In February 2018, I went to see a counselor/therapist (I prefer saying counselor, but whatever you like to call them) for what I would consider to be the first time in my life. On a side note, I am now a total advocate of seeking help from a source of that sort for anything you think you might need it for! Anyways, I knew I had anxiety and depression, but she confirmed my long-standing suspicions (and my moms) that I had PTSD. The thing you always hear about veterans getting, but never really anyone else, or at least I had never heard of anyone else getting it before doing more research into it. If you’re reading this wondering to yourself, how in the heck did this girl get PTSD? Well that’s not whats important in this post. Maybe I’ll save that for another post someday, for now whats important is not how I got it, but how I dealt with it. There are so many people out there dealing with at least one of these things; anxiety, depression, or PTSD, and I am here to tell you, you are not alone. The feelings you are feeling are valid, and there is no shame in having any one of these things. They do not make you any less of a person, any less worthy, or any less deserving of love and happiness. I hope you chose to talk about it, and not to hide it. In the beginning I had to repeat to myself that not talking about it does not change it, so I might as well talk about it. There is no way to work through them, until you’ve accepted them. As I move on to sharing the greatest tool I’ve found for dealing with these things, I want to quickly acknowledge that all of us are different. Our anxieties are different, our depressions are different and no two are the same, so if what I share does not work for you, please DO NOT be discouraged. Keep searching and you will find your own “tool” that works for you as well. Also if you are reading this out of interest and have none of these things, I’m so glad you’re here too! This next part could be great for you too! It could be a catalyst for growing your self-care practice, and if you decide to do this strictly for self-care purposes, you rock!
An at home yoga practice has been my biggest tool for helping me to deal with these issues, but like anything there is no one cure. I am continually working on my mind set, repeating mantras to myself throughout the day, and I have been seeing a counselor for the last ten months, among other things. Yoga is what helps me the most though, specifically Yoga With Adriene on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene. I have tried other yoga classes, or even videos in the past, but they didn’t make me feel the way hers do. I have Jared’s brother, Cody, to thank for suggesting her videos to me. The first time I did one of her videos, I was absolutely hooked. The minute I get on that mat my mind goes quiet, and the tightness in my chest seems to melt away. Make sure you keep your expectations realistic though. When I first started doing her videos sometimes that thirty minutes was the only thirty minutes I felt peace that whole day; the only thirty minutes I didn’t feel like I was drowning in anxiety. Another reason I love at home yoga so much is the flexibility it offers with your schedule and if your depression keeps you from wanting to leave the house, or even your bed, you can do it in bed! No seriously, I’ve done her videos on my bed before. I like to tell myself I’m an adult, so I can do yoga where ever I want! Haha! The thing I love the most about Yoga with Adriene is how it has helped me to reconnect to my mind, body, and breath (soul). She often repeats, “find what feels good”, encouraging you to really connect within, and notice what feels good for your own body instead of trying to recreate a perfect pose. Every time I walk off that mat I feel centered again. Anchored back into my own self. I really encourage you to try some of her videos. Don’t let your excuses keep you trapped in a cycle. If you don’t have a yoga mat put down a towel on your carpet. If you have wood floors use a more cushioned blanket. If you think you don’t have time, she has videos as short as 7 minutes! If you don’t like yoga, she has guided meditations, or even just pranayama (breathing) videos! That might sound simple, but do not underestimate the power of breathing. One of my favorite things to do is check in with myself everyday, and ask myself what video am I being called to today. She has a video for EVERYTHING. I’m serious literally EVERYTHING!! My personal favorite video is Yoga for After Disaster, but there’s yoga for stress, anxiety, PTSD, mood swings, anger, flexibility, seniors, and even yoga for when you’re sick! The first time I got sick after starting to do her videos, as ridiculous as it sounds I was actually really excited I was finally going to get to try out the Yoga for When You’re Sick, video. What I’m trying to say is there is a yoga for everything, and everybody. Yoga used for self-care can be a powerful tool that I believe everyone can reap some type of benefits from. Whether you’re a stressed out mom who needs some “me time”, or a retired person looking for a new hobby, or just someone looking to deepen your connection with yourself.
Every year the Yoga with Adriene channel does a 30 day yoga journey where she releases a video a day the whole month of January. The best part is that it is on Youtube, so if you can’t do a video a day for whatever reason you can do them at your own pace. I think the most important part is just seeing them through until you finish. Last year I did her 30 day True series and it took me until April to finish the 30 day series. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t doing her videos consistently, I was, but I was also listening to what I needed and most days the videos I needed were ones like Yoga for After Disaster. I did that same video everyday for a whole week straight because my anxiety was so high that week. Anyways, when I finally did finish the series in April despite it taking so long, I was so proud of myself, I actually got on the mat that day and cried, a lot. It was such a surreal experience. This year the 30 day yoga journey is called Dedicate. How fitting! Why not make a dedication to yourself to see this 30 day journey through and start this year off by making a dedication to a self-care practice. If you’d like to join me in this journey I will post the link to the sign up page. It is completely free! January 1st is a welcome day, and yoga actually begins on the 2nd, so if you have a really fun New Years Eve no worries, you can rest up on the 1st and start on the 2nd! Let me know in the comments if you plan to join me! Namaste! https://do.yogawithadriene.com/p/dedicate