By Maria Sooy, NJCTS Youth Council
As someone with Tourette Syndrome I also struggle with the co-occuring issues of anxiety and depression. I find that when I feel less anxious and depressed, my tics tend to be more mild. Having a balanced and healthy lifestyle helps me manage these feelings.
Although I know that these conditions will never completely disappear, I have found strategies to help me manage them. The most helpful thing for me is participating in mindful activities where I am present in the moment. One of my favorite activities that I have been doing for a few years now is yoga. Yoga is all about not have expectations for yourself and focusing on exactly what you are doing in the moment. I don’t always want to do it, but after I always feel refreshed and everything in my life seems a little more manageable. Taking my mind off of the things that are bothering me even if it’s only for an hour has a huge impact on how I feel. The focus on breath and keeping a clear mind in yoga helps me to stay present.
Although yoga is helpful to me, there are lots of options when it comes to stress relieving, mindful activities. Some other things that I also find helpful are taking a bike ride, journaling, or reading a book. Any activity that allows you to focus on exactly what you are doing in that moment is helpful. I hope you will find incorporating more mindful activities daily as beneficial as I find it for my overall wellbeing.