I believe we all experience mental health in some capacity. I am so glad that we are becoming more aware of it and are more confident to speak up about it.
Personally, I have experienced depression and slight bouts of anxiety. I didn’t even know what the feeling of anxiety was until I realized last week that I do experience it from time to time.
In my teenage years (around 16 years old) when my older boyfriend broke up with me, I was severely depressed for weeks but was thankfully able to bounce back with the support of my family and friends. Also, I ended up getting back together with this same guy…not the best choice but one that I learned greatly from, and am still learning from.
In my early 30’s when I had a life-altering event happen (a post about this to come another time!), I fell into a deep depression for months. I rarely went out, I slept a lot and cried a shit-ton. I released so much pent up anger, sadness, and energy that I believe had been stuck in my body for a long time. It was horrible…I felt like I was in a pit of mud and couldn’t get out.
I did again have some support from my family and friends but it was different this time. I was a grown adult so it was harder to ask for help and I had learned how to put on a ‘brave face’ and weather through it alone. I had also broken trust between some of my family and was very embarrassed. I really didn’t know how to deal with it alone as I had never been given tools or resources to handle this. I muddled through hoping that with time it would get better.
I began distracting myself in various ways (I often refer to this as buffering) which seemed like they were helping but in all honesty, it was just sinking me deeper in the pit. I can see this now…I really couldn’t see this while I was in it.
So what shifted…I got pregnant with Nolan (which we had been trying for 3 years to do!) and it forced me to stop some of the buffering and then I found YOGA. I had practiced on and off for several years before this but only for the physical benefits of the practice, nothing more. Finding yoga was the turning point in my time with depression.
I started Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) when I was 3 months pregnant and finished it a couple weeks before he was born. It was completely life-changing in a good way. I was finally making progress getting out of the mud pit. I learned to listen to my body, find calm and quiet spaces in my mind and thoughts, I found solace and peace within myself (not outside myself) and began the journey into really finding out who I was…I am legit still working on this! It is the most profound, incredible journey ever!! Is it easy? Not always, but it is so powerful and I am so grateful for all of it. The bad and the good.
I have met so many during my journey that suffers from depression, anxiety and all other forms of mental health struggles. I’m not saying that yoga and/or meditation is the answer for everyone but it may just be another tool in your toolbox of resources when you happen to be in the mud pit.
Here is an article that explains a bit more about what yoga is and how it may help those with depression and/or anxiety:
Reach out to me if you have any questions or may be interested in giving yoga and/or meditation a try.
Sending peace and love to all.