I’ve never been the type of person who stressed out easily. I work best under pressure and generally plow through obstacles with the reassurance that there are few things life throws us at that can’t be handled if only we persevere. Then, the year 2015 happened. In the thick of it, life really didn’t seem bad but 2015 was the year of hurdles. In January, we moved across the country from Michigan to Florida, leaving behind all of our family. In March, I found out that I was pregnant and that I had a sub-chorionic hematoma – which we had no idea how it would affect our baby. I spent most of March in and out of the hospital battling the hematoma and extreme sickness. In June, we went home to visit family and my grandfather unexpectedly passed away and returned to Florida to find our home had been robbed. In October, my daughter underwent the placement of a sub-peritoneal shunt in her brain to treat a cyst and pocket of fluid that had developed at the age of 1.
It was about this time that the debilitating, leave-me-in-bed-with-the-curtains-drawn-migraines started. I didn’t see the warning signs then. I didn’t even see it when I sat in the stark white hospital room, listening to my doctor diagnose me with baby blues after my son was born. It wasn’t until she explained that your emotional health in the year leading up to your baby’s birth is one of the major factors in the development of baby blues. Then it hit me. That while I was busy pushing through and persevering, somewhere in the back of my mind these emotions were still there. Lingering. For eight long weeks, I battled extreme anxiety and depression daily.
As someone who had always been able to persevere through difficult circumstances, I struggled further with the idea that this was not something I could cure through sheer will power. It was devastating. At one of my lowest points, it left me standing in the middle of the chip aisle at the grocery store bawling uncontrollably as my senses were overwhelmed by other shoppers. Eventually the baby blues went away, but those 8 weeks were a wake up call that I couldn’t ignore the stress my body carries. Since my son was born, I’ve been experimenting with Yoga classes a few times a week and nightly meditation to help clear my mind. I’ve found the classes to be a mixture of empowering, calming, and exerting. The classes provide a time and space where I can focus on my physical health in addition to my mental health. Something I think so many of us lack as we enter motherhood.
But as a busy mom, wife, writer, and photographer, there isn’t always time to hit my yoga class and sometimes clearing my mind is easier said than done. This is why Dr. Tina Chadda, MD, a mindfulness and meditation coach, psychiatrist, and author, recently launched a meditation app called Akasha Meditation.
Through a mixture of Eastern and Western practices, Akasha Meditation aims to take a well-rounded approach to meditation, mindfulness and personal development by curating content focused on different areas of your life, like love, creativity, success, productivity, harmony and balance. It starts with a questionnaire in order to create a more personalized experience and then walks you through five organized elements that focus on different life themes.
Sometimes life throws us curve balls. Sometimes we find out that powering through doesn’t mean we’re moving on. Sometimes it takes something drastic to make us realize that the health of our mind is just as fragile and important as the health of our body. So far my journey with yoga and meditation has been an eye-opening experience, even if it is one that I struggle to master daily.
Have you ever tried yoga or meditation? What did it do for you?