Little Things
Little Things Podcast
Managing Anxiety, Break Ups & How Yoga Helps with Creator Kelsey Darragh

Managing Anxiety, Break Ups & How Yoga Helps with Creator Kelsey Darragh

Learning to take of yourself, with author & creator Kelsey Darragh

Returning to myself and learning to genuinely taking care of myself has been the most rewarding part of my life. And it was super easy, too! Jk hahaha. It was a journey!

What helped me?

Managing my anxiety. Regulating my emotions. Yoga. Meditation. Returning to my body. Learning to trust myself.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve probably heard all of that 100 times. BUT HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY DO IT?! How do you actually get to the place of putting words into action? That’s what matters, and that’s what today’s conversation with Kelsey Darragh is all about!

Kelsey is one of my former BuzzFeed co-workers, and she’s also a mental health advocate, podcaster, creator, and author of DON’T F*CKING PANIC: The Sh*t They Don’t Tell You In Therapy About Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks & Depression.

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Kelsey has such smart ideas about anxiety and cultivating a happy life that are born out of her own experience and journey with mental health. I had so much fun talking to her. I love how honest and vulnerable she is about the highs and lows of it all. It’s f*cking hard, and she’s the first to admit it.

I invited Kelsey onto the podcast after I saw on her Instagram that she went on an 8 day Yoga retreat in Mexico following a break-up with her partner of 5 years. I didn’t realize she had a spiritual practice, but it turns out that Yoga has become a huge part in Kelsey managing her own anxiety. I couldn’t wait to talk to her about it.

Check out Kelsey's book!

Listen to Kelsey's Podcast

Here’s a breakdown of our conversation:

  • The intro is 6:48. I say hi and thank you to my subscribers, talk about the Italy retreat that just happened in September, and the upcoming Greece retreat in June!

  • Kelsey and I start start off talking about grief from heartbreak. Kelsey recently broke-up with a longtime partner, and we discuss how you can put into action the lessons you learn in therapy and from Yoga, like regulating your emotions and managing your reactions.

  • Here’s the episode of Kelsey’s podcast we talk about in our conversation:

  • I talk about how confronting co-dependency, or the desire to take care of everybody around you instead of yourself, is IMO, the key to genuinely prioritizing your own needs and happiness.

  • We talk about anxiety and panic attacks. Kelsey’s had them since she was a kid, and of course, and even wrote a book about them. I don’t get panic attacks, but have generalized anxiety. This part should resonate with anybody who’s been through it.

  • Kelsey talks about how routine creates freedom. She sets herself up for success everyday by allowing and scheduling time for grief and anxiety to come up in her body, so she can address them.

  • Finally, we dig into Yoga! We both tell about our Yoga stories, which ended up being pretty similar. We both hated Yoga and couldn’t stay present when we started it, but eventually grew to depend on it. It’s a good lesson that what you resist, you tend to need the most.

  • We move into a discussion of the MIND-BODY connection. We discuss the ways managing our anxiety had real physical results. It’s helped both of our digestive systems, and also has helped our anxiety-based habits (for me, it’s picking my nails.)

  • It can be so intimidating to start integrating Yoga into your life! We talk about the physical presentation of it being part of why we resisted it. I got hung up on being seen as somebody who’s into Yoga. Ew. I don’t want to be that person in Lululemons posting Yoga poses on my Instagram!! I laughed at those people. The truth is, Yoga has incredible benefits for releasing trauma and managing anxiety. It’s helped me greatly. Sure, I have to wear Yoga pants to practice it, but you know what? Old Navy has great ones too. Sure, the more I got into it and launched my retreats, I eventually posted pictures of me doing Yoga poses. Whatever! The practice changed my life. In part, because it’s helped me learn to live for myself. Not for the opinion or approval of others. It does not matter if somebody doesn’t understand you or your life or your choices. You have one life on earth. Claim it.

  • Lastly, Kelsey gives advice for people who want to create a new routine, or new habits, but are intimidated by it or resisting doing so.

Thoughts? Feelings? Follow up questions for Kelsey? Ideas on who I should speak to next? Let me know in the comments or by responding to this email!

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Listen to past episodes of the Little Things podcast:

Some news:

  • My Greece Writing & Yoga Retreat is open for registration!

We’re going to Paros, Greece in June 2023 to connecting to ourselves spiritually, practice Yoga, find community with other creatives, and write. I offer private consultations with all participants, and notes and feedback on your work as requested. Early-bird prices are available until December 1st!

I just got back from my Italy retreat, and it was magical. I can’t wait to head to Europe again next year.

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