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  • Writer's pictureErica Livingston

Mental Health Check-in

Hey y’all!

I’ve been very vocal up here about my mental health. Lately, I’ve been doing probably better than ever. I’ve never had positive coping mechanisms. I used to smoke before I got pregnant. I quit when I found out about David, but that coping mechanism turned to food. I ended up gaining so much weight over the past few years that at my highest, I was 50 lbs over what I was at 9 months pregnant.

When I gained weight, my mental health plummeted. It didn’t help that in this time, Covid hit, then David was diagnosed with autism and his chromosome disorder. I do not do well with feeling out of control, so not knowing what this chromosome disorder had in store for us really took a toll on me. The cherry on top was moving out of my home state for the first time in my life.

Since summer of ‘21, my mental health had turned from anxiety to full blown daily panic attacks. I was already on medication, but it was no longer cutting it. I didn’t feel like I was improving until this January.

Now, so much has changed in such a small time. I finally realized I was hurting myself by trying to cope. I finally started looking at what I eat and realized that the junk I was eating was hurting my mental health as well. Our bodies need fuel. I started moving my body more, going on walks and just trying to make positive changes.

In February, I finally stepped on the scale to face the music of my unhealthy choices. It’s only mid March, so I still have a LONG way to go. However, just since making these changes, my anxiety has improved tenfold. I did have to increase my meds, and I also started speaking to a therapist. The healthy diet and exercise were the last addition to my attempts and its what worked best for me.

I’ve fallen in love with rowing. We bought a rower and very quickly upgraded to a Hydrow. It’s amazing and the rows really have helped me center myself. I read online that rowing tends to be a good hobby and exercise for people with anxiety and it’s absolutely true. The repetition and calmness of the water just really is great for the mind.

I’m not writing this to brag, or even try to convince someone to get healthy. I’m pro body positivity however that looks for you. But since I’ve been so vocal about my struggles, I also want to be sure to be vocal about my triumphs as well.

How’s everyone else? How is YOUR mental health? Be sure to check in with yourself regularly so you don’t have to hit a breaking point!

❤️ Erica

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