Healthy & Happy living seems like quite a challenge these days. Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle can be really overwhelming and at times, draining. Healthy living does not have to incorporate all the ambitious and flamboyant displays of health and fitness that you see on instagram pages. So much of “happy/healthy living” is really in the small things we do in our daily life and if you want to expand your own personal wellness journey to drinking celery juice, Yoga, and Meditation, that is entirely up to you. The most important wellness tips I’ve personally learned are that:
- You don’t need to do it all.
- You’re a lot more likely to do things that you actually enjoy.
So I decided it was time for me to discuss mental health and wellness. I have struggled with my anxiety and panic disorder for several years so I can only speak for myself because anyone who deals with anxiety, experiences it in their own way. I personally, have always found comfort around people who relate or understand what it’s like to struggle with mental health because there is no worse feeling than feeling singled out about something you are going through. When I am feeling anxious, the only thing that will make me feel worse is hearing “why are you being so anxious? Just calm down.”
Because really, that just completely solved my problems and I’m feeling totally fine! Thanks! I am also now extremely aware of my anxiety & pretending it’s not happening as it gradually gets worse!
During the pandemic, Angelica decided to put her energy into helping others with a Mental Health Podcast. The Revolutionized Mind, run by the mental health advocate, is designed to help and inspire people to feel and live like the happiest version of themselves. Her goal is to help others restructure the way that they think and connect through personal growth and spiritual connection. She often has guests come onto her episodes and speak about their own journeys, struggles and stories that inspire and fascinate listeners by letting them know they are not alone.
The Revolutionized Mind is available on Apple, Spotify, and Anchor with a new episode released every Friday!
I asked Angelica to do a interview with me on mental health, wellness, and her own journey because I felt that her presence, even virtually, is inspiring and reassuring to all of us who are feeling out of touch with our spirituality and wellbeing.
Tell us about your journey with starting The Revolutionized Mind & what lead you to share your passion?
I have considered myself a “Mental Health Advocate” since the beginning of high school
where my journey with mental illness really took a sharp turn. After being at the lowest
point in my life, I made it my passion and purpose to really become an active mental
health advocate in my community. I joined various groups and initiatives, donated, told
pieces of my story, researched, and began using my platform to share education and raise
awareness. I decided to start The Revolutionized Mind because it felt like the next right
thing for me. I wanted to give people a platform to share their story and have these tough
conversations. I also think that I have the experience, the drive, and the desire to want to
normalize these topics and address the issues that we see in society. Although this
podcast is still quite new, I am very proud of the progress that it’s made, and I hope that
my platform will continue to grow!
Have you found it easy for guests or listeners to open up with you and discuss their struggles?
That’s funny that you ask that actually! I just opened up to one of my best friends
about the impact that some of these episodes have had on me. Obviously, if you want
to host a mental health podcast or become a counsellor, which is what I want to do, then
you have to be able to listen to other people’s trauma and still do your job. But that does
not mean that some topics won’t hit harder than others or at times, personal feelings
won’t get brought up. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I also love what I do. The
passion and the purpose of this podcast is way more overpowering, in the best way
possible, which is why I continue to do it. But I’ve just had to really increase my own
self-awareness, and make sure I am taking the time that I need for myself, and using my own support system!
Do you have any suggestions or resources for anyone who is trying to cope and deal with current or past trauma?
I think it’s important to recognize that everyone copes/deals with trauma in different
ways. One person could love therapy and talking about their feelings, someone else
could love art and expressing their feelings in a creative way, or another person might not
even be ready to acknowledge their trauma and begin their healing journey. There are
several complicated layers to mental health and while it would be nice, there is no “one
size fits all” approach to it. My biggest tip for this is to just experiment and try to take
every experience, both positive and negative, as an opportunity to learn and grow. Pay
attention to how you feel in these situations and focus on how you can use it to your
advantage. Talking about it is always something that I will encourage as well, but I
personally understand how hard that can be sometimes. Be patient with yourself and
remind yourself that recovery is never linear. Sometimes dark days are there for a
reason and allow us to really feel the good that comes from them in the long run.
Do you believe that self-compassion is vital for one’s wellness journey and do you have any tips on cultivating it? How does one begin to teach themselves self-love?
I think there is a difference between self-compassion and self-love. To me, self-
compassion focuses on trying to understand and forgive yourself for something that has
gone wrong. Whereas self-love focuses on a constant state of being content with yourself
regardless if something has gone right or wrong. I struggle with both. However, both are
beneficial to whatever wellness journey you are on. Affirmations could work, sleep could
work, or playing sports could work. We all show love and compassion for ourselves in
different ways because experiences are subjective, and it takes time to find out and
understand what works for us. I always have to remind myself to honour what my mind
or body is telling me, and this changes depending on the day. If I am tired, then I allow
myself to rest. If I am antsy, then I allow myself to move. If I am anxious, then I allow
myself to address it. We are so much less productive when we try to ignore or resist these
feelings and then we tend to just fall into a vicious cycle. Do each day as best as you can,
whatever best may look like for you on that day and ensure that you are learning, growing, and believing from the inside out!
*interruption* me again!
I particularly felt the need to stop after this part because her words had really resonated with me here. I’m sure different areas of this conversation will impact each reader in its own way, however here’s why it did for me.
A really big fraction of my own personal journey of self-growth and self-love really did take self-compassion. We never truly realize just how harsh we are to our own selves until you have taken a moment to reflect on how you speak to yourself in your mind. When you are struggling, grieving, emotional, etc. Pause once in a while to see if you need to be kind to your mind. A habit I have made it a priority for myself to take on, is that I would ask myself, “Would I give this advice to my friend? Would I say this to my friend?” if your answer is an obvious no because it is hurtful or harsh, retract your thoughts to be calmer, softer, and nicer. Your emotions will be easier to deal with, less over-whelming, and your mind will naturally be more rational.
What are your suggestions on helping with Covid-Related anxieties? Such as uncertainity about the future, loneliness, etc.
It’s impossible to sugar-coat the effects that the pandemic has had on everyone’s mental
well-being. Our lives have completely changed without any knowing of what the next day was going to bring. It was tough and this uncertainty was felt on a global scale. I think it’s
important for people to realize that these events were out of our control. We had no
choice but to stay indoors, socially distance, and mourn the entire situation. As cliché as
this sounds, it helps to just focus on the positives. For example, personally, I am lucky
because my family and friends are healthy. I am healthy. I developed new hobbies and
habits, and my body has had time to rest. It’s an abundance mindset that forces your brain to be grateful for what you do have rather than what you do not. Although we are hopefully
nearing the end of it all, I’ve learned to make the most out of my free time. Instead of
watching tv or using my phone, I get outside, read, move my body or follow habits that I have learned to make me feel good. We will never get this amount of time to
ourselves again. Instead of letting these anxieties or negative thoughts overwhelm us, use
this as an opportunity to learn, grow, and become the best possible version of yourself!
You recently released an episode on the relationship between Mental Health and Nutrition. Can you briefly explain that?
The relationship between nutrition and mental health is extremely interrelated. Not just
because of the importance behind what you put in your body, but how you think about what you are putting in your body; which is what the episode mainly focused on. Our society has really impacted the value that we place on food, specifically revolving around physical appearance and body image. We have learned to accept these unhealthy beliefs and norms which have contributed to the dangerously high number of eating disorders and mental health-related issues. Our body is fueled by our nutrition and our mind is fueled by our thoughts. It’s important that we get these two on the same page and try to ensure that one is not controlling the other. That way, they can both do their job effectively.
An enormous thank you to the host and creator of The Revolutionized Mind, Angelica Galluzzo!
Follow her on Instagram to learn more and follow her journey!