When did you first realize you were struggling with anxiety / panic disorder? What was your first line of action when it came to conquering it?
I admitted that I needed to get evaluated in 2016 but had been experiencing panic attacks since high school. I called a friend who I knew was in psychology and had her send me resources. I made an appointment with a therapist and was evaluated / diagnosed — didn’t return after. Found and started seeing a consistent therapist in 2018.
What does your anxiety look and feel like?
When anxiety hits, it feels like all or nothing (more than usual). It feels like I am spiraling downward, like the issue or lack of issue is never going to end, and my mind is moving faster than my heart & body can handle.
How do you prioritize your mental-health? What are a few wellness tools or practices you use to manage your mental-health?
I sit down once a month and weekly on Sunday’s and schedule the things that make me feel grounded and well for the long haul. I see my therapist once a week and every so often we do EDMR. I get reiki and massage therapy with two different WOC who are trauma informed once a month. I cook my own meals and ensure I use fresh ingredients and adaptogens that support my gut health. I schedule body movement- workout classes, dance, or yoga. Most recently, I went to a breath work class that I am trying to include in my mental wellness budget.
I’d also say that my community of friends is magical, understanding, supportive, and intentionally chosen, which brings me joy to be around them! It doesn’t feel hard anymore to pick up the phone to vent and panic with them on the line.
How did or does your loved ones react to your mental-health?
Many of my friends are in similar places as me and they know what’s up. My mom feels uncomfortable when I mention I went to therapy or that I feel anxious or sad — she believes I just need to positive it away. Her and I are working on it ;).
Share one piece of advice for someone in the thick of their mental-health journey:
Take it one step at a time and invest in your mental health whether that is investing time to meditate, intentionally take walks or be with people that make you feel good, and/or invest money in a form or a few forms of therapy.
Ysanet Batista, Plant-Based Chef & Business Owner of Woke Foods, Farmer in Training, Community Organizer
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