(No, I do nottt look like this when I’m at home.)
Okkk, so let’s talk about anxiety…
Mine comes in the form of depression, PSTD and mostly social anxiety. Depression is something I’ve had since I was a child and growing up, I tried a LOT of practices to try to remedy it: the short list includes cognitive therapy, hypnotherapy, yoga/meditation, books + more books, inner child healers, ayahuasca and even crystals.
The thing with depression is that these things may help alleviate day to day, possibly even for years, but I realized for me (almost too late), my brain needed some help chemically. Thank god for medicine! I just started an antidepressant Celexa nine weeks ago and it’s been amazing. It has totally helped lift the edge and the bottom doesn’t feel so “bottom” anymore. It’s even helped with anxiety.
So, now I feel like with the meds, the other forms (like yoga, working out, therapy) really sink in. It was like before, they skimmed the top but I was barely crawling out of the dark.
Side note: I resisted meds for my entire life and was adamant to do the “natural” way. Nope… nothing has worked as much as antidepressants. It’s like my whole world has opened up!
With depression, you “know” all the things you’re supposed to do: eat healthy, exercise, self care (oh, I was and am a pro at self care–massages, staying home with a book + hibernating in bed? Yes pls! #introvertlife) but depression s-u-c-k-s. I always explained it like an elephant was sitting on top of me and no matter what I did, I could barely get out of bed or “do” things. And doing something social? The idea of it was always fun but then when it came time to leave the house, my body was a puddle of clammy nerves. And anxiousness either withdraws me OR I turn into an awkward, forcing-laughter-mess. Which then completely drains me. Ugh, the worst.
So, to the fun stuff… now, with the support of meds (hey, serotonin!), there are ways to alleviate anxiety–hell yes!
You know what, sleep honestly heals everything. Angry? Sleep it off. Feeling sick/drained? Take a nap. When I’m starting to feel depressed, I take a hit of CBD + dream it off (scientific evidence article).
I was never a weed smoker (I’m already a cerebral person + weed just intensifies that, ie: weirdness + paranoia) but I decided to get a vape pen + CBD oil and see what it was all about. CBD is sooo amazing–relaxes everything in the body but doesn’t get in your brain! It totally helps recalibrate trauma in your body and physically break the patterns when anxiety shows up. I wish I had this when my social anxiety was at it’s worst with my sweaty palms + heart racing.
The funny thing is I also got a THC oil (pot) and I smoke that once in awhile. I have had a few interesting experiences of paranoia with it (Weston walked up beside me and I freaked the hell out; forgot who he was for a second lol) but I smoke the THC when I really want to knock out. It gets me feeling super heavy and ready for the deepest sleep.
I was never consistent with exercise before. I was that person who bought 10 pilates classes and used 5 as the rest expired. NOW, I look forward to working out and my body craves those endorphins. I workout almost everyday and mix it up with pilates, yoga, cycling + weight training at home.
I really think pilates is life-changing. I’ve been doing pilates for 7 years (off + on) and it is like no other exercise. Mind-body connection, breathing, lengthening the body and strengthening the core. My legs look longer, thinner but strong now (I used to hate my legs, especially calves).
I’m always itching to travel. Always. If you start feeling like you’re in a rut, getting out of your daily routine and where you live is one of the best ways to reset. Just opening up your perspective and getting to hit refresh on the energy around you is beyond nourishing. You don’t even need to go far—hop in the car and do a little roadtrip somewhere you’ve never been before. It’s such a great gift to yourself.
So, everyone knows dogs are good for us, locking eyes gives us an oxytocin hit, etc but to be honest, when I was in my depressed episodes (before the medication), the dogs didn’t really help. If anything, I felt guilty because I didn’t want them to see me lifeless and sad. It was hard to drag myself outside to do anything with them—I am so lucky to have my husband; otherwise, I don’t know if I could have been there for Weston + Fira.
The amazing thing is dogs don’t judge.. and they don’t keep a score card and remember the times they’ve been out for walks. I think my next post will be about “dog mom guilt” because sometimes it’s hard to take them to the park everyday and have adventures, no matter how much we want to.
Now, this is just my experience, but with the meds it’s become so much easier to get outside and do things. Taking the pups out for a walk gives me an extra pep and I love taking in a new podcast episode while we walk.
Throwing a toy around completely brings me back to the present, cuddles from them feel even fuzzier and whenever I can, I take them out with me! Bringing them with me alleviates some of that social anxiety—my little sidekicks.
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