Since I experience anxiety and depression and have for most of my life, I try to live in a way that deliberately maximises feeling well. 

There are probably times in the day that flow easier than others. You may identify with a part of the day that takes more effort. Mornings have always been hardest for me and therefore I require a series of deliberate acts in order to recalibrate to a better frame of mind. 

Whether it is a slow stretch, sipping warm lemon water, meditating, doing yoga, a walk on the beach or a swim, there are many ways to reset. You might run, do an exercise class or even sing in the shower to your heart’s content. 

Years ago, one of my best friends introduced me to the phrase ‘clearing the cobwebs’ and it resonated deeply. 

She said something like ‘let’s go for walk to clear the cobwebs’. 

This essentially meant the walk would remove the residue in our minds that seemed to be in the way of feeling happy or content. And it did!

But guess what? The cobwebs came back. Again and again. 

This merry-go-round of clearing the debris in our minds and some of the debris returning may serve a valuable purpose. 

It reminds us that our state of wellbeing is an ongoing process and isn’t finite. We have to work at it every day. We have to tend to the environment and conditions, much like farmers do for their fields. Picking the weeds and stones out and watering and feeding what we want to thrive.

We know that as humans we experience the spectrum of feelings. From utter joy and elation, general contentment, anger, sadness or downright despair. Though we’d all like to feel more joyful than despair, we can probably think of times when we haven’t. 

So what can we do to set up the conditions for feeling more contentment and joy? 

We can think of environments we genuinely like to be in and literally go there if possible. If not, we can take some time to visualise. Like a garden, beach, mountain or somewhere else in nature. 

For me, I’m fortunate to live by the sea so it is a constant resource. It is where I clean out the debris in my mind that doesn’t contribute to my wellbeing. It is deliberate and done most days. 

We can think of ways in which our home environment can serve our wellbeing too. We can engage in certain rituals like lighting a soft light or candle or setting up a comfy spot in a part of a room where we can go to deliberately relax and unwind. 

We can also simply practice being present in the here and now no matter where we are. We are so often in the past and future that we neglect the power of breathing in and out and letting that itself be the cleansing or clearing that is needed. 

The next time you feel that there are cobwebs blocking your way, take a moment and consciously act in a way that supports your wellbeing. Again and again. 


  • Dr Deb Roberts has a PhD in public health. She is a writer, speaker, yoga teacher and mental health advocate. American born, she lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, three sons and golden retrievers Sparky and Indi. You can read more of her writing on her blog.