Anxiety (and it’s sister, depression) is a complex emotion, mostly because we don’t really understand it and that “unknown” factor can make it feel really scary. Anxiety is not new to me, but at the same time, it is very new to me. Let me explain. I’ve had a lot of experience with anxiety; I’ve run small groups on how to recognize and relieve anxiety, I’ve coached clients on how to deal with anxiety and I teach breathing exercises in my yoga classes that help with it. The thing is, I’ve never actually struggled with anxiety myself, until now that is. Maybe it’s a quarter-life crises or grad school or the state of the country (probably all of the above) but I’ve recently learned just how draining and lonely anxiety can feel.
Anxiety can be hard to recognize because it takes on different forms for all of us. Symptoms aren’t the same for everyone so it can feel like you’re alone, however, I promise you, anxiety is that thing that everyone has, but no one talks about. You are definitley not alone. Since anxiety is different for all of us and happens at different points in our life- the remedy isn’t always the same. One tool for your “tool box” is this 4-7-8 breathing exercise, another might be therapy or journaling, supplements or medication, but the thing that seems to help no matter what?
Talking about it.
Instead of replying with the socially acceptable, “I’m good, you?” when a friend asks how you’re doing, try being really honest and say something like, “I’m not having the best day, I’ve been feeling really anxious about _____.” More often then not, you’ll get a sigh of relief and an answer like, “It’s weird you mentioned that, I’ve been feeling the same way” I’ll be willing to bet whomever you’re talking to has either been through, is going through or will go through the same thing you are, even if it looks or feels different.
Part of what makes us anxious is having to pretend that we’re not. Read that again.
What a relief it is to be able to be honest with those around us about how we’re really feeling.
Stay tuned for the benefits (yes, there are some!) of anxiety next week…..
“Reminder: Part of growth is being okay with not being okay”
- Yung Pueblo
I’m so passionate about food because I believe it has the power to change everything. I’m especially passionate about feeding kids real food because what they eat early in life can give them an advantage (or disadvantage) when it comes to their future. Food affects brain development and learning, so making sure that kids get a wholesome, high quality lunch at school can make a huge difference in their success in life. Did you know a typical school lunch (we’re talking chicken turnovers and mashed potatoes) is one of the unhealthiest meals you can eat? Schools are also exempt from having to follow the USDA dietary guidelines that restaurants and other institutions are required to adhere to. So that means for reasons that are mostly political and financially focused, schools are able to serve food that’s crazy high in sodium (sometimes 3 times the recommended average FOR ADULTS) and saturated fat meals to kids, setting them up for obesity, ADHD and chronic disease - which all are “coincidentally” developing at an earlier age than ever before in U.S. history. We also know that tastebuds develop early in life, so if you are used to eating meals high in salt, your preference for salt will only increase as you get older.
Obviously we have a problem here… Wellness in the Schools is one organization trying to fix it. They focus on serving high quality, healthy school lunches to kids in over 140 NYC schools annually. I was invited to their gala this week and was inspired by the progress they have made and are motivated to continue to make for our kids. Please check them out and volunteer, donate, or pass them along to someone you might know who wants to help this crucial cause.
Let’s talk Springtime colds. Anyone else prone to getting sick in the Spring? We manage to avoid getting sick when it’s freezing outside, probably because we’re extra aware and careful about bundling up, getting sleep and taking vitamins, but once the weather breaks, we forget about it all and that’s when the sore throat, congestion and body aches hit. When my remedies failed at clearing my recent Springtime congestion, my sister recommended Elderberry Syrup. I asked for it at my local health food store, I got an informative lecture on it’s massive antiviral benefits. It can be taken as a preventative measure or double the dose to cure a cold. Add a teaspoon or two to your smoothie, oatmeal or take as is to help build your immunity in a natural (and tasty!) way.