June 21, 2023

I have anxiety, here’s how I use Kic to shake it off

Today, we’re chatting to the latest mumma in the Kic team, Nic Maycroft, who has so generously opened up about her recent experience with managing anxiety.

A few handy tips from Nic – movement is so important for the mind, make time for yourself, be realistic and sometimes, you’ve just got to enjoy that coffee.

Anxiety, argh. The annoying pest that comes in way too hot to the party they weren’t invited to. I recently had a constant undertone of that uncomfortable feeling (IYKYK) that lingered for a few of weeks.

I kept pushing on through. Mat-leave life is busy at home with my 8-month-old baby, I was drinking two coffees a day, doom-scrolling social media on the reg and my exercise routine was non-existent. Let’s just say, self-care took a back seat, until now.

I have no idea where this came from, but Einstein’s quote randomly popped into my head, ‘Insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Now, I’m by no means referring to myself as insane, but this was a reminder that if I wanted to make a positive change, I needed to shake things up.

So, I decided to set myself a 7-day challenge, to move and meditate every day. While I was at it, I pledged to swap my almond lattes for decaf (sad but essential) and limit alcohol to one glass of wine, when I was catching up with friends.

I should preface that I’m not a physical or mental health professional, I’m just your average gal ready to make some positive changes in her life. If you’re reading this thinking ‘can relate’, I feel you, it sucks. Make sure you reach out to Beyond Blue or Lifeline if you need help.

Day 1:

Today was the day I knew I needed to make a change. I could feel my anxiety boiling up. My mind was busy, my heart was racing, the whole shebang. I couldn’t tell you the last time I went for a run, but I knew that my body was full to the brim with adrenaline that needed to be released, and cardio would be my best bet. I cranked some music and ran around the block. Far out, it felt bloody good!

Movement: 10-minute run

Meditation: Managing your Monkey Mind

Day 2:

As much as I’d love for this menace to disappear overnight, I know that managing anxiety is a slow and steady process, a wave I’ve learnt to ride out. I’d forgotten how powerful the runner’s high was, and I still had so much adrenaline built up, so I knew another run was just what I needed today. I managed to run another block, which was a huge win for this new mumma! For my meditation, alternate nostril breathing can be incredibly calming for stress and anxiety, so I zoned out for 5 minutes of breathing bliss.

Movement: 15-minute run

Meditation: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Day 3:

Here’s a hot tip that I remembered from Kic’s physio, Ash: if you’re feeling worked up, quickly release some adrenaline before you switch to something slow and mindful. So, today I smashed out a 5-minute HIIT sweat sesh with Brooke before I got my zen on with a Hatha yoga flow, and I must say, it was a challenging, yet perfect combo! I loved yesterday’s breathwork meditation so I decided to give it another go, and once again, it did wonders for my busy brain.

Movement: Non-stop Glute Thruster with Brooke + Cosmic Bliss with Karen

Meditation: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Day 4:

Full transparency, I’d never tried a Dance Cardio class before today. It was honestly so good for my soul, I couldn’t stop laughing. Cranking the tunes and literally shaking it off was such a good stress release!

Movement: Abs n Arms Dance Cardio with Kath

Meditation: Relaxing the body

Day 5:

I woke up today knowing that it was a day for rest. My muscles were aching but in the best way possible. You know that post-workout feeling, a sign that I’d given my body the movement it needed. When you don’t have the energy to ‘actually’ move, you need to get yin yoga on your radar.  I was literally lying on my mat for 20 minutes, stretching it out, a nurturing win for my body and mind.

I was really craving a coffee to see me through the afternoon as my baby had kept me up overnight. So I decided ‘why not’, and omg it was good, but it did get my heart racing, a compromise I was willing to take today. I also forgot to meditate today (oops!) but figured the yin yoga was pretty meditative so that’ll do, ha! Let’s be real, no one’s perfect!

Movement: Soothe Restlessness with Jamie

Meditation: NA

Day 6:

When I woke up this morning my mind was so much clearer. I even caught myself thinking, “I’m feeling good today, so I’ll get stuff done around the house rather than exercising” But then reminded myself WHY I feel good, and it’s because I have been moving my body, which motivated me to roll out my mat. If you have a busy brain, Kika’s workouts are so damn good. Her barre classes challenge you with dynamic movements that take your mind off your thoughts and into your body. Loved this workout!

Movement: Legs & Glutes Barre with Kika

Meditation: Exploring the Breath

Day 7:

Thinking back to how I was feeling on day 1, I’m feeling really proud of the changes I’ve made. I can honestly feel a positive impact on my mental health, my mind is clearer and my body is calmer. Today’s Pilates is hands down one of my favourites, I love how Christina guides me through challenging poses and transitions, it’s actually a really fun flow. Fittingly, I thought I’d finish day 7 with a ‘Letting Go of Anxiety’ meditation.

Movement: Holistic Foundational Flow with Christina

Meditation: Letting Go of Anxiety

So, what did I learn after moving and meditating for 7 days?

  • Movement, no matter how big or small, is so important for my mental health
  • Prioritising myself helps me be a better mum to my daughter
  • It doesn’t matter that I didn’t meditate every day, progress over perfection
  • In reality, I won’t have time to exercise everyday, and that’s okay, but even a quick walk with my dog counts as movement.
  • Laughing is so good for my soul
  • Coffee is delicious

Nicole Maycroft

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