How to Cope with Anxiety and Panic -- The Review Ballerina Edition:

I have spent my entire life fighting what millions are dealing with now. COVID-19 has caused so many to have anxiety, panic, self-doubt, worry, depression, and more. I want to help people see there are natural ways to help these chemical imbalances in the brain and to are not alone.

The Review Ballerina is not a medical blog/journal and as such should not be taken as a means to treat, diagnose, or cure any types of mental illness. These are just opinions and steps for this blogger to help those who are just like me.

So where to begin, well for starters it's probably best I lay out my official medical diagnosis for better understanding: PTSD. Lovely isn't it? I have actually had it since the age of 9. I have chronic Depression, Anxiety, Short-Term Memory Loss, Paranoia, Panic...let's just say in the grand scheme of things I am a shaky nutcase, and I'll willingly admit it! I do not have health insurance that covers mental health so I am not seeing any kind of therapist, psychiatrist, counselor, and I am not on medication for any of this. The last medication I was on for my anxiety and panic caused suicidal thoughts so obviously it's probably best I do this all naturally right? Over the years I've tried many medications such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, and nothing has really lasted or worked long-term. So, let's step in and see what we can do to help this naturally!

So first off, I am a Witch. I started my path a few years ago and my Dad was and still is my teacher. I followed every step and learned as much as possible and I still choke up when I think about the day my Dad informed me that I had earned my position, and I was now a Witch. Finding Wicca through my Dad changed my life because prior to that I was confused not only religiously but personally. I had struggled with God since my Mother was killed but Wicca gave me a chance to breathe and connect within myself with the Goddess. The magick of Wicca and the spells and personal growth helps me when all else has failed.

So how does this help me with my panic attacks?

Grounding and Centering is one huge thing that I do and you can do it too! One thing I do (if it's quiet enough in my home and warm enough outside) is if I feel I can't breathe I'll open my back door and stare at the trees as they blow. I'll listen to the wind, I'll watch branches and listen to the leaves as they blow back and forth. Taking deep breaths as I watch nature glide naturally helps me to loosen the hold the anxiety has taken on me. I then count backwards from 10 very slowly as I watch and it helps so so much. If I can't do this, then I close my eyes and I imagine that my feet are connecting into the Earth. I'm taking deep breaths and pulling power, energy, and stability from the ground that helps me to relax. It charges me with beautiful, natural comfort and warmth that helps me to feel stronger and focused.

But what if neither of these work?

Well at this point, the reality is I have to remember this is a medical issue that I deal with daily. This isn't "in my head" and this isn't something I can just turn off and calm down with right? I feel like people who don't deal with this sort of medical issue just look at us as nutcases. They feel we are "looking for attention" or "need to just calm down" and yeah, that's so hard for us. I can tell you right now if I'm in the middle of freaking out over something please don't tell me to "calm down". I would if I could and I know millions feel the same way I do. So you know what my next step is? I pray.

Around March of 2020, I began to notice when I would speak to the Goddess, I heard another voice. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not hearing "voices" that tell me what to do lol. No, I would hear someone else sometimes or I would get a feeling or didn't feel like the Goddess. So I decided to tearfully speak to my daughter's karate instructors who are devout Christians and they started to show me that I don't have to choose just one religion over the other. I realized very quickly... I'm a Christian Witch. I have found that if the Goddess cannot help me (and I do not expect her to fix me I hope she can guide me to a new path that will allow me to fix myself) sometimes, God helps me. I wish I could get with the instructors more about things but with COVID19 so hardcore blowing up in my area I keep my distance to keep my daughter and husband safe. I've had it once, I will NOT have it again!

*quack quack* Haha, I actually wish I had that rubber duckie. Another thing I used to do (and haven't been able to in a year thanks to my awful neighbor) is a candlelight bath and some zen music. Seriously, if you can't breathe and can't calm down the best thing you can do is get in the dark. CRYING IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. Never be afraid to cry it out! Do you know why? YOU ARE EMOTIONAL YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING! You know what I find after I've had a good, solid cry in a nice hot bath? Suddenly the rational part of my brain turns on! Yep, if I'm panicked about making a bill and I'm not sure how I can do it I'll spend two hours walking my house, panicked. I'll have an anxiety attack, I'll call friends and family hoping someone can calm me down. I'll try to ground and center, I'll speak to the Goddess and God, and if all else fails... I cry it out. By the time I'm done crying something has clicked back in my brain and suddenly... I can think! Oh! That's right, I have another paycheck coming before this is due I can do it then! Believe me, a candlelit bath with some spa/zen music and tears can make all the difference! Just make sure you don't have to drive anywhere the rest of the night. Your eyes will be tired and sore and so will you.

Remember, having mental illnesses is NOT a weakness. It is not something that you can easily fix, nor is it something you should feel ashamed of or hide. The fact is, this is a medical chemical imbalance. Your brain is not going to function like a normal, healthy brain! Depression is not a sign of seeking attention! Anxiety and Paranoia is not looking for pity! Take care of yourself and look for the help of higher powers. Believe me, they are there and they want to help and guide you. 

Elizabeth is a wife to her wonderful husband, a work at home mother to her beautiful little girl and a blogger for some time now. When she isn't spending time with her "Livvybug", or laughing with her husband, she is looking for new review opportunities and writing or singing along to classic rock and pop music!


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