5 Tips when Tackling New Year Depression

According to several studies, February is one of the worst months of year for feeling depressed. To start, by mid-January many have chugged their resolutions in the bin and the New-Year-Shine has worn off, so that can make many of us feel like aimlessly living instead of thriving. Plus, after the high steaks of January, as soon as we enter February, we feel the pressure of Valentine’s Day lurking in the background, making anyone who isn’t feeling particularly connected painfully aware of his/her reality.

Perhaps, in your case you know you have a difficult year ahead or you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in, whether at home, work or romantically. Whatever the cause of this feelings of depression, the following tips could help you tackle it and moving unto creating a beautiful 2019 for you.

 
Feeling isolated and low? Here are some great tips to help you!

Feeling isolated and low? Here are some great tips to help you!

 

Let go of Control

There are many things that are not within our control. It can be frustrating when we want to change things that are not controllable, but that doesn’t mean those things define us. Depression is a condition that can make someone fixate his/her focus on the negative aspect of life, making it hard to shift focus to the positive. If something is out of your control, let it go and try and focus on things you can control. Sit down and write a list of things you want to achieve. It’s a good way to refocus your mind and focus on something positive.

Your Environment Matters

They say if you spend enough time in a hairdresser’s you’re bound to get a haircut sooner or later. The people you spend your time with will have a direct effect on your mental health. So, when choosing who to spend your precious time with, make sure you are choosing people who will add to your life and sense of wellbeing, instead of sucking the joy out of your days.. If you don’t have any positive influences, you could attend mental health groups or even a teen treatment center to get the help you need. There will be times when you need people to give you a boost, so having the right people around is important.

 
Dare to invest in finding a community that can support and inspire you along your journey!

Dare to invest in finding a community that can support and inspire you along your journey!

 

Ask for Help

Depression can be a debilitating condition and lots of people suffer alone. You don’t have to hide your depression and there is help out there when you need it. Some people feel like asking for help makes them a failure, but the exact opposite is true. You need courage to ask for help which makes you stronger than you believe. Depression is something you should never have to go through alone, so always be sure to seek out help when you feel at your lowest.

Be Kind

Being kind to yourself is important when you’re dealing with depression. It’s a battle that needs to be taken one day at a time, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you struggle. You can use positive affirmations to build yourself up when you need a lift. Just looking in the mirror and reminding yourself that you are strong and you can handle whatever the days throws at you could boost your confidence immensely.

 
Bring Self-Love into your life regardless, depression isn’t anything to be ashamed of and you’re ALWAYS worthy of love and connection!

Bring Self-Love into your life regardless, depression isn’t anything to be ashamed of and you’re ALWAYS worthy of love and connection!

 

Treatment Methods

If your depression worsens, you could benefit from a range of different treatment methods available to people with mental health issues. Contact your healthcare provider for information on what’s available to you in your area and to get assessed on the best treatment for your condition. If you’re finding daily tasks too difficult, it’s time to see a medical professional.

Dealing with Anxiety, Medication and Beyond

 

Anxiety seems to be a global epidemic these days in a world full of to-do’s and deadlines, so much so that we’re only just starting to realise how many people have been affected. From meditation to medication, there is a wide range of treatments for those struggling with any degree of it, and, since everybody is different, in the end each individual needs to approach it his/her your own way.

For some, for which the best alternative is heading to a doctor to look for options, some type pharmaceutical treatment would be the best approach to handling anxiety, and although there is clear evidence that certain medications have a positive effect on people, we also know that it doesn’t always get to the root cause of the issue that triggered the Anxiety in the first place. Not to mention that some are not keen on the idea of taking medication that alters their medical state as well as cause side effects.

As someone who dealt with chronic depression and dependent on antidepressants at some point of my own healing journey, I can understand anyone who is wary about becoming reliant on medication to feel calm and happy, as much as I can understand anyone who wants to try it to get back to calm and happy. This isn't a one-size-fits-all thing.

Anxiety might make you feel isolated and lost, don’t despair!

Anxiety might make you feel isolated and lost, don’t despair!

Nonetheless, if you’re among those wanting to tackle anxiety on a more natural path, don’t like the idea of medication, or are not ready for it yet, here are some helpful alternatives that can support you back to greatness:

Movement and Exercise

It’s no secret that exercise is good for our health. Not only are we hardwired for movement in many different ways and biologically crave it, but it also keeps our heart in good shape and can help us maintain our muscle mass, protecting our bones.

Exercise is also one of the best ways to manage mental health problems. Most doctors agree that it can be one of the best things we can do if you’re struggling from anxiety. To start, it gives us a natural endorphin boost that improves our overall mood and helps us relieve stress and tension that can lead to anxiety. But also, the simple fact of engaging in physical activities or movement will create a cycle where as your body feels best, so will you emotionally respond.

In fact, simple changes like adding 30 minutes of physical activities 2 to 3 times per week can have a deep impact in your feelings of anxiety.

Speak To Somebody

Even though anxiety always have a root cause, this tends not to be an obvious thing. In many situations, it isn’t the things that we directly worry about that are causing the feelings of anxiety, but something underlying that is equally affecting us.

For many, anxiety has its roots in childhood issues and it’s hard to work through those on our own. In fact, it is important to manage anxiety adequately to consider speaking to a psychiatrist to help us and guide us and we find out exactly what is causing those problems in the first place.

Even though for many speaking to somebody about those deeper emotions and issues can feel overwhelming or scary, the reality isn’t like anything we see on TV shows. Trained psychiatrist, therapist and coaches create a safe environment for anyone to unpack their feelings in order to heal, and there is never pressure to talk about anything that a person might not feel comfortable with.

Self Care towards Unconditional Self-Worth

When you’re struggling with mental health issues, it can be easy to let things slip in your everyday life, crowded by the feelings of inequity and overwhelm. For many, basic things like showering or tidying the house up fall by the wayside and that ends up making them feel worse, triggering shame and even more feelings of fear and stress.

A good book and a cuppa always help me when the overwhelm of entrepreneurship, motherhood and life affect me!

A good book and a cuppa always help me when the overwhelm of entrepreneurship, motherhood and life affect me!

It is for this reason that Self-Care is key in recovering a full sense of Self-Worth, where you can show up fully and safely to life, allowing the emotions to come without them hijacking your human experience, something that is so important when we’re tackling mental health issues.

From pushing yourself to make an effort to get up and do practical things around the house, to booking time with a loved one or with a book, anything you commit to in order to nourish yourself will help you in your journey towards greatness and joy. It might not feel like much at the time but afterwards, you’ll feel better and, as you commit to investing in yourself consistently, this will help you face emotional challenges much more empowered.

To start this journey, you can create a simple schedule for yourself where errands, work and housekeeping is booked, but also Self-Care activities that will equally nourish you, this way you can stay on top of all of your needs.

Remember, whether you choose medication, therapy, meditation, movement or all of them, your journey will require only your commitment and action. So start today!

 

Empowered to Release Anxiety for Good

Life, parenting, work, deadlines… These days many of us are constantly battling with always-growing to do lists, trying to reach high standards and ending up experiencing acute stress and even anxiety. Perhaps, like me, you’re among those who end up spending countless hours searching for tools to lessen the symptoms and triggers, as well as reducing the causes, so that you can aim towards a happier life.

However, in an age where seeking information alone can be a major cause of overwhelmed, many times researching can leave us even more triggered and anxious that we were to begin with!

For this reason, I’ve decided to take  a good look through the most relevant health and well being blogging sites around to find you some sound advice on how to reduce anxiety and feel better, on your terms and as effortlessly as possible (we are all VERY busy, after all!).

The below tools are starting points to get you feeling, thinking and living better, tackling your symptoms holistically and shifting some of the issues that got you struggling to begin with. Hope this support you on your path, so you can rock life on your terms.

 
Before you lose control, use Self-Worth to bring you to power!

Before you lose control, use Self-Worth to bring you to power!

 

Anchor yourself on Self-Worth

When you’re feeling weighed down by anxiety and worry, it’s easy to believe you’ve failed in some way or aren’t worthy of help, even assuming that you aren’t even worthy of anything but anxiety and pain. These feelings are connected to a sense of conditioned self-worth, where you are constantly hustling for value and a sense of worthiness, therefore never truly thriving but merely surviving.

Because these feelings and messages are so embedded in your psyche, you believe them and, from that place of unworthiness, continue putting yourself down. Like I always tell my clients, when we see ourselves as broken, we make broken decisions.

To start shifting these self-beliefs, you can start to show yourself that you’re worthy by investing time and resources in getting the support you need through a doctor, counsellor or coach, so that you can get the tools you need, as well as process some of the causes of these emotions.

Another great option is investing in other tools that have been proven to help with anxiety, so you can feel nourished and empowered. A great product to try are weighted blankets, such as Hushblankets.com, which can help reduce your symptoms, for example. These commitments to your Self-Care will support you in establishing a better sense of Self-Worth.

Other great tools to start improving your sense of Self-Worth are making yourself at least one nourishing meal per day, blocking time to journal daily, clearing your schedule from activities or commitments that feel superfluous, or even committing to better sleep hygiene. It all ends nourishing you fully.

Fill your Mind with Presence

Many times, when we’re feeling anxious, the last thing we want to do is spend time thinking about what’s worrying us, specially when it’s impossible to even pinpoint the exact cause. This is when mindfulness exercises can come in handy.

Rather than trying to make yourself ‘feel better’ or ignore your emotions and feelings,  mindfulness encourages you to sit and recognise them, allowing them to exist, rather than fight them; always observing without judgement or fear, so that you can experience them fully in the moment.

Committing to developing a mindfulness practice, using tools, videos or even apps, can be a great way to both help you improve your sense of Self-Worth (it would feel very much like Self-Care after all!) as well as help your brain deal with stress and anxiety from a non-reactive perspective. Win-Win!

Be Honest about your Journey

For a lot of us, numbing with alcohol, junk food, online shopping, sweets or even drugs might be a tempting way to quiet down the feelings we are experience. This is a natural reaction we all have to avoid pain and discomfort. However, we all know that rather than helping, this kind of self-medication will only cause more harm than good and won’t do much to tackle the root causes of the problem. I often tell my clients that, whilst numbing is a survival mechanism that humans have wisely developed, unless we are mindful about how and when we numb, it can completely control our lives.

When we allow our experience to show in ways that are honest and authentic, sharing our struggles with people who can support us and empathise with us as we heal, we stop feeling ashamed of them and start to regain a fuller sense of ourselves and our value.

Also, opening up about our struggles and journeys can be precisely what those around us need to allow themselves to be honest about their owns, as well as help you create a support system that can help you as you recover.

Remember, an effective method to start your own path towards joy is to go back to basics by making sure you’re getting plenty of the good stuff, namely wholesome food, exercise and sleep, to feel nourished again. Getting these in place will be the first step on the road to recovery.

Anxiety can be crippling but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re experiencing it, in any form, then get along to a trustworthy practitioner and talk through what’s going on, so you can get the support you need to thrive again. Don’t let it rule your life, put yourself back in charge.

Painting the Town with Joy

 

For a couple of months now, I have partnered up with the amazing team of Paint the Town Qatar as an organiser of their events... I have a LONG history with them (and team Trinity Talent Qatar which was my first place of employment in Qatar almost 10 years ago!) and even without that, I absolutely and categorically LOVE what Paint Qatar stands for: Artistic Occasions for ANYONE to enjoy.

My first ever event as an attendant was my wedding anniversary and #MrB and I went to celebrate it there. Now, my husband is many things but artistic would have NEVER been part of my list to describe him until that night. He made the painting his, added crazy things like a 🤖, a 🛸and a 🦖 (whilst I decided to keep it a bit more... realistic) and we had a blast!

Our first event together - Can you spot the differences?

Our first event together - Can you spot the differences?

After that night, we were hooked, and I knew I wanted to support Paint the Town Qatar more and more, creating fresh and different events that could give others the same joy I felt that night (and all the subsequent events after that one!).

From sunsets packed with whimsical charm and magic, to empowering photos full of Women Power; each sessions brings participants a chance to become an artist on their own, with enough support to feel guided as well as enough freedom to explore their own creative side happily.

My own version of the We can Do it! Poster

My own version of the We can Do it! Poster

These events bring a chance to go out of your comfort zone and into one full of colours and possibilities, giving you the choice to do and accomplish more, just by blending colours or adding aliens to your paint.

If you're in Qatar, I wholeheartedly invite you to join an event with friends, family or on your own, I’m sure it’ll change your life for good. Follow them on Facebook for more news too: https://www.facebook.com/PaintQatar/


 

School, Changes and Ego Trips

I've been struggling with mothering these weeks/months (perhaps always without realising!) and, as I prepare to close Matt's first term in KG2 at his little Montessori preschool, I'm finding myself excited and drained. Motherhood, as you might know, isn’t a linear journey. It’s this web of highs and lows, packed with assignments, appointments and, in some cases, anxieties… and it’s also full of awe and wonder. It’s a paradox, a privilege and a full time investment.

Motherhood, as you might know, isn’t a linear journey. It’s this web of highs and lows, packed with assignments, appointments and, in some cases, anxieties… and it’s also full of awe and wonder.

Matthew and Michael joined me in the last Longines World Champion Tour at Shaqab last month.

Matthew and Michael joined me in the last Longines World Champion Tour at Shaqab last month.

A few days ago, on a call with my coach Dr Frantonia Pollins she reminded me of how my boys are my mirrors, showing me what's within myself that I'm too busy ignoring, reminding me of the parts of me that I haven't addressed though they are sore... pushing me to growth, to become a better Anahi. These boys of mine, whether I was aware of it or not, are the best triggers towards helping me heal my own wounds.

I say this with equal amounts of wonder and oh-shit-ness. As much as I ignored these for years into motherhood, in this 2018 if there’s one thing I’ve become aware of is that Matthew and Michael came into the world through me but with two massive roles:

  1. To discover the world for themselves in their full unconditional worth.

  2. To help me recover from the wounds that led me to believe my worth was anything buy unconditional - aka to push me to grow and heal.

The first one it’s the role most parents see for their kids… now, the second one? Let’s say many of us can agree that when we got into this parenting malarky, we didn’t signed up for that one at all!

In the past weeks, with worries about school preparedness, assessments and what is the "best" school for Matt and our family, I forgot along the way that the one being pushed, observed, questioned and tested is HIM. He is 5 and going through massive shifts and changes, including a new class at Preschool, whilst mami keeps putting pressure on him. Non-stop and all the time.

Suddenly, I was left wondering: Who am I when I behave like this? Who am I acting like? Why is this even important NOW?… and then it hit me. Like an effing tonne of bricks: I’m ego-tripping, I’m making this about ME, about MY worth, MY sense of achievement as a mother, as a woman, as a “mommy blogger”. Eck!

Matthew all smiles and joy at a recent trip to Baladna Farm

Matthew all smiles and joy at a recent trip to Baladna Farm

That was a hard pill to swallow. But, I needed to change things or both Matt and I were going to continue on this journey pulling at each other and causing more pain than joy.

So I stopped on my tracks and slowed down. For a moment, I stopped focusing on what school I wanted him to join (for either prestige or my need to fit in and be enough) and instead, decided to start paying more attention to the moments we were sharing daily and the quality of them.

Now, in the upcoming months we have hard decisions to take. We’re waiting for schools assessments and then we most commit to one for September but at this very moment my focus won’t be on the “then-and-there” but on the present; and whilst we still have much to tackle, I’ll be focusing more on being and less doing. 

This journey is truly triggering and fascinating. Not sure I would have chosen it had it not chose me, but I sure am happy I’m on it.

What have been some of your struggles with ego and change as a mother and beyond?


My worth, movement and embodying me

 

I grew up thinking myself lazy. Useless. Non-athletic. Non-elegant. Never in my body. Always less than the rest. I believed I hated to move and never challenged it, just assumed that it was like that and so I moved on.

I developed my mind, my wits, but never my body. I became the “Funny Fat Friend”, the extra in the movie, the kind one who would buy love and friendship through goodness, the one always challenging her worth base on her body and its lack of compliance. I was a mind with legs, nothing more.

Until I decided to try loving it and see what would happen. Now, let me be VERY honest here, this whole thing started with torturing myself into thinness. I'm not gonna lie to you guys on that. The whole "sweat is fat crying" thing kept me going... until things slowly shifted within me.

One day, years after starting this journey at 25, I realised that I wanted to move because I wanted to move, no outcome beyond moving and enjoying that experience. There was no need to reach a goal, accomplish a number on the scale or win a medal. I was just in it for the pleasure of it.

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Every day, I loved seeing where I could take myself by letting my body, and not my mind, guide me. It was a reclamation of my right to enjoy it, against what society and culture had told me… and let’s be honest here and say that, if there is a message society gives us day in and day out, is that our bodies exist for everyone’s enjoyment except our own.

I have done loads of therapy. This hasn’t happened on one day, year or even decade… I’ve been healing wounds that come from childhood day in and day out, committing to loving myself non-stop, allowing me be me unapologetically. So, yes, it has been a journey.

Today, I would go on a limb and call myself athletic. I demand movement from myself, fit it in my schedule no matter what, play with it, change it, always curious as to what experience will my body gift me next and how will I feel through it. It is scary and refreshing and wonderfully awesome. It has taken me YEARS to be here. But I'm glad I made the trip.

How do YOU relate to your body? How do you enjoy it for yourself only? Let me know and let’s support each other on our journeys back home, to ourselves.

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