Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Anxiety and Depression

Hi, I'm Kalyn and I deal with anxiety and the occasional bout of depression.

Whew. Talk about getting straight to the point.

Many of you already know this and, to others it may come as a shock. Actually... I hope it's not a shock to anyone. I'm pretty much an open book. I mean, I write a blog about my weight-loss journey/life so yeah, I'd say I'm very much like an open book.

In being an open book, I don't want this very important chapter to be overlooked. Mostly because by sharing this chapter, it might make one more person out there feel less alone in this very common yet, personal struggle.

My anxiety is not something that affects me constantly but, it is very much apart of my story. Especially since becoming a mother. Worrying is just part of the job - amiright?

Anxiety looks different for everyone. I don't want to generalize it or water it down. I also don't want to bore you with too much detail with my specific triggers and such. What I do want to do is share a few ways that I cope with my anxiety that may help you, too.

1. Get an accountability partner. Nick is my person. He knows all about my anxiety and at times, I'd say he identifies my anxiety and knows how to alleviate it more than I do. He reminds me how to work through it and, helps navigate me through the storm, even if it's just by holding my hand until it's over. Find somebody who takes your mental health seriously, like it's their job - it might even actually be their job. Your accountability partner may be a medical professional.

2. Keep talking about it. Man, sometimes I go through such a high-anxiety season that it gets to the point where I don't even want to hear myself talk about it anymore. Just keep talking about it. Don't become quiet.

3. Identify your triggers. Evaluate yourself. Ask your accountability partner or, some friends/family to give you feedback on what they may even notice triggers your anxiety. Take some time to dive deep. This is worth looking into. You are worth taking the time to figure out. Don't just keep muddling through.

4. Practice self-care. Shame and guilt may tell you not to take the time for self-care. In my case, shame and guilt makes me feel like I shouldn't need as much quiet time alone as I do when I'm going through a high-anxiety season. My shame and guilt tries to tell me that I'm a burden when I take the time for self-care. It's not true. When I take the time for self-care, I am better able to care for others. We can't pour from an empty well.

5. Make a list of personal coping mechanisms. This is good to do in advanced and, to look back on when you are in an anxious state. What has helped you to calm down during a high-anxiety time in the past? Write down some tips for yourself to look back on when you're "in the thick of it". My personal list (in no particular order) includes: lighting my lavender & chamomile candle, drinking chamomile tea, listening to calming music, deep breathing exercises, praying to God, writing in my prayer journal, going for a walk alone, talking with Nick, taking a bath, drinking more water, eating healthier foods, etc.

Here's one of my current favorite songs to listen to when I'm feeling anxious.

Honestly, I wasn't even planning on sharing this list or even touching on this topic with you all today but, with all of the recent news of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, it was something heavy on my heart.

Mental health is just as important as physical health and, I'm working on bettering both every day.

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