How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times [Episode #774]
This week’s topic is: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times
We all go through life’s challenges. There are definitely going to be ups and downs where we can feel either depressed or we can feel that shifting restlessness of anxiety. I have definitely been there in both extremes and know what that feels like.
Today we’re going to talk about some tangible tips as well as some research. I also want to say that this topic and these conditions may very much warrant professional help and therapy. And that may be a really important part of your healing journey as well.
The purpose and intention of today’s show is to provide you with some real practical, accessible tools to support you through these challenging times and to help us come back to our center.
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Loves and welcome back to our Thursday Q&A show, or our topic today is How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times. And let’s face it, we all go through life’s challenges. There are definitely going to be ups and downs. And the purpose and intention of today’s show is to provide you with some real practical, accessible tools to support you through these challenging times and to help us come back to our center. Last week I was sharing online on social media how it was the six year passing of my mom’s transition out of her body, which brought up a lot for me. Every year is different and there are many waves of grief that are part of the process. And so this show feels timely for me because whether it’s, uh, a loss or a period in our life, or a change, like a change in a relationship or a job, we can feel out of, out of sorts, right?
So we can feel either down into depression or we can feel that shifting restlessness of anxiety. And I have definitely been there in both <laugh>, both extremes, so I know what that feels like. And so today we’re gonna talk about some tangible tips as well as some research. And I also wanna say, of course, at the top of the show, you know, this topic, this, um, these conditions may very much warrant professional help and therapy. And that may be a really important part of your healing journey as well. So we’ll mention that a little bit later as we get into our topic today.
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Question around the topic of: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: I really struggle with anxiety and depression when I am faced with adversity in my life. What can I do to manage this and keep from slipping into feelings that my life is out of control?
Okay, let’s get into our topic today. And we rotate around the cornerstones for these q and as. Anxiety and depression have to do with the mind and emotional wellbeing. But of course, everything is interconnected. So this is a really important topic. We know that from the research out there, um, general anxiety disorder effects over 6.8 million adults, and only 43% are, are seeking out some type of treatment or tools. It’s an interesting to note that women are twice as likely to be affected by anxiety as men in general anxiety disorder often co-occur with major depression. So we’re in this swinging sort of state between anxiety and restlessness. And then, you know, on the flip side, feeling down and feeling that depression, we are still transitioning out of winter.
And so I did also wanna mention seasonal effective disorder, which affects 15 million adults, meaning that the lack of sunlight and brightness outside can really lead to, um, higher rates of depression. And, you know, there’s so many statistics here, willing to the, to, to them in the show notes, depression and anxiety have climbed globally by more than 25% since the pandemic in 2020. What happened with Covid and all the isolation, of course. And finally, I’ll say that panic disorder affects 6 million adults. So there is a lot going on here, and we, I believe as, as, as a, as humans, our birthright is, is peace and fulfillment and love and connection. And so if we find ourselves in these, in these places where we’re feeling anxious and depressed, know that there is help and there is tools and there is ways to move past these periods and to nurture yourself back to centeredness and wholeness. And so let’s get into some of these more, um, specific tips.
And, um, we know the statistics are out there, you can check out the show notes, simple Google search alone, we’ll show you how much of these disorders, how, how prevalent they’ve become across society. So I wanna leave you with six tips for dealing with anxiety and depression for the long term.
#1: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: Take care of your gut health
And so the first one, and this is getting real granular, real practical, is to take care of your gut health, to take your sbo o probiotics, to eat fiber, to drink water, to do whatever you can to nourish your gut. Now, the reason I start here is that after working with so many different types of people, and including people that have extreme anxiety and extreme depression as part of their, um, treatment plan, it is often easier to take a supplement to commit to taking that step as a self-care practice than perhaps to muster up the motivation to completely do an overhaul of your diet, right?
So when we start to nourish the gut, it supports us in pulling ourselves out of these darker periods. The gut is so in highly intelligent and so incredibly critical to feeling calm. We know the connection with the neurotransmitters that are being produced in the gut and what effect that has on our moods and our overall state of being. So it is very important that we, that our gut health is a part of our actual plan to combat depression and anxiety and to move forward into more equanimity and peace and balance. So these small steps add up in huge ways. So again, if you’re listening to this and you just feel down in the dumps, if you can muster taking your two SBO supplements every day and whatever you can do for your gut, which includes, um, simple things like drinking more water, having some fruit, some veggies, some whole food, some fiber, that is going to serve you very well in terms of creating this balance that does create the mental health and the mental balance.
We had a psychiatry, uh, a doctor of psychiatry from Harvard on a few months ago called Dr. Christopher Palmer, who wrote a book called Brain Energy. And we will link to his show in the show notes. And he discovered a profound connection between gut health and lifestyle, especially diet and these mental disorders, including depression and anxiety. So I start here because an accordance with our four cornerstone approach, everything does affect everything else. So when you take care of your gut, know that it is supportive to your mental health and your emotional wellbeing. And it’s a, it’s a tangible step that you can take and that will deeply support yourself.
#2: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: Meditate to get out of the head in the oppressive thoughts and down into the heart
Number two, it’s really important to have practices to get out of your head and to get out of your thoughts and to go down into your heart. And the true self, namely meditation, it can feel when you are in a depression spiral. And I know what it feels like to have extreme grief and to go through periods where you just don’t know if you are going to feel okay, or if you’re gonna be able to get up off the floor or you’re gonna be able to stop crying again. And there’s a lot there, right? So what started me really getting back into center, and which continues to be such a huge part of my life, is meditation. And this is when I went really deep into my practice and things really started to shift after my mom passed away around this period of 20 17, 20 18. And so you can try our practical enlightenment guided meditations lying down just so you can hear, and I will guide you to get out of the head where the thoughts can feel really oppressive and be telling you lies, you’re not good enough.
This is as good as it gets. Life sucks. It’s overwhelming. I can’t handle this. None of that is true. We have a deep strength and resilience inside of us that we can learn to tap into, but we must transcend the mind. We must transcend these limited thoughts. So that’s why meditation is really powerful, especially used in this intentional way, which is to help us get into this energy of the heart, the energy of the true self, the energy that is really us beyond the physical body. We need to go deeper underneath these pervasive thoughts and connect to that ever renewing joyful fresh bliss that is the peace that is underneath. So even if you can do, you know, five, seven minutes, which are generally as long as our guided meditations, and like I said, you can, if you’re not feeling in the state to really sit up and get into it, you can just listen to them lying on the couch or laying on the floor just to have some support, some energy taking you deeper, which will build over time and over time, help again to get us out of this trap, this cage of the mind, which can keep these circular thought patterns.
And so remember, so much of our suffering comes from being in the past and in the future, you know, thinking with regret about the past. I know if I just kept circling in my head the thoughts of such a shame, such a loss, so not fair. My mom passed. So I was so young and she was much younger than I thought she would when she would pass. These are all thoughts, right? It’s all already happened the past. So that doesn’t help. So I keep bringing myself here to now, what is now the gratitude, the gratitude for what I shared with her, the gratitude for the love, anxiety is all the what ifs about the future. And I used to be a really anxious person as well, constantly worried about the next test or the calories. What was I going to eat? What do people think of me, right?
So we silence that and those thoughts are endless too, because we don’t actually know the future. And so to try to control it, to try to harness it is going to be futile and lead to more suffering. So really all that we can do is come right here, right now and to do our best to show up in love and compassion. So that’s what meditation teaches us. It’s a practice. So we keep going back and forward into forward, past, future, past. That’s okay. Over time, hmm, we come into this fullness more and more this richness of being right here, right here. Just like we’re here right now, together being together. You and I, if you’re listening to this, we’re here. So stay here, stay right here as much as we can. And these practices help us and they will help pull us out of these mental disorders of the mind.
#3: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: Seek out supportive community to connect and move past feelings of isolation and loneliness
The heart can deeply heal the mind. I believe that number three, supportive community. We are not meant to be in isolation. And that is the reason that so many of these disorders increased during covid, of course, because we are not meant to be in, um, you know, all alone, just like a leaf dangling in the wind. We’re really meant to be together in support. And so I urge you to find like-minded individuals. They could be outside of your phys, you know, your biological family, friends, they could be of course in your family. Um, there, there’s many different support groups and just like-minded people like we have in our sa Luna community. So I’m really grateful that we have really positive, inspiring social media where the conversations are really nice and we are gonna have, you know, quarterly zoom so we can connect together and meditate together and be together. So stay in the flow with us as well on the newsletter. And so you can look out for some of these community happenings.
#4: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: Get professional help and support with someone you vibe with
Number four, I mentioned this at the top of the show and I’ll mention it here and again because it is important to remember that professional help and support is available if you don’t wanna leave your home. There is telehealth options out there, there are so many different therapists that you can find that vibe with you and that you can connect with. So I really encourage you to, if you’re, if you’re feeling intuitively that there is a sense of overwhelm and bleakness and you don’t really know what to do and the tools that you’re trying aren’t helping you, I do suggest talking to a counselor or a therapist that can help you move through these periods and can really individualize your care. I talked to someone after my mom passed and I continue to, um, now, um, more of an energy worker, but it has been tremendously helpful for me to have this, that space, that outlet.
#5: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: Spend regular time in nature to ground yourself
Number five, spend regular time in nature, whether that’s in walks or just sitting in contemplation and relaxation on your back as the weather gets warmer, looking up at the sky, laying in the grass or exercising outside, whether that’s hiking or, you know, biking or you know, here in LA or I live. They’re doing, um, like these workouts on the beach with different groups you can join, which are outside. And this is really powerful because nature is such a pure expression, right of spirit of the universe. Nature is this deep presence of being without the mental thoughts and the constant judging and the separation and the complications and the da, da, da da da.
So to be in nature is to be in this really powerful, supportive place of reminding us that we just are and all things are. And ultimately we are in this little speck of time and we can continue to show up and choose and shift and pivot our lives. We don’t have to get stuck in a rut. You know, there’s periods where we will feel down at times, but then we don’t have to wallow. We can be in this powerful regenerative nature, uh, essence. The essence of nature is regenerative and it’s inspiring and it’s gentle. So sometimes when we’re transitioning through depression and anxiety, we don’t always wanna talk. There’s times for talking like in therapy, but there’s times for integration and processing and being and letting our nervous system relax. And so nature in this way is like a silent friend, a powerful friend that can be there to really support us and get behind us.
#6: How to Manage Anxiety and Depression When Going Through Hard Times: Create rituals to support yourself
And now number six is rituals to support you. And this is a huge part I think, of really centering ourselves for the long term because it’s our daily routines that allow us to stay anchored no matter what is going on mentally and emotionally. It puts our being, it puts our bodies into this set trajectory where we’re moving forward, right? So no matter what’s going on in your life, you go down the kitchen, you make that hot water with lemon, you take your s b o probiotics, it’s like you’re moving, I wouldn’t say robotically, but you’re moving in a pattern. And so this sort of gets your mind into that flow, even if you’re feeling down or you’re feeling restless, it’s like you don’t have to make decisions. You don’t have to think you’re doing what you know that you are supposed to do. You sit for meditation, even if it’s restless.
You make your intention, you end in gratitude as we always do in our practical enlightenment, meditations, bringing in this expansive energy. So daily routines are really important and part of the evening routine that I teach, and also that’s a big part of the new book, you know, more than you think you are, is introspection and journaling. And so journaling is a really powerful practice sometimes to get out of the head and to create a space just to look at it, you know, what am I really anxious about? What am I trying to control here? What can I let go of? What am I still really? Um, just, you know, just keeping in my mind going, going, going. You know, we don’t always see our own patterns. And so journaling is a really powerful way to get it out on paper and to see and to take that space.
So it’s really important, um, that we really commit to these rituals and they can be very simple. Like I said in the beginning, taking care of your gut health is very simple. But just remember that we are, when we’re in this more, I say fragile, vulnerable place where we’re working to get back to center, these rituals and anchors really help hot water with lemon, taking a warm shower in the evening, maybe, um, just simple oil on your feet, a little bit of a Bianca, a little bit of self touch, texting a friend every day community they add up. And so know that we are on this journey together and I am here listening to support you. Should you find yourself in a challenging time, please reach out to us. Please submit questions. Please stay connected to our daily flow so we can lift you up and support you as a honored, valued member of our community.
Um, we’re here. We are here. So let me go through these six points again, to manage anxiety and depression through hard times. Number one, to take care of your gut health, which may seem initially like it’s completely unrelated, but it very much is as all our cornerstones are related. So taking SBO probiotics, drink more water, eat more fiber, anything that falls into that. Number two, meditate to get out of the head in the oppressive thoughts and down into the heart, into this expansive place where we really start to understand that we’re more than the physical. We are more than the ups and downs of life. We are more than the happenings, more than our behavior. We are the formless energy inside of us. We are the true self. So when we really start to connect to that, it helps to break these, um, limited patterns of the mind.
Number three, seek out supportive community and connect so that we move past feelings of isolation and loneliness. The community can be there to support us and to reflect back like a loving mirror. Number four, get professional help and support someone you vibe with. Therapist, counselor telehealth is available so it’s convenient and easier. Number five, spend regular time in nature to ground yourself and to connect to this powerful energy of beingness. And number six, create rituals to support yourself. Ideally, I suggest starting with the morning practice so that you get into the flow for getting into your day, even if you have anxiety and depression, just to help anchor yourself, to keep yourself going, which is really what Veta teaches with the, um, Dina Charya daily routine and rhythm going and getting into this flow which will help to anchor your mind and to keep you calm and feeling more peaceful. So I hope these are of service to you, which is my intention. And please check out the show notes for more of the interviews and, and podcasts and articles that will support you. Please also listen to the one with Dr. Christopher Palmer specifically and we have had other depression experts and anxiety experts on as well. There’s also recipes, meditations, and more. I will be back here Monday for our next interview podcast. Till then, sending you so much love and so much gratitude. [inaudible].