You've just released your second book, Diggin' Your Dark Side, Guidance to Transform Anxiety and Depression Into a Deep Sense of Belonging and Love. When did you battle depression and what were the triggers?
Depression kicked in for me in 2015. I was finishing off full time study, setting up a new business, learning to become a step-mum and blending my family with my husbands as well as working. Life was full and there was no down time. I had bitten off more than I could chew so to speak, and my body was not coping with the demands I placed on it. I had adrenal fatigue and the downward spiral started from there.
Who did you reach out to?
I kept it a secret for around six months as I was embarrassed of how I felt. I didn’t think I had a right to feel the way I did.
When I couldn’t take the pain any longer I shared my pain with my husband. He was so amazing and supportive from that moment and I realised that I didn’t need to deal with this alone. He helped me seek further help with professionals that gave me life changing tools.
What helped you to overcome your situation?
Cleaning my diet up, exercise and dealing with past traumas helped me immensely however the miracle of healing occurred when I stopped fighting depression.
The horrible truth of depression is that the fear of it and the focus you put on it fuels it. When I learnt to keep focusing on the glimmer of the real me still left, this is when I overcame the darkness.
Why did you decide to write your book?
The moment I felt like I unlocked the truth about depression I started writing and felt like I couldn’t stop. I wrote the first three chapters in 2 days. I needed to share how to beat this debilitating condition with as many people as I could.
What is the key advice you offer to "transform anxiety and depression into a deep sense of belonging and love"?
Don’t be afraid of it. Our darkness allows us to know our light and truth. It is only the battle against it that amplifies the pain. When you learn to disassociate with your emotions, accept them as a messenger and make the changes you need in life, things do get better.
What do you do today to stay on top of your mental health?
Meditation, journaling and exercise are important lifestyle choices that keep me focused on living a life of love. I also monitor my commitments better than I use to, I do have a workaholic tendency so it is easy for me to fall into a pattern of taking on too much, so I try to catch myself overcommitting and make a choice to slow things down.
How important is exercise and nutrition as coping tools?
Crucial. Stress hormones are released during exercise and the foods you eat can make or break you. Lifestyle choices are what activate or inhibit your gene responses, the choices you make for yourself do define how you feel.
What are small things that those prone to depression can do to keep in check?
Have a support person to help you when you feel the struggle kick in. Have a good routine of doing the things you love often and keep reminding yourself you are safe. They’re just feelings and they too shall pass.
You are a busy mum and business owner of the Redhead Wellness Sanctuary. How do you fit self-care into your day?
If I can’t get to everything on my list, I don’t fret. They’re just tasks and they’ll be there tomorrow. I keep my mind on the big picture of why I do what I do and try not to sweat the small stuff.
In your business, have you noticed a rise in clients seeking assistance for mental health balance?
Unfortunately yes. So many people are struggling with the demands of our modern lifestyles. The body can only take so much and the mind has been trained to be switched on constantly. We have all the ingredients for declined mental health.
What are the key things in society today that you think are factors in mental health issues?
We are very disconnected. We need to bring back the days of children playing together without arranging “a play date” and mothers catching up for a cup of tea unannounced.
We have become so focused on lists, tasks and achieving that we have forgotten how to be passionate and excited about our life.
We need to bring back the days of children playing together without arranging “a play date” and mothers catching up for a cup of tea unannounced. We have become so focused on lists, tasks and achieving that we have forgotten how to be passionate and excited about our life.Melinda Carbis-Reilly
What is your key advice to someone who is suffering and feeling disconnected?
Firstly I send love and compassion to them as their pain is real. Disconnection and suffering is reversable and you have the power to get yourself out. Please reach out to someone who can support you and know that there is so much joy and happiness on the other side. Be kind to yourself.