Anxiety, Self-Care, and CBD: Guest contributor Britt from @bare.beauty.blog shares her deeply personal experience of embracing self care to manage her anxiety.
BY DEFINITION SELF-CARE IS THE PRACTICE OF TAKING ACTION TO IMPROVE OR PRESERVE ONE’S OWN HEALTH; IT LOOKS DIFFERENT TO EVERYONE AND THAT’S OKAY, IT IS CALLED SELF CARE FOR A REASON.
So why are we only recently starting to hear so much buzz surrounding these two little words? Well here’s my thoughts; we are living in an age where most of the time we are overstimulated, over-scheduled, over-worked, overwhelmed and often just plain over it. We give so much of ourselves to so many different channels (relationships, children, work, pets, volunteer work, school…the list goes on) that caring for our own self tends to become an after thought. It is so widely accepted that in order for a person to be seen as successful they must constantly be ‘grinding‘ or ‘hustling’ and the idea of resting or taking time out for yourself seems indulgent or lazy. Then there’s the fact that we are expected to make ourselves available to everyone at any given time all while appearing to be perfectly perfect on social media. There has been such a decrease in actual human-to-human contact because it is so much easier and faster to send a text or a DM; this is such the norm now that phone calls and in-person interactions often make people uncomfortable (myself included at times).
Any or all of these things can at times put the state of our mental health in a negative or even dangerous place; it is beyond important to know what the options are and the ways we can actively support and improve our mental health. Self-care can go a lot deeper than using a face mask a few times a week or having a candle-lit bubble bath, as I’ve recently learned there’s a bit more to it…
Warning, things are about to get personal:
Throughout my life I have struggled with varying degrees of anxiety; losing my mom to breast cancer when I was 7 years old really put a lot of heavy, negative emotions and thoughts into my head surrounding health, sickness, and death that I have since carried with me. I have been able to manage my anxiety for the most part and although it makes me that person that needs to know every detail of everything (Where are we going? Who will be there? What will we be doing? How long will we be there?) it has never overly stopped me from doing the things that I want to do – it’s just annoying and gets in the way sometimes.
I was in and out of the emergency room with what I thought were extremely aggressive PMS cramps […] I was in serious pain, my levels of everything were off the charts high and I was a nervous wreck
A few months back, I had a health scare which I briefly talked about in my IG stories but never really went into any detail as I myself didn’t really even know what was going on. I was in and out of the emergency room with what I thought were extremely aggressive PMS cramps (I’ve always had crazy periods so I didn’t think much of it). I was in serious pain, my levels of everything were off the charts high and I was a nervous wreck… I needed to know what was going on right that minute but of course that is not the way things go.
At the end of my second ER visit I was told I was getting a blood test to screen for ovarian cancer; although the “C” word terrifies me, I didn’t stress about it as I was told it was just a precaution since my inflammation markers were insanely high. I was told that endometriosis was at the top of the list for a possible diagnosis and as I had suspected this for awhile, I wasn’t overly alarmed. The next day when I went to see my family doctor expecting to talk about endometriosis and a treatment plan, she looked at me with a grave face and said “So the blood test you had yesterday for ovarian cancer…” and my entire world went black. Long story short, she explained that my markers were very high indicating that ovarian cancer was a real possibility and I needed to prepare myself for what was to come. I left there feeling like I had just been handed a death sentence; to say my anxiety was high doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
I started to feel like I was actually going crazy; Would these feelings ever stop? Was I going to be okay? Did I need to be checked into the hospital? These thoughts repeated over and over in my mind plus a million other similar ones. I had an MRI a week later which revealed endometriosis as my diagnosis and I honestly thought that once cancer was taken out of the equation my anxiety would go back to it’s “normal” level, but it hasn’t.
My anxiety quickly became something that was present in every moment of every day. It was holding me back from social gatherings, from doing things around the house, at times from going to work, and left me feeling on-edge and withdrawn. Over the past few weeks it has hit an all time high and I had my first severe panic attack – sitting on my couch at home alone on a Thursday night. I started to feel like I was actually going crazy; Would these feelings ever stop? Was I going to be okay? Did I need to be checked into the hospital? These thoughts repeated over and over in my mind plus a million other similar ones. I had an MRI a week later which revealed endometriosis as my diagnosis and I honestly thought that once cancer was taken out of the equation my anxiety would go back to it’s “normal” level, but it hasn’t.
I have actively worked hard to practice self-care and to be aware of what my body needs, therefore I felt like I was really in control of my mental health. Well folks, I am here to tell you that you can be the most “in control” person around and sometimes your mental health just shits the bed – not the most eloquent way to put it but it is what it is.
I have always been someone who is an advocate for mental health having seen family members and friends struggle with addictions, depression, anxiety, etc over the years. I have actively worked hard to practice self-care and to be aware of what my body needs, therefore I felt like I was really in control of my mental health. Well folks, I am here to tell you that you can be the most “in control” person around and sometimes your mental health just shits the bed – not the most eloquent way to put it but it is what it is.
I have practiced all kinds of self-care routines over the years and many of those things are what inspired me to start this blog and share my passion for all things beauty while incorporating my love of writing. Over the last couple of weeks I have been on a different self-care journey; I have started meditating every day, I am in an online wellbeing course, I am seeking the help of a professional, I have cut out caffeine (I’m a big tea guy now) and the biggest thing… I am talking about what’s going on. I have shared my struggles with those closest to me and the amount support and outpouring of love that I have received is something I can’t even put into words; I cannot express how important it is to simply talk.
This journey that I have been on has brought me to research what kinds of natural remedies and supplements are out there to help with anxiety. I love to research anything and everything and I found many useful tips, tricks, and remedies along the way. I already take vitamins and supplements daily and have forever now, but I have also found a few new natural supplements that have been working for me when it comes to my anxiety (if you’re ever interested to know more about those feel free to message me anytime). It is impossible to research natural remedies for anxiety and not come across CBD; so throughout my research I became curious about CBD as it seems to be the “wonder ingredient” that is everywhere and in everything lately. If you’re curious, I have talked extensively with my doctor about everything that’s been going on as well as asked her about natural supplements and CBD.
I am super new to CBD and still have a lot to learn myself, but it is definitely something I have been wanting to try as a natural support for my anxiety for a long time so when I came across FeelCBD on Instagram I was intrigued. I went over to their website and looked at each product they offer and read the reviews; that’s when I discovered that their pens not only contained CBD but also incorporated essential oils (which I already love and use) and they are a Canadian company. I reached out to ask them some questions about their products and to express my interest in using CBD to treat anxiety; Josie at FeelCBD was beyond kind and ended up asking me to be a part of launching their newest product. Previously, FeelCBD had offered disposable vaporizer pens and after hearing from their customers that they wanted something more sustainable, they listened and created a completely new USB-chargeable vaporizer pen. If a pen isn’t your thing, they also offer drops that can be placed under your tongue or on food/beverages as well as a raved about relief stick to help with anything from muscle aches to PMS pain.
If you have ever considered trying CBD I urge you to go check out the FeelCBD website if only for the purpose of educating yourself further; I was super impressed with all of the information they have available (check out the “Learn” and “FAQ” tabs).
If you have ever considered trying CBD I urge you to go check out the FeelCBD website if only for the purpose of educating yourself further; I was super impressed with all of the information they have available (check out the “Learn” tab). They answer things like – What is CBD? What are the benefits of CBD? They talk about the sudden surge in safety issues surrounding “vaping” and my most pressing question about CBD – Will it get me high? (No, theirs won’t which is what I personally preferred). Their oil is composed of Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil (sourced from a Health Canada approved Licensed Provider), Essential Oils (sourced from farms on Vancouver Island), and Fractionated Coconut Oil.
I am not here to sell you on anything, I genuinely wanted to share the journey I have been on and when I was given the opportunity to try CBD from Canadian company, I thought it would be the perfect way to tie the two together. This blog post is lengthy, personal, and a side-step from what I typically talk about; I feel passionate about incorporating mental health and self-care into my blog because not only is it therapeutic for me, I know that it may help just one other person to feel that they are not alone.
What do you do to combat anxiety? In what ways do you practice self-care? I am always interested in educating myself more on both topics! Also interested to know your thoughts/experiences on CBD.
As always, thanks for reading along beauties,
This blog post was originally posted on Bare Beauty Blog. To see more of Britt’s work, check out her author’s bio below for links to her blog and Instagram.