Last week I shared with you a very personal journey that I've taken with postpartum anxiety. Whether you're a new parent like me or not, anxiety is a very real thing and is not to be pushed down or ignored. One of the healthiest, most therapeutic measures that I took in getting help with my anxiety is actually talking out loud to someone about it. Once I spoke the truth out loud, it felt like I wasn't harboring a big secret anymore. I was free to talk to anyone and everyone and get the appropriate help.
As I mentioned in the last post, taking a prescription medication made a huge difference for me, and truly worked as a bridge in bringing me back to my best self. However, that wasn't "the fix". For me, there were many natural solutions involved in helping diminish my anxiety completely and getting to a place where I no longer felt like I was coping, but thriving. Today I want to share these with you!
Getting into an exercise routine was essential for me to get out my stress and focus on "me" for a dedicated time every day. It was really hard to find the time with a nursing newborn and busy toddler (and my husband's crazy travel schedule for work!), but each workout felt like a victory for my own personal health. Feeling my body heal and strengthen with each workout was absolute therapy. I'm so grateful to Pure Barre, and my sister-in-law Lauren, for keeping me accountable and motivated in my workouts, especially those dreaded 6am-ers!
I kept a log in my journal of everything I was feeling. This really helped me track my personal progression, especially the shifts in my emotions and the situations that triggered them. Then I could go back and see the differences as I was coming out of the anxiety. It's super helpful to look back on it now and see how far I've come!
Seeing a counselor and talking through my feelings helped me identify that I needed more help at home than I had. This was a hard reality to swallow. I often feel like I have so much support and help, and I feel guilty when I feel like I need more, especially because I know others who have much less immediate support than I have. But counseling has helped me realize that I can't compare my needs to other's needs. I just have to get my needs met, whatever that looks like.
I kept doing all the things I loved, like writing this blog! This place is such a healthy practice for me, and a space to exert my creativity and discipline into something that is my own. I also love the community that gathers here, making comments, sharing their stories and connecting. Instagram has become an active extension of that, and all of you who read here and interact have truly been a huge part of my recovery! Thank you for reading and sharing your heart here, it means the world to me and keeps me motivated and inspired to dream up new content to share!
5. Essential Oils.
It was around the time of my son Daxton's birth that I really dove into the world of essential oils. Learning about the power of these oils and how they can aid in everything from headaches to digestion to anxiety and everything in between has truly been a game changer for me and my family. Implementing a series of routines with the oils has helped keep me in a place of calm and peace and I am so grateful that I have found a natural line of defense in these precious plants. Because of my overwhelmingly amazing experience with these precious oils, I shared here this week that I have decided to join Doterra as an essential oils advocate + educator! Hurray for hidden opportunities that emerge out of a dark season!
6. Unplugging and playing.
I started taking intentional time away from my phone and computer, and instead focusing on my kids. That probably sounds like such a line - but I really did! I realized that the constant scroll was keeping me in a place of always feeling like I needed to brainstorm new blog content or immediately respond to an email when it came in. But then I remembered - no, my first and most important job is raising my kids. I don't want them to always see mommy with a phone in her hand. So I started leaving my phone in my bedroom for certain parts of the day. This allowed me to take intentional time to actually play (this gets harder with two kids versus one, because there is always *something else* I should be doing, like folding laundry or cleaning up in the kitchen.) But there is nothing like getting on the floor and playing with blocks or pretending to be super heroes. It really did give me more energy and helped burn off the constant need to be plugged in.
7. Dating my Husband.
Who needs to go on a date? Probably everyone reading this! Stevie and I aren't amazing when it comes to frequency of dates, but we really have been making an effort to go on a date outside of the house at least 1-2 times per month. That connection is just so necessary. Just the other night we went to have fish tacos at this little restaurant around the corner from us, and it was just so good to get out and not cook dinner. It was nothing fancy, we were both wearing sweats and I was wrapped up in his windbreaker, and we sat outside and drank red wine and laughed. If the whole world were to fall away, I know I could count on the good, loving heart of that man, and that makes me the happiest, luckiest girl in this world.
So there you have it, friends. My two cents on the matter. Anxiety is a bear, but its not unstoppable. If you are dealing with anxiety, please please talk to someone close to you and get some help in your life. Ain't so shame in airing your pain! Whatever is going to bring you back to your best self is absolutely worth the effort it takes to get there. All my love to you, friends. xx