Christy & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives this past week. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.
Watch the episode here:
Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne | Mental Health Matters.
Mental health was not something that was talked about in the ‘90s and the early 2000s. It was expected that we were just going through it over and over again. And we’re forgetting that there are signs that present themselves so obviously that are actually considered a decline of our mental health.
Why is our mental health so important?
If our brains or our minds that control every thought, every belief, every step, every action that we take in our lives, are not in a healthy place, then imagine how that axes in our bodies as well. And through the actions that we’re taking; how we’re influencing others. Or how we’re teaching. How we’re showing up on stage. How we’re showing up in front of other people, teaching them or holding seminars, the possibilities are endless. So it is so important that we are taking care of our mental health.
So let’s, let’s make it something that we talk about all the time. Let’s make it something that is on the forefront that companies invest in it. It’s not even a question that when other companies come to them and say, “Hey, we want to help you with the mental health of your dancers, singers, and musicians, you name it, that they say yes, we have a budget for that.” It is not something that needs to be raised or is expected for the company to be brought in. But it’s something that the leaders, participants, and board members be as absolutely essential for a healthy, thriving, sustainable company that the mental health of performing artists is looked after.
Signs That You Can Watch Out for,
There are signs that we should not to overlook. There are signals such as the red flashing light when our tank is empty or is just about empty in the car showing us what the signs are when our mental health is declining and how we can counteract that. The counteraction is different for everybody. It is important that we are working on our ability to be aware of these signs and not brushing them under the carpet. Saying, “Oh, you’re just weak, or we just have to push through this because we have four Swan lakes and four nutcrackers in the next eight days. And after that, we can relax.” We can do things in between to stabilize where we are at so that we’re not declining even more.
So sign number one is that we feel more anxious or worried about anything and everything that’s out there. We all get worried and stressed out at times. But the anxiety, that heartbeat in our throat, the one that takes off our ability to think clearly, to breathe clear. That really interferes with us being able to show up as our very best selves. That’s the kind of anxiety we’re talking about. These two things, the anxiousness and the worrying more than we ever do. That we worry, particularly about everything. These are signs that we are declining in our mental health. When our anxiety actually comes with either shortness of breath or a headache, dizziness, sweating, restlessness. When we can’t sit still and we have a hard time controlling what we want to think, what we are going to do, how we are going to act. A racing mind that wakes us up at night. Diarrhea or nausea? These are the signs of anxiety that are the red light flashing in our car that we need to do something.
We need to step back and ask ourselves questions. How did we get here? What is going on? And how can we take care of ourselves right now?
Another sign is that we have emotional outbursts. All of a sudden, everything seems to be very dramatic. We can’t find any happiness nor joy. Our mood jumps up and down. We’re experiencing extreme anger or distress. These can be symptoms of our mental health declining. So when we find that or somebody is bringing it up to us and saying, “hey, you seem just a little bit on edge.” This is our signal to “okay, maybe we need to go get some help. Maybe we need to dig deeper into this. Maybe there is something that we have not been looking at for a very long time. And it’s time now for us to take care of that”.
We have problems sleeping
And another sign that our mental health is declining is that we have problems sleeping. This means either that we cannot sleep enough. That however much we sleep, it does not feel enough to our bodies, we’re consistently tired. Or, we have very disruptive sleep. This is so important. There are so many studies out there about how important and imperative sleep is and what the consequences are if we’re not giving our body enough sleep and rest. As high performers, regardless of how old we are, say we are 15, 25, 35 years old, these are the things we really need to dig deep into even though our bodies are still stronger compared to a 45 or 55-year-old. If we’re not doing it now we will have to pay for it later.
Appetite or weight changes
Another sign is that our appetite or our weight changes and that can go either way. It can go into losing appetite and that we can’t eat. Do we feel nauseous all the time when we’re putting something in our bodies? And there is the other side of it, that we binge eat meaning that we’re on the verge of an eating disorder. Either way, not eating enough or eating all the time. Something to numb that we’re not wanting to deal with. So that’s another sign that our mental health is declining. When we are losing appetite or having a huge amount of appetite.
Feeling guilty and worthless all the time
Feeling guilty and worthless all the time is yet another sign. Meaning that if we find ourselves deflecting praise or anything good that’s coming into our lives. And we feel like we’re not worthy of receiving that or we’re not feeling worthy of getting it, whatever it is, our mental health is declining. It is something that we need to look into because all of that can really go down the rabbit hole quickly. If we’re not feeling worthy of being here or dancing a rule or getting paid a certain amount or being in a relationship or work or there is more to it. Again, that is a warning flashing red light in our car coming on letting us know that there is some work that needs to be done. And don’t disregard that we’re not doing it with our car because we know the consequences. If that light flashes too long, the car is going to stop unless we have an electric car. But the car is literally unable to drive anymore and that our bodies are a little bit more gracious. The red light flop can sometimes flash for years upon end. But let us not underestimate the power of that flashing light out. Let us go find help, go find somebody that can really support us. Most of us don’t know where to start.
Clinical depression and clinical anxiety
There is clinical depression and clinical anxiety. But we need to understand that it always starts very small. It starts with these tiny little signs that we can take care of so they don’t escalate. So they don’t become interfering in what we want to do and who we want to become so that our car doesn’t stop. So that we can keep on driving down that highway.
Leaning towards the use of substances
When we find ourselves leaning towards substances, that literally numb us out, meaning that if we find ourselves having a drink or two more than usual and that goes on over a certain amount of time, lean into that. We should ask ourselves, is this really bringing out the best in us? And why are we doing that? There are other substances that people can and do take in order to numb themselves. But it is important that we are looking at these. Many people do this to just take the edge of or to feel relaxed. We should always check in with ourselves; where are we at? How much is this becoming something that we have to do every day? So don’t let our car run out of gas, take care.
The body and mind are our superpowers
Mental health should be a topic every day. It’s not just data we’re dedicating out of the year, it’s something that is every day, every hour of the day important. Because if our mind is unhealthy, our body is not going to be healthy, as well. When we all of a sudden have any kind of physical pain that we don’t know where it’s coming from, that can also be a sign that our mental health is declining. It is our mind giving us a different light on that dashboard. Telling us, “Hey, we have been ignoring this one. But how about this one? How much is that impacting our day to day life? How much of an inconvenience is this right now so that we’re listening, and that we’re taking care of ourselves?” Because the body and the minds are our superpowers and the only ones we get. So take care.
Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.
So much ❤ Susanne
About Christy Little
Former professional dancer turned entrepreneur who is passionate about living in purpose and assisting people to see the greatness inside of them to live their ideal life.