Like many people I struggle with anxiety. You are not alone. 40 million adults in the U.S. also suffer from anxiety.

I bet you would’ve never guessed that for most of yesterday’s show I was having an internal panic attack. Why? Just because. I woke up yesterday feeling like my heart was going to explode out of my chest and it continued throughout the day.

I’ll never forget the first time I experienced a panic attack. It felt like the whole room was closing in on me and as if I was outside of my body, which I later learned in therapy is called “disassociation.” The anxiety and panic attacks worsened from there. I felt anxious first thing in the morning, throughout the day, and before I went to bed. I even felt anxious in my sleep. My panic attacks stopped me from even wanting to be out in public out of shame and embarrassment. 

I felt scared, uncertain, and that no one else could possibly feel what I was feeling. This led me down a hole of depression for a handful of months. Then, I sought therapy.

Am I cured and anxiety-free? No. But I’ve accepted that anxiety is a part of me; not me. I’ve noticed that over the years my anxiety comes in waves and different forms than before such as pacing all around the room, labored breathing, and a spiral of negative thoughts. But I’ve learned how to manage it.

I’m not a licensed professional and I don’t know your story but the advice I do have if you too experience this is:

  1. Breathe. I know it sounds cliche but breathe. Put your hand on your chest and breathe in through your stomach and out your nose.
  2. Find what relaxes you or keeps your brain busy. For me, I found that laying in a warm bath reading a book is what helps. It could be watching your favorite show, going for a walk, cleaning, or working out. Find what works for you.
  3. Talk to someone. Call a friend or loved one to just talk, it doesn’t even have to be about what you’re feeling. Sometimes having that distraction helps refocus your mind.
  4. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.

It doesn’t matter who you are… if you’re rich or poor, what race or religion you are, where you live, or what you do for a living… anxiety and depression don’t discriminate. So if there’s only one thing you take away from today’s ‘Christine-ology’ take away this: you are not alone.

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This was hands down my most serious and vulnerable Christine-ology to date. While I was nervous to read it on the air, I did because even if I impacted one person, then I made a difference. You can listen to the segment below.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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