From Panic to Pregnant

I’m 5 months pregnant- First time, with a boy and so incredibly grateful and excited and well, all the feels. Letting the emotions flow through me daily- a constant practice.

Before I got pregnant I was having multiple panic attacks a week. If I didn’t have a Xanax on me at all times the thought of not having one would send me into an anxious state. I won’t get into why the anxiety crippled me, but what I did know is that there was some trauma that had been kicked back up and I needed to find new coping strategies to come back to a grounded state.

That’s where I’m at today— Learning new coping strategies. I teach youth how to calm their bodies and minds and how to connect to their feelings. Now, I’m diving into the next layer of learning, growth, and practice.

After getting pregnant my anxiety started to subside. There was this knowing deep within (or maybe it was the hormones pumping?) that I need to take care of myself. Not just take care of myself, but REALLY slow down, be present and nurture my heart, soul, body, and mind. I am practicing what I have been teaching youth for 11 years. To be still, connect to the moment, find a coping strategy that resonates and listen to the body/mind.

This anxiety disorder has taught me a lot. When it is kicked up I know that there is something in my life I need that I am not getting for some reason or another. It could be a steady place to live, more time with friends, play and laughter, exercise. The list could go on and on.

If you are going through an anxious time these three things have been a helpful practice. Everyone is different so

*Adding fish oil supplements to my diet: This normalizes dopamine levels in the body helping to regulate the amygdala (fight/flight center in the brain).

*30 minutes of exercise a day: Stimulates the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain- which can boost mood and overall sense of well-being.

*Self-Compassion: When noticing anxiety, gently place your hand over your heart, take a breath and say something kind to yourself. Remember that you are doing the best you can.

I need to remind myself daily that all of this involves enormous amounts of patience. I am the type of person who wants things to happen immediately. “I’m being mindful, why am I not feeling improvement immediately?!” Patience. Compassion. Time– Helps us heal from the inside out, children and adults alike.

*Every body and mind is different. Consult a specialist before making any significant changes to your diet/exercise/mental health routine.