Brigid Downey

May 28, 2020

My Self Care Tips for Anxiety | Mental Health Awareness Month

Hello Dreamers! For my last post in May, I wanted to acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Month, especially during the pandemic. I was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder when I was 16, though they were monitoring signs of anxiety when I was 11. I’ve grown up having mental health issues for most of my life.

This situation the world is all in has made mental health struggles worse for some, and some people are dealing with mental health struggles for the first time. As someone who’s been dealing with mental health struggles for over a decade, I’m not immune to the anxiety of the pandemic. I have health anxiety and change anxiety so this hasn’t been exactly easy and I wanted to let you know if you’re going through something you’re not alone. I also wanted to tell you what I’m doing to cope and maybe you’ll get some ideas:


Every morning I wake up with coffee and check on my garden. This has been a mental health thing I’ve been doing for a few years now, but this year it just meant more. Normally I get my plants from the local farmer’s market, but obviously, that didn’t happen this year so I went to Home Depot with my mask on and got plants.

This year we got:


  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme


  • Butter Lettuce
  • Kale

I re-potted my aloe plant because he’s getting huge and we got Rey some catnip!

We also have a bird feeder so every morning Rey and I go check on the garden and then watch the birds while we wake up. I’m really proud of how fast my plants have grown and it’s really rewarding to just take a moment of gratitude for nature in the morning.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation have been a coping mechanism I’ve used for years. After growing up a dancer, yoga was a no brainer. I haven’t been able to do yoga as often as I’d like since my wrist was injured in November. But now I’ve gotten my injection and I’m feeling a lot better so I can finally put my weight back on my wrist when doing downward dog!

Meditation is something I’ve majorly neglected since moving to Wisconsin. Good news is working from home and having increased time from no commute makes it easy to sneak in meditation.

Working from home is also great for stretching in my living room to work out knots or do deep breathing and there’s no one to walk by and judge me except my fiancee– and she’s used to it anyway.


Going off of my last point, I’ve been exercising more with my new free time.

I’ve missed dance so much since graduating and I really haven’t been making as much time as I should to just workout. When I had my stomach surgery back in 2018 I lost a lot of my stamina and flexibility that I had built up in nearly two decades of dance. That was a huge motivation killer.

Well, now I discovered The Fitness Marshall on Youtube and resubscribed to Blogilates. I’m dancing again and using exercise as a way to work out a lot of my energy that’s been building up from being in quarantine. I feel super motivated now and I’m not pressuring myself to stay on a schedule. I’m letting my workouts be easy and a stress reliever which has massively changed my outlook on my body and my fitness.

Skin Care

Another Youtuber I’ve discovered in The Golden RX and I’ve gotten really into skincare.

Anyway, because I’ve been watching a ton of her videos I’ve gotten back into skincare. This creates a little bit of time for just me in the morning and night. It’s nice to reflect and it’s helped my sleep.

One warning if you follow this one: don’t be me and get too excited. I tried too many products at once and made my face irritated. I had to stop everything and slowly add products back in, but I also have super sensitive skin. Just remember to spot test!

Forgiving Myself

The thing I’ve learned most the last few years about my mental health is the importance of forgiving myself. It’s completely by design that most of the things on this list have been ways to carve out time to reflect daily. Whether it’s sitting in my garden or doing a dance workout I’ve been reconnecting with myself which has been huge!

Some days I don’t feel motivated. Some weekends I just binge Netflix and don’t get out of bed. I’m reminding myself that’s okay. I don’t have to be perfect and I know you guys have heard me say it or read it on here before, but it’s worth repeating again and again. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be your personal best. If your best is binging Netflix all day then that’s okay. (But please don’t ignore your responsibilities like children or your job!)

Whatever you’re going through remember to reach out to people around you or a hotline. (I’ve done both in the last few months.) If you can reach out to a professional, I’m a huge advocate for therapy! It’s okay to feel lost and alone, but I know it gets better. Stay healthy and safe. and know I’m sending good vibes your way.

What are you doing to cope? Let’s chat in the comments and remember I’m always here to chat.

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

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