Dear Kevin Love,
Do you know what you did there? When you openly talked about your recent panic attack? As a life long athlete, basketball coach, and domestic violence survivor, you helped me to step out into the light and be courageous enough to share my blog with the world.
See, I have a vision, and I saw a need. Being that I am also a Teacher it has been challenging getting this vision to take flight, because, well let’s face it, teacher-mom-wife-friend-entrepeneurs are swamped.
But let’s also be honest, it wasn’t just that. Just as you said in the bleacher report article:
“For 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem. Sure, I knew on some level that some people benefited from asking for help or opening up. I just never thought it was for me. To me, it was form of weakness that could derail my success in sports or make me seem weird or different. Then came the panic attack.”
it was at the core….this.
The moment I read your article I KNEW I had to push myself to finish the blog in its skeletal stage and put it out there to the world.
What I hope you will begin to find as TheGrowthGoddess develops further is that it is a source of knowledge, strategies, and connections to those who experience what you are. What I hope is that your platform can lead others who are now feeling more open to talk Mental Health, to this blog. Because, as you know, it can feel uncertain, frightening, and lonely.
This blog serves as a beacon of light. A place to go when you are searching for positive ways to cope, healthy habits, connecting to stories that help you feel sane knowing you are not alone and even when you are spiraling down the rabbit hole.
Dear Kevin love,
I hope you share this so others can find the light. I most humbly and graciously thank you for sharing your experience.
::Below are some basic tips for those interested in some positive coping strategies to use in a moment of need and throughout the day to maintain your sanity!::
- Pause-short breath breaks
Honestly, if you rolled your eyes at this, I am not sure you understand how powerful different breathing techniques are. There are different breathing patterns to utilize when you need to relax, if you are having a panic attack, stressed to the max, or are in the middle of taking a test. I do this every morning in the shower, once I park my car at work, at least once during the work day, and shortly after I get home. I use the 4-4-6 breathing technique. Ideally you want to do it 10 times, but mostly I stick to 3 to 4 times. It’s 4 seconds breathing in, hold for 4 seconds, and then release for 6. I love this because with each exhale I literally feel my shoulders, neck and head relaxing more and more. And it feels oh.so.good.
I utilize a mediation app called “Aware” I do pay the little 3.99$ fee for full access but it has been worth it! (and no they absolutely did not pay me to say this). On the app there are guided meditations for every occasion where you can choose the desired length of mediation (you can also choose unguided). I like to do the courses that are 3 weeks and cover a variety of topics. This has come in handy when I wake up at night and can’t fall back to sleep (for hours! ughhhhh!). I plug my head phones in and do a long guided mediation and that does the trick. Why don’t I do that more often, I am not sure, because I am human I guess which means I’m not perfect, but I vow to do this more!!!
Talk about keeping sanity…a punching bag. I cannot tell you how much punching and kicking the living HELL out of the thing has changed my life. You know what it does? It helps me to release the pain and anger associated with my past. It helps me to move through and not keep things bottled inside. Papa Roach, “Last Resort,” has been my go to song as I kick the bags ass!!
- Pursuing your passion
Feel.Alive. yessss. you feel so alive when you do what your heart truly desires and loves. We all have our own creative ways about us. We all have something we would love to pursue. DO.IT. Your soul will feel on fire. I.promise.you.
- Taking small moments for yourself
I am a mom so this can be hard to come by sometimes. But it is oh, so, vital, to steal even 15minutes in the morning before all are awake to sip your tea, or coffee. I love to read my mindful magazine and sit in my favorite room, in my favorite chair. Sometimes I steal a moment to journal at night, or when I am feeling inspired. Whatever you do, you owe it to your self 1,000,000,000,000 % to give yourself your own time!! You need to decompress in order to stay sane.
- Being gentle on yourself, reminders of the process
This one is so GOOD. This especially pertains to you if you are healing from trauma and or dealing with a mental health issue. It.is.a.process. Repeat with me: it.is.a.process. It is important to be gentle on yourself and remind yourself during the hard moments, moments you feel you messed up and want to call yourself stupid, or weak, to say to yourself, you know what, I am going through a process and this is just a hard part of it….what I need is to be gentle to myself. And then try to do a breathing exercise and LET.THAT.SHIT.GO
- Let go
One of the best decisions I made was to let go of the past. I decided that I did not want my past being present any more and that meant I had to let go so that it stopped having life! As memories, scary flashbacks, and nightmares make their way to my present, I remind myself of the process and that I am happy they rose up so that I can let them go. No longer are they going to sit in my being and soak up my energy. I take a deep breath (well quite a few) and literally envision it leaving my body. There is a grounding technique where you envision a red ball underneath your feet and you visualize and it going through your body, down to the bottom of your feet and into the red ball. It works! trust.me.
- You are not your thoughts
It’s important to remember this. There’s a technique in the mindfulness practice where you notice your thoughts, name them, and let them go. What you realize is that just like emotions, thoughts come and go. But they always go. It’s an ebb and flow. It’s important to remember this when we feel a panic attack coming on, or when we feel ourselves begin to spiral down the negative ugliness in our minds.
9. Disrupt the spiral
When you are in a negative rut you must disrupt the spiral. When I have found myself laying at the bottom of the depression well, I have picked up paper and begun to write all the ways I was great that day, or my accomplishments I am proud of. I also will force myself to reach out to my husband, even though I do not have words I can muster up enough to say, “just hold me please.” Or I will text that one friend who I know knows what I am going through and is very well going through something similar. But whatever you do, do NOT sit in the spiral. You must disrupt it. Meditating is not always best in this kind of instance because it has you going deeper into your mind. Exercise, sitting in the spa, journal positive things, and reaching out to those closest to me has helped me the most.
Dear Kevin love,
I couldn’t agree more with this…
“We’re all carrying around things that hurt—and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside. Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need…if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through. “Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.” (bleacher report)
It was the most important thing for me too.
Thank you again.
In Solidarity, love, and light,
The Growth Goddess
[photo credit: KristineHermanPhotography.com]
The Growth Goddess is an Educator who loves to educate. She enjoys leading others to knowledge, connections, healing, inspiration, peace, joy, and most of all,
towards continual growth. Join her daily, or at your leisure, and most certainly in times of need.
You can follow this blog as well as social media for more daily inspiration TheGrowthGoddess is on instagram @thegrowthgoddess and Facebook as TheGrowthGoddess
all copy rights reserved to TheGrowthGoddess