Scared of Public Speaking? Tips from an Anxious Comedian

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] The first time I ever spoke in front of a large audience, I was terrified. Even the (ironic) comfort that the topic was “my fear of public speaking” didn’t help. My legs trembled so hard that I worried I might fall over. I could barely concentrate on what […]

Feeling Scared as Lockdown Ends? An Anxious Human Explores Some Feelings

It’s June, 2020, and here in the UK the coronavirus lockdown is relaxing. (Actually, it’s not at all relaxing, it’s extremely stress-inducing, but you know what I mean.) Like most people, I’ve struggled with isolation and stress during these early stages of the pandemic but now that some aspects of daily life are returning to […]

Nostalgia, Regret and the Coronavirus Lockdown

As I write, it’s day fifty-one of not seeing any other humans. And, just in case you’re reading from the future, I should stress that that’s not purely by choice. We’re in lockdown to avoid spreading a deadly disease. During lockdown, I’ve experienced many feelings. I’ve been through the ups and downs, the spurts of […]

Death Anxiety & Change in Life

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] During my regular comedy talk about anxiety there’s an important moment: the first time I mention my experience of suicidality. A hush usually falls on the room, in sharp contrast to the earlier laughter. After a few seconds, I puncture the tension with a simple acknowledgement: “Cheery, this […]

It’s Okay to Be Bad at Things

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” – G. K. Chesterton Last week I was overcome with paralyzing guilt after slightly miscooking a sausage sandwich. Don’t worry—the sandwich was delicious. But even as I was putting it together, a critical internal voice was opining that the pan had been too hot, […]

How to Have No Regrets

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Once upon a time, my parents took me to the zoo. This day is full of memories which have stuck with me ever since—the sunshine, the excitement, the ice cream… even holding hands with my dad, watching eagerly as he unfolded the map. One of the sharpest and […]

How to Tolerate Uncertainty When Waiting

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Ding. You’ve Got Mail. Later, you will think, “I really ought to turn off that notification. It’s not 1997.” But right now, other things are on your mind. Your throat is tight, your heart is thumping, and you’re nervously staring at that bold subject line which has appeared […]

A Simple Trick to Sidestep Self-Criticism

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Sometimes I’m ashamed to share my work. You might think that’s understandable (particularly if you’ve been exposed to many of my posts before!) but this isn’t just a healthy sense of shame at my evident limitations.  Often, it’s fear of my own unoriginality. That inner voice of shame […]