Ain't no shame in it! We've got your back!

May 19, 2016 0 Comments

Ain't no shame in it! We've got your back!

There's nothing more powerful than a room full of women...dressed to the nines...after a couple of glasses of a Mercedes showroom. Last night I had the pleasure of being part of the 450 throng of high heeled, sparkly, glamazons that ventured out on a Brisbane school night to see the Mia Freedman, Zoe Foster and Sophie Cachia chat to the hilarious duo Lise and Sarah from Those Two Girls.

If you haven't attended (or even heard of) the Unplugged events, it's basically a panel style, question and answer event, with some very special guests, tossed together with Lise and Sarah's signature side splitting banter, discussing all things woman like lady bits, lack of libido, horny husbands, kids, work/life balance and all that lady jazz.

The ladies did not disappoint, covering the aforementioned topics and adding gems like "When do you stop being naked in front of your children", and "Things to look out for when raising boys". One very special topic that plucked at the heart strings of everyone in the room was the issue of anxiety and mental health.

Both Mia Freedman and Sophie Cachia are very outspoken about their debilitating struggle with anxiety and how hard it was to ask for help. I am sure many of us would feel the same because there is such a stigma about mental health and taking medication.

It's not the easy way out. In fact it's far from it. It takes a lot of courage to take that path and stand up to all the criticism that you will get from people you least expect. At the end of the day it's an illness, an chemical imbalance. An anxiety attack can hit you anytime, anywhere (like when you're hanging out the washing) is an illness. You can try to be as "natural" as you can about it, sipping herbal teas, and meditating but for some people that just doesn't work and medication is required, and it's perfectly OK to take that option.

It baffles and sickens me that some of us can sit and judge people for their suffering. Mia Freedman took medication and has made an almost full recovery, returning to a normal life where she feels at peace knowing that should an attack occur she has the resources to deal with it.

Too often anxiety sufferers, will bring on an attack simply by fearing a situation where an attack has previously happened. For Sophie Cachia this fear has latched onto a new fear of flying that developed not long after she had her son. Now, every time she flies, she is fearful about having another episode where she will not be able to find help.

It's a scary thing to go through, and while it's easy to say "it's all in your head", our heads can often be the darkest and scariest of places.

This is a simple reminder to be kind to one another and never judge another woman (or man's) journey. Anxiety is an internal battle, we shouldn't make it worse with external pressure.

Having said that, there are some things that we can all do to minimise the risk of falling down this very dark hole.

  1. Get enough sleep - when you have anxiety, quality sleep is too often one of the hardest things to achieve. Not getting enough sleep can have some serious consequences on your body, including anxiety, which is why new mums often develop anxiety after having a child. It also becomes a vicious cycle, since anxiety disrupts sleep, you then develop more anxiety.
  2. Clean up your thoughts - remove the clutter that is built up in your mind. If you're worried about a million things, you will create a stress response in your body that will prompt an anxiety attack. In dealing with my anxiety I had to go through a lot of soul searching to put everything in it's right place. I made peace with past events, let go of things that no longer server me, tied up lose ends and proactively quit things that I've been dragging on too long. All those things were weighing me down internally, and as soon as you de-clutter your head space, life seems so much lighter.
  3. Get your nutrients - Anxiety can wreak total havoc on your body. Some people stop eating, while others binge out. When you're body is under stress, you need to give it more support than ever by eating more foods containing B vitamins, omega-3s. Whole grain carbs can also help with regulating serotonin (feel-good neurotransmitter) levels in your brain.
  4. Get organised - Avoid the stress of the unexpected by planning out your day right down to the food you're going to eat, the clothes you're going to wear, or packing your gym clothes for that workout or yoga clothes later. Taking an extra 10 minutes will go along way in helping you keep calm.
  5. Ask for help - It's OK to ask for help. Be it your GP, your husband, Beyond Blue, a friend, or anyone you feel safe with. If medication is your only answer than that's OK too. You can email me anytime and I have some wonderful mama groups that I can get you in touch with where you can reach out, talk it out, and find the right support network. You are never alone! As I said, there is nothing more powerful than women getting together, we are all connected in some way, and we are all here to help each other.

We've got your back beauty!


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