My DIY Holistic Lifestyle after Anxiety Disorder

April 25, 2013 | 7 comments

You Don’t Have to Be a Hippie (if you want to, that’s cool too…)

When I was in high school I totally had a hippie phase. I also had long curly hair, and wore lots of bright and strident colors. Looking back I saw that many of them clashed, but it was a process of self-discovery – bad fashion sense included. I was also really thinking about going into alternative medicine. Why?

Anxiety Disorder Strikes

At the end of my freshman year of high school I suffered from daily panic attacks, OCD, depression, constant anxiety, and just overall badness. I covered it up well by taking a full course load and keeping one of those big smiles on my faces. I did not want to seem weak, I wanted to be the one that had things figured out and was set with what she wanted. 

But inside

I felt so alone. 

I knew that something had to change. I began my autodidactic journey then. Out of necessity. It takes something very bad to happen before humans start changing behaviors. I went to the library, researched online, found that there were links between diet and health. Found that there was another way to heal.

How I Joined the Health Conscious Movement

It took baby steps and creating lots of room for self-exploration. Through the library I discovered various botanicals that I could take that would ease some of the feelings that would keep me down. I also learned how relationships are a really important part of your life – they can help or hurt you. So I started to develop new habits.

10 Things That Helped me with  Depression, Anxiety, and Overall Well-being

  1. Tea: St. John’s Wort,  Kava Kava, Chamomile, Lavendar
  2. Lots of Exercise – start slow and build up. I ride my bike and do yoga. Do what feels right for your body
  3. Drink lots of water
  4. Vitamin C, E, and beta carotene are really important. Avoid heavily processed food.
  5. Journaling 
  6. Making Art – any art! Music, scrapbooking, writing, film, photography, zines
  7. Meditate! I love Leonie Dawson’s guided meditations. There are many you can find online. Try it with some aromatherapy!
  8. Get rid of toxic people in your life and surround yourself with people that you can learn from and you are both contributing to
  9. Check out The Linden Method – this helped me when I was at the lowest point with my anxiety
  10. Look for a good therapist, counselor, or someone you trust to confide in

Why DIY?

It is only after you find the strength to get yourself out of the bad habits, thoughts, and stigma that progress can follow. Everyone reacts differently to certain things, but in the end – you are the writer of your own life.

I chose DIY because I want to empower others to take their life into their own hands. It may not be the easiest way, but it sure is the most rewarding way. There are so many resources and people willing to help you in the DIY way. I am one, and there are many others as well.



  • Lisa Nalbone

    Thanks for sharing, Isabelle. I am going to show my mom and see if she is willing to try some of your ideas for her anxiety.

    • Isabelle Rizo

      Let me know how it goes Lisa!

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  • Cassandra Key

    I’ve battled panic disorder since my early 20s (I’m almost 31) and have done the whole on-and-off medication and counseling. Although those things helped, they never solved the problem, so I’m always looking for new and better ways to handle it. I’ve heard about Kava Kava and thought about giving it a go, but also heard some negative things. I guess it can’t be any worse than popping a pill. I’ve never heard of the Linden Method. Looking that up now!

    • Isabelle Rizo

      Hi Cassandra – if you ever want to talk feel free to contact me. The Linden Method was a lifesaver for me when I was at my lowest point. It looks at anxiety in a more holistic way – not just attacking it from one angle but creating the habit of ignoring those anxiety signals in the brain. I’ve used Kava Kava, it’s really good – but you have to be careful about it with your liver.

      Also, when using herbal remedies such as tinctures or herbs switching things up is always good because your body will get used to it. Same principal as when doctors will up the dosage of medication.

      Do stay in touch, and thanks for leaving a comment. <3

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