Happy Saturday evening all! Let’s dive right into it!
So, I listen to a podcast (pretty much religiously) called My Favorite Murder every week. Ironically, as someone with anxiety, I’ve been a full blown murderino forever, and I’m proud of it. One of the main reasons I love this podcast so much is because Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff talk very openly about their own mental health and their struggles.
Open discourse about mental health is something that is definitely lacking – not just in this country, but in modern society as a whole. Depression and anxiety have a connotation of being shameful, and something we “just don’t talk about”. Bipolar disorder is now a celebrity fad (believe me, having lived with an older sibling with diagnosed bipolar disorder, it is anything and everything but a fun time), and schizophrenia is largely misunderstood by the public. PTSD and RTS are marginalized, and characterized as something “weak” people get, or as an altogether fabrication by the person diagnosed with it. However, as a culture, we need to understand that these are all very real, very serious things that have real affects on peoples’ lives, personalities, and families.
So, in order to help work towards that (and with the understanding that I cannot change the entire problem), I am going to have a casual discussion about how I deal with my anxiety on a daily basis. I don’t take any medications – if you think you may need medications for your own anxiety, you should contact a therapist for an appointment and discuss it with them. The first way I learned to deal with anxiety – mostly stemming from some abusive relationships, among other things – was to bake. I love baking, and no matter what, baking turned out right. As you can imagine, this wasn’t great for my waistline, but it did help me find a passion and start my first business in undergrad – I baked cupcakes and delivered them to different events or to other students.
After finishing undergrad – which included being at an insanely stressful school, having a breakup of someone I had thought I might marry at one point in time, who was also very manipulative and verbally abusive, and joining an amazing sorority which helped me to find my voice, my passions, and my ability to lead, I wanted to get into better shape. One of my sorority sisters and advisers was (and still is!) a beachbody coach, and I got started with Insanity. It’s still one of my favorite workouts, and I found that I had less anxiety about myself, my body, and overall worrying after doing very hard workouts every day. I instantly became hooked! Yes, exercise is very addicting, but for good reasons! As my favorite movie lawyer says “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” And, I think Marc appreciates that I’m happy and therefore, won’t shoot him hahahahahaha (jk, I’d never do that I promise!). I eventually became a coach myself, and have continued my fitness journey and helped others to start theirs! One thing that helps my social anxiety is actually knowing I am making a difference for someone else. Working out daily has also done wonders for my PCOS
I have also developed some hobbies – reading, shooting, cooking healthy foods, and most recently knitting and brush pen lettering! I practice just about every day, and I’m excited to see what I can do with these newer hobbies! I also use my reading hobby to learn more – I switch between fiction and non fiction :). I’ve also been getting really into makeup, which has also helped my self esteem a lot.
So, what are some of the ways you combat your own anxiety or other mental health issues? What do you do when you have a breakdown? Let me know – I’d love to start conversations with others about their own methods for dealing with anxiety, stress, and mental illness!