Anxiety


You are about to get to know me really well guys.

When someone recently said that "my life looked so great (totally referencing to what they see on social media)," I thought to myself... well, yes, mostly it really is. I mean, I don't really curate the things I do for social media. I actually do those things in "real life" and then try and just make what I'm already doing look pretty for the camera. But, it's easy to look at pictures of everyone's "happy moments" and convince yourself that your life isn't nearly as awesome as theirs (I've done this so many times). And this is the troubling part about social media. 

Anyway, I've been meaning to write this post for some time, and hearing those words prompted me to get it done. Because, you know, we are all only human. I've got shit I deal with, you've got shit you deal with, and we all have shit we deal with. The stuff you don't always see on social media. Pardon my language.

For me, anxiety has been a huge, shitty (haha- ok, done cursing) beast to deal with. And I've been dealing with this since my early 20's. I even remember the birth, so to speak, of my anxiety. It basically came out of nowhere. I had a really bad stomach ache after returning home from a trip to Costa Rica when I was 20. I started semi-panicking that I caught something while I was there. That then led to my heart beating irregularly and before you knew it, I was at the doctors office freaking out, making sure I was okay.

We did some testing and the doctor said I was fine, but those following few weeks I kept getting a number of "strange" symptoms. Real symptoms. So, I went back to a different doctor, only getting close to the same feedback, except this doctor wanted to explore more possibilities. Blood tests, heart monitors, an ultrasound... you name it. Each week from that point on, it was a new symptom or a new sensation that brought on another fear. When I say I've seen just about every doctor out there, I'm not kidding. 

On the bright side, this is where I began my journey and interest into natural health. I was scared, and this lingering fear of something being wrong with my body frightened the crap out of me. Every doctor had a pill for my symptoms and having to take medication only further perpetuated my fears. So, I took matters into my own hands and tried to heal myself. 

I started to eat really well, exercise often and I overall started feeling so much happier and healthier. You can't deny the power of eating well and exercising. But, the anxiety was still there. Just more manageable

The anxiety I deal with is a bit different now. After Parker was born it turned into more of this constant worry. Like CONSTANT... to where I get this overwhelming fear that something bad is going to happen way too often. Like, maybe we shouldn't go on that trip... WHAT IF? What if THIS happened, what if THAT happened... and then I start going through the motions like it is real life and visualizing the worst case scenario always. Of course I still have my hypochondriac moments too, but I feel like I am a little more realistic about them. I'm better at helping myself not overthink it these days.

This all might sound crazy to some of you, and to others, you might know exactly what I'm talking about. I've realized that anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes. I don't know everything there is about anxiety, but I will tell you that there are some things I have done that have really helped me manage everything. Although anxiety definitely influences my wellbeing, I still do almost everything I want to do. It isn't debilitating for me like it has been in the past. I don't take prescription medication and I don't go to a psychologist any longer (I've done both and would highly suggest that you start with a mental health professional or with a naturopath like I mention below). In fact, I don't even think most people I know, know that I struggle with this. Ultimately, I've just found that for my own journey, what I do on a daily basis has helped immensely and hopefully you might find some of these simple things helpful too.

Here are my top tips to help with anxiety:

1. Eat well: Feed your body the right foods to help support your mood.  Less processed foods, less sugar, less alcohol, less coffee and more healthy fats, superfoods and warm foods. This is hands down, the most important tip.

2. Exercise: I actually turn to exercise if I'm feeling really anxious. It gets your mind off of "your mind" and onto something else. Cardio, weight training, yoga, whatever it is. I can say, I've never felt worse after exercising. ; )

3. See a Naturopath: I whole heartedly believe in the care given to each person by an ND. I also believe in the power of natural medicine and the referrals one can give you to therapists and other providers.

4. Acupuncture: Getting this twice a month has done wonders for my anxiety. It also keeps my whole body feeling healthy. Just make sure you find a good one! I've seen a few mediocre acupuncturists.

5. Do more: Contrary to what you most likely want to do, following through with the things that make you anxious really helps. It isn't easy getting yourself to do it, but when you realize you can do things that you are fearful of, your fear of doing it subsides. Hence, the camping in the middle of nowhere photo above... looks great, was great, but wasn't easy for me.

6. Breath work and meditation: The 4-7-8 breathing exercise from Dr. Weil is one of my favorites. Don't knock it until you've tried it for at least a week!

7. Supplement: There are some great supplements out there that help ease anxiety and/or are important for your mental health. L-theanine, B vitamins, probiotics, fish oil, and magnesium are some of my favorites. Talk to a Naturopath or a health professional about a supplementation plan.

8. Have a supportive partner, friend or family member: My husband has been such an integral part in helping me manage my anxiety. He listens when I just want to tell him what's going on in my head, never judges, but always encourages me to recognize that much of what is going on in my mind is anxiety. He constantly urges me to push through my fears, which is exactly what I need. If you don't have someone that can help tell you "you are ok" I'd highly recommend reaching out to your partner, friend or family member to ask them to be that person for you.

9. Get educated: I would strongly suggest reading books about mindfulness. A couple of my favorites are The Power of Now and Spontaneous Happiness. There is also a class currently on Mind Body Green ---> click here.

10. Unplug: Spending too much time on social media, watching or reading the news and browsing the internet can really fuel anxiety. Do yourself a favor and take a break from the things that don't serve you.

Most importantly, don't be afraid to get help. In fact, I highly suggest you don't try and figure it all out on your own. There was a point in my life where I had to take prescription medication just to calm me the heck down. And that was what I needed at that point in my life. Be okay with accepting the things you need to get you to a better place.

I'll be sharing more tips (like aromatherapy, my favorite peaceful feeling tea and more soon). As always, I love hearing other peoples stories. If you've experienced something similar or have any great tips, now that my comment box is finally working, comment or email me!

XO

4 comments

  1. 🙌🏻This is great! Thank you for sharing! Also lavender lemonade has been so relaxing, and tasty for me lately!

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    1. That sounds amazing, Chels! I need the recipe!

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  2. Hi,
    My friend passed this along to me the other day. It's crazy to find someone who has the exact same anxiety issues. Mine also started in my 20s but I never really worried that much.. I figured I had ibs (since I had constant belly aches)and had tons of testing done. After my mom passed away from some issues but also malpractice my anxiety took real shape. Then I had my first daughter and that's when the fears stuck. Every new body sensation is something horrible. When I go to the doctor now I almost break out in a sweat even if it's a routine checkup. I'm constantly thinking the worst and now I have hbp which if I'm in the bad spiral I think will give me a stroke at any min. When I'm out of the fog.. since my anxiety gives me this crazy fog world, it's like nothing happened. Good food, constant workouts and staying busy are the only things that's have helped so far. Unfortunate I'm based in a country now where there isn't too much English but I am looking for a natural doctor which is very common here. I can feel myself getting off track this week so I need to go workout. Thanks for sharing and I would love to check in again!

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    1. Wow, what a story! I'd love to learn more about what's going on. I'm going to private message you!

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