Friday I sat in the lobby of my OBGYN anxiously waiting for my prescriptions to be filled, and wondered why mental health was talked about so much less than physical health. They were taking quite awhile so I started getting deep into thought and came to the conclusion that without mental health a physical body is useless. Yet, on a daily basis I hear more about physical health like hair, skin, nails, body size, muscle tone, etc, way more than I ever hear about mental health. And when mental health does pop up in conversation it’s usually associated negatively.
As I came to that conclusion it made a little more sense as to why I felt so overwhelmed with the thought of “having anxiety”. I was anxious about having anxiety, ironic right? And part of having this so called “anxiety” is overthinking things, which is exactly what I was doing. So instead, I decided to take a step back and ask my followers how many of them had depression or anxiety. Not to my surprise, more than half responded with being diagnosed with one or the other! Then I asked if they had found something that helped them to please share it with me and the responses were awesome!
Throughout my life I’ve always been more on the anxious side of things, I like to be in control of my surroundings, I’m slightly OCD, I hate surprises, I love to have everything organized and planned but I’d never consider myself to actually “have anxiety” until these past few months. The doctor said it is most likely due to a lack of sleep, the overall phase of life I’m in, or possibly a hormonal imbalance post baby. Either way, I’m hoping it’s just situational and with the help of these different new habits, natural remedies, and medication if needed I’ll be feeling back to myself in no time.
For those of you who don’t know what anxiety feels like you’re lucky. Most people have experienced it in their lives at one point or another. For me, it’s been like my brain is running a never ending marathon. It goes and goes and goes, I can’t seem to shut it off. I’ve been left with 3-4 nights a week where I’m still awake and the sun is coming up. That doesn’t work well when you’re a mother of two, a business owner and student. I kept thinking it would go away on its own but it still hasn’t, so that’s why I finally decided to be proactive about it.
Most of the things aside from the prescription medications were actually great things for anyone to do to help improve overall mental health. It would take me all night to write every suggestion and tip I was given from doctors, therapists, and people who have been there. A lot of them were similar so I’ll give you the general overview and if you have any questions feel free to reach out! Clearly, I’m not an expert by any means but it’s something I’m actively researching and trying to overcome myself so I’d love to help if I can.
SLEEP: One of the number one things my doctor suggested is sleep. Apparently lack of sleep can be a huge cause for anxiety. Putting my phone down a few hours before bed is something I’ve literally never done before and I’ll be the first to admit it seems impossible. However, that is supposedly a way to help improve sleep patterns and overall quality of rest so it’s something I’m working on that may help you too!
MEDITATION & YOGA: This one was suggested by almost everyone and apparently there are hundreds of ways to achieve this whether it’s an online mediation app, at home yoga, hot yoga in a studio or silent meditation. Overall the idea is to silence your brain and focus on the positive in life in connecting with the movement of the body. It’s been over a year since I’ve personally been to a yoga class. I used to go almost everyday at Equinox when I live in New York City and I can honestly say it did make me a happier individual so after being reminded of these benefits I can’t wait to find a new studio and go again!
EXERCISE: This is an obvious one that is often times overlooked. It’s pretty much common sense but the endorphins that are released after breaking a sweat create happiness in the brain and have even been shown to help balance hormones over time.
SUPPLEMENTS: Some of the popular suggestions were Melatonin, Magnesium, “CALM”, CBD Oil, Fish Oil, Ashgwanda, GABA, 5-HTP, Essential Oils, and the list goes on. Everyones body needs different things so obviously check with a NUTRITIONIST or do your own personal research before taking these! This is just to give you a starting point. Personally I had no clue where to begin.
DIET: This goes hand in hand with the supplements but basically the healthier you eat the happier you will supposedly be. I’m still not entirely sold because my soul does actually feel happier after eating ice cream. Only kidding. Overall healthy eating in this day varies person to person with all of the different eating lifestyles so find one that makes you feel good and stick to it. Consistency is key.
BOOKS: So many people suggested books as their way to get back to happy. Some of the titles I love that were being suggested to me to revisit were.
- The Bible
- The Secret
- You Are A Badass
- Do Cool Shit
- The Four Agreements
- The Mastery of Love
- Think And Grow Rich
I also had a few that were new that I have ordered and haven’t read yet, so be on the lookout, if they’re worthwhile I’ll mention them in my IG stories.
ACUPUNCTURE & MASSAGE: Alone the thought of acupuncture gives me anxiety so I can’t personally tell you it will help but I did have some people say it helped them. Massage is obvious, but I had totally overlooked it, guess it’s time to pull out that gift card I’d been saving for a rainy day. I also had a few people say body work helped them.
MEDICATIONS: There were several different medications and many different doses that worked differently for everyone who shared. When choosing a medication like this it is OBVIOUSLY best to SPEAK TO A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL!
After paying more attention this past week I’d say everyone at some point in their life has some sort of mental health issue whether we’d like to admit it or not. I think that it’s time mental health is more widely recognized and talked about. At the end of the day we are all in this together. If you see someone who just isn’t acting like themselves instead of judging them remind them who they are and help them get back to themselves. There are several ways to improve mental health but the first step comes with awareness.
Cheers to me becoming a better me and you becoming a better you!