One day, I attended my first yoga class, suggested to me by a stranger I’d met in a coffee shop. During the class, that tight-knot feeling around my neck, that lump in my throat which had been there since my first panic attack had completely vanished. Was this magic? A miracle? No. It was my decision to put in the work to get better; taking time for myself to sit and be. Was it scary? Yes. Uncomfortable? Hell yes! I was so far out of my comfort zone. I felt ridiculously embarrassed going into that first class. Did it at first heighten my anxiety? Of course. But However, I realised it couldn’t get much worse than it already was so I didn’t have anything to lose.
Thankfully those first few steps were the road to healing for me and it hasn’t stopped there – I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy road but it was definitely one worth walking on – much better than sitting on the edge of my bed feeling empty, unworthy and sorry for myself.
Since that first year, I have gone through countless high and low moods, much like the rest of us. I have gone through many changes, lived in different countries, fallen off the road and clambered back on again, but one thing that has been constant is this healing process, ‘The Work’ as Byron Katie would say; “Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.”
In more recent years, in terms of self-help and work – I’ve read as many books as I can in healing, I meditate once or twice daily, practise breathwork, yoga and mindful movement. I’ve put my faith in natural plant-based healing, placing CBD oil in my hot drinks and taking regular salt baths infused with it too. I don’t switch my phone on until I’ve had alone time in the morning and I am continuously seeking new ways to practise tools, in order to water the mind. But the most important thing? I don’t stop these rituals when I’m feeling good (like I used to) I use them as prevention rather than cure. There’s no quick fix for anxiety, stress-management and depression, it’s something you should implement into your daily routine like brushing your teeth, you just wouldn’t skip it. You don’t get strong by going to the gym once, or healthy by eating one bag of kale, it’s much the same for our mental health – the more you do it, the healthier it becomes.
You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible. Don’t go it alone, get support, but the journey starts with you.
Rosie Battimelli (Project and Marketing Manager)