Jenna is one of my favorites. Her blog is always a joy to read, but it’s her vulnerability and creativity that I find most captivating.
A couple years ago during my one of my struggles with PPD, she and I connected in a more meaningful way when she shared about her own experiences with anxiety and motherhood and medication. It was so comforting to have a peer-to-peer encounter with someone else who was “like me:” newly married, fresh at mothering, and clawing at the surface of normal life under the crushing weight of mental illness.
I don’t really even like to use the term “mental illness” to describe depression and anxiety because there’s a definite physicality to them, for one, and because there is a sort of “less than” stigma attached to suffering an illness that is mental in origin. If you could only calm down. If you could only snap out of it. If you could only, you know, heal yourself.
Thankfully I’ve been spared the specter of PPD following my most recent pregnancy. I thank God for that. And I also thank Him for the resources and lifelines available for the future, and for other sufferers of these sometimes silent diseases.
One such resource is Jenna’s new book/journal combo, 30 Days to Calm. It’s an encouraging and practical and, perhaps most importantly, tangible resource designed specifically to combat recurrent anxiety issues. And it’s tremendously useful in meeting that deep need to do something when you feel the first pinpricks of a panic attack set in.
Because I’m feeling so good right now, I wasn’t sure how engaging I’d find the book. But tonight while loading the dishwasher, I mentally committed to doing nothing else beyond that task, to enter fully into that moment. I thought about how grateful I was for the convenience of a dishwasher, for the family whose dishes I was washing, for the clean, warm kitchen I worked in. I touched each glass and marveled at the wealth that allowed me to use clean water to rinse dozens of kitchen items twice a day, if need be.
And I knew that I had, indeed, found the book useful as I employed the “be right there” technique, with great success, to that load of plates and forks.
Whether you’re looking for a resource to share with a struggling friend or searching for tools to better manage your own anxiety, 30 Days to Calm is a great option, and it’s available on Jenna’s (adorable!) Etsy shop.