mind of your SUCCESS and regularly call up on this when you need.

AND repeat after me…..



P.S .. If you would like to know more, would like help choosing your action, would like help taking action. Give us a call.

Melissa Johnson
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic

*** Motivation Is …… Rubbish ***

“I just don’t have the motivation”
“I don’t feel motivated”
“If I could just get motivated”
“When I get the motivation I will…..”

Do these sound familiar????

The problem is waiting for the motivation or trying to “find” motivation BEFORE you take action is NOT a good tactic.

Why??? Motivation is fickle…. it’s rarely there when you need it! ….. Motivation Is Rubbish!

How often do you “feel” motivated the night before … you say “Right!… tomorrow morning I am definitely getting up and going for a run!”

…… and then at 4:45am in the cold and dark your alarm goes off….. Motivation… GONE!

Your mind quickly kicks in with 101 excuses why you shouldn’t get up…… “it’s too cold” “I’ll start tomorrow” “who cares” “I deserve a sleep in” “I’m tired” “I’ll do it later” … sound familiar?

Or perhaps it’s this…..

You wake up in the morning and say… “right! ….. tonight I am having an alcohol free night!!!” ….. and then it’s 5pm…. and … Motivation…. GONE!

Your mind quickly kicks is with 101 excuses why you should have a drink……. “I deserve it” “I’m stressed” “it’s been a hard day” “I need to wind down” “I’ll start tomorrow” “who cares” “a few won’t matter”…… you get the idea.

The same applies to so many other examples:
“I won’t eat chocolate”
“I will clean the house”
“I will clean the car”
“I will ask the boss for a promotion”
“I will go to gym”

Motivation…… GONE
This is why motivation is rubbish, this is why waiting for the motivation doesn’t work…

What does work???


TAKE ACTION despite lack of motivation, TAKE ACTION that is aligned with your goals, TAKE ACTION even if you don’t “feel” like it.

****Stay tuned for part 2 with a few of my tips on how to take action in the absence of motivation****

Melissa Johnson
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic

**** IMAGINE THIS!*** Imagine a job where you work about 12 – 24 hrs (give or take) EVERYDAY…….. with no pay!

Imagine a job where you work about 12 – 24 hrs (give or take) EVERYDAY…….. with no pay!

Imagine a job where there is no sick leave, no annual leave, no holidays……..

Imagine a job where there are no toilet brakes and no shower breaks………. well……….actually there is……..HOWEVER, the catch is you must use the toilet and shower with the door open….. usually while someone is looking at you, talking to you, asking questions or trying to pull all the toilet paper off the roll!

Imagine a job where you get to clean up wee and poo. You get spat on, bitten and vomited on and those same people sometimes tell you …… “I HATE YOU” or “YOU’RE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE”

Imagine a job where you cook meals and those same meals get flicked on the ground……also for you to clean up!

Imagine a job where some day’s it is so overwhelming, stressful, anxiety provoking and worrisome

Imagine a job with no role description…… no feedback……non manual…….. A job where everyone seems to have an opinion on what you SHOULD DO and HOW YOU SHOULD DO IT. Each opinion is different and some very conflicting.

Imagine a job where you are constantly filled with doubt and guilt that you might have got it wrong, stuffed it up, you yelled, you wanted to run away.

ALL THIS…………………….

AND …………………………

MOST DAYS……. YOU ACTUALLY HAVE MOMENTS OF JOY AND LOVE…… OK, OK…… I said SOMEDAYS AND MOMENTS!!!!! I did not say all day…. everyday…….. Sometimes it just SUCKS….. But you do it anyway.

Sometimes those same people tell you they “LOVE YOU” they say “THANK YOU” they eat the food, they give you a hug, they smile at you, they say things like “I’M SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE”.



WHY…… Because this is a PARENTS LIFE!!!!!…… THIS IS A PARENTS JOB!!!!……..

Sometimes it can feel way TOO much….. The OVERWHELM AND JUGGLE can get on top of you. And guess what???? THAT IS OK?


P.S… If you feel like the overwhelm is all consuming….. And you can’t keep up the juggle……Give us a call. Psychologist, Melissa Johnson has a special interest in helping mums, parents and care givers to improve the balance and more importantly acknowledge the confidence and courage they already possess.

P.P.S ….The mess will still be there later…….. The dishes will always wait to be washed…….. It’s time for you.


Melissa Johnson
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic
PH: 0428 088 671



Does This Sound Familiar? You wake up, and the chaos begins… You feel your stress start to rise. You are busy getting the children dressed, feed and ready for school, all the while battling complaints about the breakfast they didn’t like (even though they loved it yesterday).

You are trying to pack lunches …..where are the lunch boxes!!!…. again, they have disappeared into a black hole. Your stress levels rise a bit more.

And just when you start to think you might just make it to school on time… FOR ONCE!! Your child produces a note from their school bag, (which has been there for a week).The note states your child is encouraged to wear an orange T-Shirt …….TODAY! And you need to donate a gold coin!

Your stress now jumps up a few more notches….. while you frantically search for an orange shirt … Orange of all colours!! Really! And then scrounge around for some coins in the bottom of your bag.

By now, you a reaching RED ZONE stress levels. You quickly throw on some clothes and try to look presentable and if your lucky manage some breakfast or coffee. Your nearly there……but getting the children’s shoes on and putting them into the car feels like an absolute marathon!…. Please everyone just get in the car!


Perhaps you can relate to this:

You are on your way home from a really hard day at work. Work has been stressful lately, colleagues complaining, managers demanding, deadlines looming and a to-do list which is overwhelming!

You have already worked back too many times this week and your driving home…. about to pull up in the driveway and your filled with stress, anxiety, worry and overwhelm. You know that waiting inside is a well meaning partner who will want to chat, children that will demand attention, a dog that needs to be walked ….. but your exhausted!!!

You already feel like your stress levels are at MAZ, your on edge! You feel like you have nothing left to give!


Your busy, so I will try and keep it brief. Basically there is an amazing part of your brain the size of an almond that is responsible for keeping you alive, your Amygdala.

When there is a threat e.g a Tiger pounding out from behind a bush or someone walking in front of your car…. your Amygdala senses the threat and sends a signal to your Sympathetic Nervous System. This system acts like a FOOT ON THE ACCELERATOR.

This is your stress response. Great!……… If there is a Tiger running after you!! However, in the modern day this stress response (sympathetic nervous system) is triggered almost daily, at times…… all day. After a while the sympathetic nervous system sends a signal to the adrenal glands and you will be flooded with adrenaline and your stress hormone (Serotonin) is now pumping at maximum levels through your body……. AND YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T EVEN LEFT THE HOUSE YET!!!!!

Running late for work……. Stress Response

Hit too many red lights……. Stress Response

Children taking too long to get ready…… Stress Response

Annoying colleague…… Stress Response

To do list…… Stress Response.

You get the picture.

Unfortunately, chronic activation of the stress response can lead to mental and physical exhaustion, anxiety, depression, unhappiness and burnout.


BREATHE…… I know, I know ….it can be really annoying when someone tells you to BREATHE! …….“I don’t need to breathe…. I just need to get stuff done!!”

But really …..taking a few moments before walking into the house, before entering work, at the red light, or when feeling overwhelmed….. really DOES help.

It has many names….Belly breathing, Diaphragm breathing, Controlled breathing, Effective breathing, Deep breathing…. it’s all the same.

Breathing is your chance to communicate to your body to take the foot OFF THE ACCELERATOR (switch off the sympathetic nervous system) and put your foot ON THE BREAK (engage the rest and digest systems)

This allows you to STOP and RESET. With practice you can stop feeling as if a Tiger is chasing you and RESET allowing you to be more mindful and engage in the present in a more effect way. You can communicate more effectively with your partner or colleague. You can tackle that to do list in a more engaged productive way. You can manage your children better. You can respond rather that react

Learning to Stop and Reset is a valuable skill.

Keep an eye out for upcoming tips and information on breathing and other Mindfulness strategies to help you Stop and Reset. This month at Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic is “Mindfulness In May with Melissa” so stayed tuned to Facebook.


P.S…. If you need to learn how to take the foot off the accelerator and would like individualised treatment strategies, don’t hesitate to get in touch to learn more.

Melissa Johnson
Psychologist/ Director
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic


Hey Super Mum. Are you like me, are you a NOT so “Super Mum”? Do you feel pressure to be busy? To tick all the boxes? Do you feel the need to be able to say ….. YES
YES ….I go to yoga, pump class, have a clean house, never wear clothes that are not ironed or stained.
YES…. my children are angels, yes I only feed my children organic, made from scratch food. Yes I always love and appreciate my partner, Yes I love cooking and cleaning. Yes we don’t own screens and my children never watch TV
Yes… I’m a great friend, I always text back immediately.
Yes…. I love every minute with my children… even when they have woken up 5 times every night for the past week, even when they smeared poop on the wall, even when they are throwing a tantrum in the shopping centre and I am carrying one under my arm while pushing the trolley one handed…. and where is the other child gone??
YES ….. I have my sh!# together, YES I have a well balanced life, Yes I Love my life!!!
YES…. I am 100% confident in my ability as a mum, partner and NEVER have self doubt.
Guess what! There is no such thing! Yes I know we may see this in social media and sometimes with our friends. However, please remember that Insta photo, Facebook post or coffee with a friend is just a moment in time. It’s a snap shot. Please don’t compare yourself to these snapshots.
Two Things:
1. It’s ok to strive towards a balanced life. In fact, I advocate it. I strongly believe in exercise, nutrition and mummy time. However, when “ticking the boxes”, make sure they are boxes YOU WANT TO TICK. Boxes that are important to you. Boxes you like to do. If you don’t like yoga… don’t do it. Find something else for YOU.
2. There is no such thing as perfect! Nope, only imperfection. Take imperfect action and be ok with the crappy days and be thankful for the smoother days.
P.S ****************
If you feel like the duck on the pond. Looking beautiful and graceful on top and padding like crazy underwater. I can help. As a Psychologist of 10 year’s and a mother of 2 boys under the age of four. I am busy like you and I love helping mums with finding the balance that’s right for them. I love helping mums find their confidence. I love helping mums shift their mindset. I love helping mums quiet that inner critic.
If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Until then…. be an IMPERFECT mum x
Melissa Johnson
Psychologist/ Director
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic
0428 088 671