Anxiety. Depression. Sometimes it creeps in.
You felt fine yesterday but today your chest is tight, your mind is running, or maybe it’s that you don’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes there’s a reason for it, and sometimes you can’t think of a single thing that might have triggered it. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way but it’s something I’ve struggled with for years. Since I was a pre-teen, I had ups and downs with depression and anxiety. I thought I was the only one. As I got older and met more people along the way, I was able to hear countless numbers of stories of others who have dealt with the same struggles.
“Although it saddens me that they’ve experienced this pain as well, it comforts me to know that I’m not alone.”
Maybe it’s the modeling industry, maybe it’s social media, or maybe it’s both that have intensified my anxiety. Hollywood and the internet can be places of vanity, perceived perfection, competition and fame. Many people are chasing dreams and won’t stop until they get what they want – even if that means bending or breaking to get there. I’ve seen too many people get involved in things that have changed them and have sidetracked them from who they really are. I’m not proud to admit it but I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of comparison, self-pity and judgement.
It’s a scary transition for me to step away from the image of having it all together and to be vulnerable and honest on social media about the struggles I face. I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating this change and I’m confident in my decision because if being vulnerable is how I’m able to help others, then I’m willing to be transparent and step outside of my comfort zone. More than anything, I’ve always wanted to be able to connect with others and provide support and conversation about the real life things we encounter. As I get older, I realize I need this platform to be something more than a gallery of “pretty” photos. Let’s dig deep. Let’s be honest and let’s work together to make this community stronger.
Creating Healthy Habits
Whether you’re diagnosed with a mental disability, disease, or are just going through a rough time, your feelings and thoughts matter. I hope this can be a place where you feel understood, safe, and empowered. In the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my personal growth. Training our brains to have positive thoughts and reminding ourselves of the things we love about who we are is so important for our overall well-being. The mind is incredibly powerful so we need to train it to focus on the positive and not to dwell on the negative. It’s so easy to look at what somebody else has, what they do, or who they’re surrounded by and start comparing ourselves to them. It’s a dangerous cycle that often leads to destructive mindsets.
On Instagram I’ve opened up a little bit about my struggle with depression and anxiety. I know there are many different symptoms that can be associated with them but I personally experienced a loss in appetite, low self-esteem, short attention span, and low energy.
One of the most common questions that people on Instagram have asked me is “how do you deal with your depression/anxiety?” Today I’ll be sharing a few habits that I’ve practiced over the years that have helped me manage my symptoms better.
1) I like to start my day with prayer and/or time doing devotions. If you’d rather, you can spend time meditating or reading (not the news). I love putting my phone down and connecting with God. I am reminded that no matter what I do, what others say about me, or how I view myself, I am incredibly loved by my creator. This always brings me peace and strength.
2) I believe that staying active, drinking a lot of water, and eating properly is essential for creating a better environment for a healthier mind. I try to go to the gym or go for a walk at least 3-4 times a week. I try to eat vegetables and fruit everyday and stay away from processed foods when possible. I also take a magnesium tablet everyday and this seems to help as well (always check with your doctor first if magnesium is right for you).
3) Surround yourself with positivity. Create good habits, listen to uplifting music, do things that make your soul sing, and surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Find a hobby that makes you excited or interests you and spend time doing it as often as possible. I like to hike, bowl, and do photography so I try to do these as often as I can. Mind, body, and spirit are all in tune with one another so try to nurture each of these!
4) Talk to a trusted family member, friend, or doctor/therapist (if needed) who you know is a great listener and offers good advice. You don’t need to have a ton of these people in your life but it’s important to have a few that you can open up to when you’re feeling low.
Breathe in. Exhale.
Take it one day at a time.
Find beauty in the little things.
Look at yourself in the mirror and think of one positive thing about today – whether it’s that you’re having a good hair, that you’re thankful for your family, or that you love your dog. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re starting to reinforce positive habits.
Now go do something nice for yourself. Go for a run, dance around to your favorite song, watch a funny youtube video, whatever it is that helps you get your mind off of the anxious and negative thoughts.
Just know that you’re so special and loved.
You’ve got this and you’re not alone.