This mental health awareness week, our Founder Danielle shares a little bit more about her journey with mental health and why her skincare routine became her saviour in a time of need.
Anxiety has been in my life ever since I can remember. That familiar felling of being on the edge, butterflies (not necessarily the good ones), sweaty palms and an overshadowing feeling of uncomfortableness that’s so hard to put your finger on.
I have been there, in the middle of the night, in the deepest darkest depths of anxiety where you feel like maybe this is your new normal and that you will never be the same again. The twisting and turning, the not being able to sleep and the overwhelming feeling of fear that’s so unmistakably real but at the same time feels so unnecessary.
Over the years, I’ve come to know my anxiety well and I’d like to think that we are now firm friends. No longer does it creep up on me, or jump out when I’m not expecting it, instead we now have a relationship, one where I know how to look after it, to keep it in check and to manage the highs and lows as best I can.
These learnings haven’t been quick, and it most certainly hasn’t been fun. I had to change my lifestyle and fully accept who I am in order for me to fully understand what my body was trying to tell me. And, that’s what my anxiety is, it’s a message. A message to tell me something isn’t right, that something is uncomfortable and that there’s more work to be done.
There are many layers to anxiety. Everyone suffers with different symptoms and there are a million different reasons for it to appear. There’s not a one size fits all approach to working with your anxiety. Some things that work one day, don’t work the next and there’s not a quick fix. But the reason I am sharing all of this with you is so that you know you are not alone. Anxiety is very real but you can work through it. It is possible and it can be done. Take this from someone who has suffered with it in all its different forms for nearly 20 years.
It might sound frivolous but in times of need, I relied on my self-care routine the most. I would come home (sometimes in a total state) and make a beeline for the bathroom. Wash my face and wash off the day. I was lucky enough to have access to skincare products from my job which would allow me to lock myself away and focus on the ritual of applying a facemask, washing my body and sitting in a hot bath. I appreciate that I was and I am in a very privileged position – I have a bath, I have access to products, and I don’t have anyone relying on me (children etc) so I have time. But what I really learned from this was the importance of giving myself the space for self-care however that might be, and just how important it was for me to connect back to my body, feel more grounded and feel like myself, even if that was only for 5 minutes.
This is what lead me to create My Skin Feels and our daily skincare routine. I wanted there to be an easy ritual where you can get back to basics, get back to yourself and get back to your body. It’s as simple as washing your face, washing the day off and starting again.
I appreciate how hard it is to connect back to your feelings when you are in a heightened state. Especially in a society where everything is go, go, go! and in one where we are not taught how to properly manage our emotions - but for me it starts with baby steps. So if we can start by checking with 'how your skin feels', we will eventually get to the bigger question of ‘ how do you feel?’. It’s a process and it takes time and if My Skin Feels can be the tool that helps you to get there then we have done our job.
I’m not saying that my self-care routine solved my anxiety as that's far from the case. It certainly helped me to forge a new relationship with my body and gave me some peace and respite, but anxiety is a constantly evolving journey and one which I am still on today. I have tried everything and anything. I have gone down the traditional route, the holistic route and after years of work, I have finally found tools that align with each other in order to manage my anxiety on a daily basis. Now when my anxiety comes to join me, I have the tools, resources and knowledge to change my behaviour and do what I need to work through the process in a way that works best for me.
Below are some of the things I do to keep my mental health in check. Personally, I have found that the holistic route suits me better and is more attuned to my energy but please do what works best for you. I’m sharing the below purely as an additional resource.
- Emotional Freedom Technique with Sandy Sommer
- Psychic Mediumship with Gary Wright at the College of Psychic Studies
- Embodiment Coaching with Susanna Bergin
- Nutrition with Phoebe Liebling
- Yoga at Ekah Yoga
- Osteopathy with Charlotte Ward
- Heat therapy at Beach Box
- Exercise at Fitness Hub
One final note from me is that things do pass. When people used to tell me this, I never believed them, and I had come to terms with the fact that maybe I’m ‘just an anxious person’ and that ‘this is the new me’ but they have, and they will pass.
You can get through your anxiety, and you will. I know it’s incredibly hard and I recommend you do this with professional guidance, especially in the beginning, but if you can step into your feelings and try to succumb to what they are trying to tell you instead of pushing them away or band-aiding them, the journey will be a much easier one to walk through.
For extra support and a on all things anxiety related, I recommend the below resources.
Good luck, know you’re not alone and don’t be embarrassed by your feelings. We’re all human and we’re all in this together.