Three months ago, I did not want to be anywhere near a video camera.
If I look back on it I'd probably been anxious since my early 20s, but it all exploded last summer. I woke up one morning and felt like something was sitting on my chest. I felt jittery and unfocused. Even writing about it over a year later makes me feel like I could throw up. It was awful. It felt like my body and brain were screaming at me to do something. So, I did.
For most of my life, I labelled myself as a worrier but throughout my early 40s, it was getting worse. I was ruminating on thoughts, crying nearly every day and losing my temper regularly. I had frequent migraines and injuries that wouldn't heal, and I had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. I was losing myself - the fun, easy-going person I had been most of my life was disappearing. I mean, I HAD been through some tough years in my personal life and not to mention living in a pandemic. But that morning was different. This was the first time I felt the physical effects of anxiety. I knew it was time to face my demons and get to the bottom of what was going on with me and my mental health. I called my doctor and booked in to see her.
In the past, I hadn't pursued medication because I honestly didn't think I needed it. I had no personal stigma against taking medication, I just didn't think I was there. Turns out, I was. My doctor diagnosed me with general anxiety disorder and wrote me a prescription. I started taking Cipralex last fall and haven't looked back. I feel like myself again (I know, this sounds like a dumb ad but it's true!) For me, medication was the missing link. This was the piece I had been missing. I wish I would have looked into this years ago. I find myself wondering how my 20s and 30s might have been different on medication but in hindsight in 20/20, I can only move forward now.
Along with medication, I've found that strength training and going to counselling as needed have been super helpful. The counselling seemed obvious to make me feel better, but the strength training surprised me! I do believe in the link of feeling stronger in my physical self translates to feeling stronger in my emotional and mental self.
I still have anxious days, but I know they will pass. Overall, I feel present and engaged in my life. It doesn't feel as heavy as it had for the last few years before I started taking meds. I love talking about this all because it makes it normal to talk about mental health and how we deal with it.
I'm excited to offer my Yoga for Anxiety series on DoYogaWithMe! I'm pulling from the movement practices that I have found helpful by using play, strength and breath. I hope to help others who are having a tough time.
Recommended Practices & Events
Livestream Discussion w/ Melissa
Melissa is on Instagram Live on Monday, October 17th at 10am PDT for a livestream on this month's theme of Mental Wellness.
Strength & Support for Mental Wellness
3-Day Program | Begins October 20th
This 3-class program is designed to help anyone who struggles with worrying and/or anxiety. You can expect to experience different types of yoga practices - one for play, one for strength and one for breath - to see what works for you.
Yoga for Anxiety LIVE!
A Livestream Practice with Melissa Krieger | October 29th
Experience a fun class to connect with your community and help tame that anxiety monster! Expect to feel grounded and in tune with yourself. This livestream will pull on the previous themes of my yoga for anxiety series. We'll integrate play, strength and breath. This class is suitable for beginners and beyond.
Classes To Promote Mental Wellness
For more of Melissa's classes to strengthen and support your mental wellness, revisit these classes:
Explore more of our teachers to experience their perspective on yoga for mental health:
- Pranayama for Anxiety, Part I with David Procyshyn
- Yoga for Anxiety with David Procyshyn
Join the Sangha Session (Community Conversation) in the forum: "What do you do to support good mental health?"
How do you stay in the loop about our monthly themes? The best way is to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, On the Mat. We will also make announcements through our Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok pages.