Take Back Your Mental Health With These Everyday Tools

Take Back Your Mental Health: Everyday Tools to Ease Anxiety and Depression

May is Mental Health Awareness Month The deep dark months of winter might be a better time to shed light and support on mental health, but we’ll leave that for another post!

Mental Illness is Hard to Understand

I lived nearly forty years of my life feeling balanced, calm and relatively content. For those with mental health difficulties, I could find empathy, but I didn’t REALLY understand. That all changed when I went through my divorce.  It was a devastating and drawn out experience.  It left me with intense bouts of anxiety followed by anxiety’s bosom buddy, depression.  That’s when I understood those unique emotional feelings and their connection with our physical body.

My divorce was the single worst thing that had happened to me, and in retrospect, also the greatest gift.  It set me on my path to use a lifetime of experience to grow, evolve and awaken.  As an empath, medication didn’t feel like the right choice.  I feared not being able to be emotionally connected to my kids and my own intuition.  As I began my journey of empowerment, I also found a path of healing.  I learned incredible tools that helped me manage my anxiety and depression without medication.

My Favorite Tools for Giving Anxiety and Depression the Boot

1) Reset Your Nerves 

Hands down, the most effective tool in calming my neurological system is EFT Tapping.  In fact, it works so well for myself and kids (and also 95% of people) that I became certified in it.  Yes, it’s THAT good! Do you need to hire me as a coach to use EFT Tapping? Absolutely not! EFT is easy to do, almost immediately calming and a great resource for you to take control of your anxiety. If you use the search bar on YouTube you can type in “EFT Tapping” followed by your symptom.  There’s EFT for many things; pain, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, etc. Jen Partridge has a great session here for releasing anxiety and fear: https://youtu.be/bqelDpGePM4

2) Just Breathe

 Breathing is remarkably effective with little need for know-how! Give yourself a timeout when events and feelings escalate. It doesn’t have to be time intensive or complicated.   You can recenter yourself in the pick up line at school or start your day with an act of self-love. Try this: Sit comfortably and place one hand palm against the top of your head and your other palm against your sternum. Take a slow, deep breath (aim for a count of 3-5) in until your entire chest cavity is filled. Hold it just a moment at the top of your breath. Then, slowly release until you must squeeze your diaphragm by flexing your stomach to push out the remaining air.  Next, breathe more naturally but still slowly and deeply, filling your chest completely, hold at the top a moment then release slowly, until you feel a natural completion of your breath out. Repeat this last breath 1-2 more times. Close your eyes while doing this if it feels right, and you are in a safe space to do so.

3) Practice Peace

Everyone is talking about meditation because it works!  The calming effects of meditation train your mind to reach a theta state allowing you to easily absorb information and create habits of calming thoughts.  For many, meditation works best for me as a maintenance technique versus in the throngs of an anxiety attack.  It’s fantastic in conjunction with the previous two methods I listed as well! 

Forgiveness and letting go is a big piece of releasing the anxiety and depression we experience, even if we haven’t yet consciously understood the need to forgive.  This meditation by Jack Kornfield is powerful: https://jackkornfield.com/forgiveness-meditation/ . I use it in my financial workshops because forgiveness impacts every part of your life. Record a voice memo of yourself reading it, then play it back while you close your eyes and meditate on the words.  Amplify the effect by playing some binaural beats with it! This binaural beat is for forgiveness for yourself and others: https://youtu.be/g8qdejl7_2U

4) Let Food Be Thy Medicine!

There are significant studies linking your gut health with your mental health. In summary, how healthy the biology of your stomach is impacts how well you are able to manage stress.  If you are new to all this, the top three things I suggest for improving your gut health are as follows:

Remember, using new tools and adopting new habits take practice.  The most important step is doing just that, taking the first step.

Disclaimer: The advice in this post is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing a crisis CALL THE NAMI HELPLINE 800-950-6264

Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox.  While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!


Ultimate Guide to Back-to-School | 2024

In just a few short weeks our kids will be packing up their backpacks and heading back to school again. There are a lot of emotions and a lot of work that goes into...

World Breastfeeding Week: 12 Breastfeeding Tips

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2024 What better way to help mothers succeed in nursing than to compile some tried-and-true tips and tricks? I’m no pro, but I have successfully breastfed two babies. I nursed...

Our Top 10 Favorite Back-to-School Books for Kids

Get your little ones ready for the new school year with engaging back-to-school books! These fun reads for kids from preschool through 3rd grade are perfect for easing first-day jitters and sparking excitement about...

Disability Inclusivity

“Treat others as you would want to be treated” Almost everyone hears this phrase starting at a young age. Usually when it has to do with hitting siblings or learning to share at daycare/preschool. As...

Flower Shops & Garden Centers in the Cedar Rapids Area

Looking to brighten up your home or garden? There are so many wonderful flower shops and garden centers in our area that can help you create beautiful spaces. Whether you’re sprucing up your yard,...
Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox