Let's Talk About Anxiety: Nadya Pecherskaya
Everyone gets anxious, so why does talking about it feel so icky sometimes?
Anxiety is apparently the most common mental disorder in the world according to the World Health Organization, but then, that right there might explain why talking about it is so stigmatized. After all, who really wants to admit they’ve got a mental disorder to their bosses, coworkers, clients, or even friends and family? Those words haven’t historically opened many doors or brimmed with positive connotations.
But, we’re on a mission to change that, because all of this internalizing and individualizing is clearly not helping. Our Let’s Talk About Anxiety series is all about sharing anxious encounters and pushing the conversation into the open so we can problem solve together and take back that power anxiety holds over us when we feel alone.
For the next three weeks we’ll be sharing stories and discussing anxiety. Unabashed and unfiltered. So read what others have to share and join in on the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram so we can create a living document that shows just how powerful working together can be in the fight against anxiety.
INTRODUCING: NADYA PECHERSKAYA
Nadya is the second of our interviewees and is a nutritionist and the founder of @icaria, a CBD oil company that’s located right here in Vancouver.
She’s not just on a mission to educate people about what it means to be healthy, she wants to show people the role CBD oil can play in supplementing and supporting that healthy lifestyle… and she’s speaking from experience. After all, it wasn’t until she started using the oil that she realized just how riddled with anxiety her life was and how bad of an effect it was having on her health.
CBD changed her life and it helped her understand her anxiety… but we’ll leave it to her to fill you in on the who, what, when, where, why of it all
WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE YOU WERE, OR HAD BEEN EXPERIENCING ANXIETY?
Great first question! I actually didn’t know I experienced anxiety until I learnt what a day without anxiety was. It happened when I first tried CBD oil and I felt very at peace with the world that day and I was quite surprised that I even could feel that way. Not until months later, after taking CBD oil consistently, I started really digging into what anxiety means and potentially playing with an idea that I do have it.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU REALIZED IT?
I felt empowered. When I realized that a feeling that I’ve had all my life and that I disliked has a name and that I now had a tool to deal with it felt liberating and quite exciting.
I also felt like I wasn’t alone, which made me realize that there was ‘nothing wrong with me’.
HOW DOES ANXIETY MANIFEST OR FEEL FOR YOU?
I usually get similar symptoms of chest tightening, my legs and arms feeling a bit shaky, my breath shortens and I feel out of control. I call my mind ‘a monkey brain’ when I experience anxiety since I feel like it’s just jumping around without any logic.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR WORK OR BUSINESS?
I feel that anxiety has a huge negative impact on my work. Sometimes it literally feels paralyzing and I can’t move on with my daily tasks. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and I then do things that aren’t a priority or that don’t even need to be done. Sometimes I feel I can’t focus on work at all so I have to go for a walk or eat something (I am a stress/anxiety eater).
Overall it decreases my productivity and makes me busier than I should be.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU EXPERIENCE IT?
It really depends on many factors - anywhere from a few times a day to a few times a week. The length of anxiety can also be from a few minutes long to a whole day being consumed by it.
DOES IT INCREASE AT CERTAIN TIMES OR WITH CERTAIN EVENTS?
I find it is often triggered by events, but not always. I feel more anxious when I put too much on my plate and stretch myself too thin, which to be honest happens all the time. I find that Monday mornings are often triggers for feeling anxious as well as my phone with too many messages via all channels (Instagram, emails, messenger, WhatsApp).
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND HELPS YOU?
Obviously, CBD oil is my number one solution that works right away and helps long term too.
However, I also try to implement other holistic techniques. Mindfulness is one of them, which I find is easier to do when I take CBD oil because it makes me more aware and present. Lately, however, even if I don’t have CBD oil with me and I feel anxiety coming up and I have learnt to notice it early on and catch it before it gets worse and do this:
Take a few deep breaths
Become aware of my body
Realize it is just an emotion/a feeling and if I don’t attach my mental state to it then it will just pass
I try not to think about anything for a few minutes other than focus on how my body feels and it often just passes
As a holistic nutritionist, I believe that food makes a huge difference. There are lots of foods that cause irritation in our body and we FEEL stressed and anxious when in reality it is just our gut being irritated. The food that makes me personally feel anxious are dairy, sugar, coffee, refined carbs like bread, pasta, baked good, etc. Hunger also triggers anxiety sometimes. I believe in taking relaxing food supplements like Magnesium at night, adaptogens like Chaga mushroom tincture or/and drinking herbal tea like holy basil tea.
DOES ANXIETY HAVE ANY CONSTRUCTIVE OR POSITIVE SIDES FOR YOU?
I’ve been trying to use my anxiety as guidance to either me putting too much on my plate or that I am not connected to my emotions and feelings. I am work in progress.
HOW DO YOU FEEL AFFECTED BY MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA?
I am not the type of person who browses social media much. I like to find inspiration from Instagram and Youtube and to learn from there.
However, messages stress me out! I have a few Instagram accounts, Facebook account, Youtube account in addition to WhatsApp, 3 e-mails and regular phone SMS’. I NEVER feel like I am all caught up with all of them. I know that even thinking about messages makes me anxious right away, so I am still learning to either answer only at a specific time or when I feel in balance enough to not get overwhelmed.
IF YOU COULD BRING ONE THING TO LIGHT ABOUT ANXIETY, WOULD WOULD THAT BE?
Anxiety is part of life for a lot of us and I never realized how prevalent it is until I started working with people with anxiety. It is nothing to be ashamed of (or proud of). Focusing on the opposite feelings and emotions from anxiety like joy, calmness, confidence and peace can be quite powerful.