“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Have you ever wondered how you can deal with anxiety and depression? In this episode, Camille welcomes Caris Snider, the author of Anxiety Elephants and has built a business helping others deal with anxiety.

Caris shares her personal experience of dealing with anxiety and depression and the tools she used to overcome them. She gives her advice on the different techniques that you can use to handle your anxious thoughts, as well as manage your children’s anxieties across different age ranges.

If you’re interested in learning about how you can break down those anxious thoughts, tune into this episode so that you too can find peace in your work and family.


Interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Join the 60 Days to VA Course: www.camillewalker.co/VA

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Purchase Caris Snider’s books at: www.amazon.com/stores/author/B082PKGB7P



Connect with Caris:

Follow Caris on Instagram: www.instagram.com/carissnider

Follw Caris on Facebook: www.facebook.com/conversationswithcaris

Visit her website at: www.carissnider.com/

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When we get things out of our mind that is there, that is just continuing to be pushed down and we give it a place to go, it's like getting weeds up out of your garden. You have to get down to the root and get it out of there. So, when you're writing those anxious thoughts down, you're getting them out.



So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.


Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. I'm your host, Camille Walker. And if this is your first time tuning in, welcome. And thank you for being here. This is an environment of mothers building businesses and doing incredible things that are making the world a better place.

And that is certainly the case with today's guest, Caris Snider, who is the author of Anxiety Elephants and has built a business helping others deal with anxiety. And just before this conversation started to record, we were talking about anxiety and how we all deal with it.

Now, I feel like it's inescapable. But it doesn't mean that there aren't tools to make it better and resources that we can lean on to find how to overcome anxious thoughts, anxiety that can rule our lives or even our children's lives. And so, I am so thrilled to have Caris with us today because we're going to talk about how to break down those anxious thoughts and how to create tools to find peace. So, Caris, thank you so much for being with us today.

CARIS [01:45]

Thank you for having me and just diving in on such an important topic right now. You're right. It is affecting everybody, every age group, male, female, everyone is dealing with some kind of anxiety right now.

CAMILLE [01:58]

Yeah. We were just talking right before this started. And I'm like we got to hurry and hit record. Because I think about our kids, even from when I was growing up to now, which it's been a minute, but I didn't grow up with a pandemic.

And our kids today are dealing with so many social pressures. There's unrest. They lived through a pandemic. There is so much need for tools for talking about anxiety and really bringing it to the forefront of it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's not something that you are wrong or worse than or not as good as or any of those things that may come through your mind.

And I'd love to hear your story of how that started for you where you found a real passion to help people through anxiety and anxious thoughts. And tell our audience a little bit about you first. I'm getting ahead of myself. Tell us where you live, how many kids you have. We're moms here, so we like to talk about that and a little bit about you.

CARIS [02:59]

Absolutely. So, if you're listening, you're like I hear an accent. So, I need to know where she's from. I live in Alabama. I've practically lived here my whole life. My husband and I, we've been married 19 years. Next year is the big 20 for us.

We have two daughters. I have a daughter who is 14 and we have entered the world of high school. Okay. So, I can take all the tips if anyone has those on high schoolers because it's a brand-new world.

CAMILLE [03:28]

It is.

CARIS [03:28]

Yeah. And then, I have another daughter. She is in fifth grade. She's 10. And we always include our dog. We have a little mini goldendoodle. His name is Cooper Hashbrown. He is the color of a tighter tot as my daughters will say. So, we always include him in our family. He acts like a little human. So, that is just a little bit about our family dynamic.

CAMILLE [03:29]

I love that. We have similarities because my husband and I got married October 2004, so our 19 is in October and next year is our big 20. So, that's so fun.

CARIS [04:06]

Yeah, that's so cool. Yeah, so we married in April of 2004.

CAMILLE [04:10]

Okay, very cool. I know. It's so strange getting to that 20-year mark. And I was 20 when I got married. I was almost 21. So, I've been married to my husband almost as long as I was alive before, which is so weird.

CARIS [04:27]

Right. It's wild. I was 22. I look back now. I was a baby. But I'll be 42 in December, so my birthday is New Year's Eve. So, yeah, we're there together.

CAMILLE [04:41]

My daughter's birthday is New Year's Eve. Look at that.

CARIS [04:43]

Are you serious?

CAMILLE [04:44]

Yeah. That's so fun. What a fun birthday. Wow, 11, yeah.

CARIS [04:48]

I know. Yeah. Always fireworks around here.

CAMILLE [04:50]

Yeah. Okay, cool. There's a few things about us, I'm sure. It's so fun to make connections with women all over the country and all over the world because no matter where you are, we are dealing with similar struggles. I think we're more alike than we are different.

And I, too, have a son entering high school and a daughter entering junior high this year. And my two youngest are in elementary. And it's wild out there and I believe that learning the tools of how to help my children with anxiety and/or depression has been a life skill as a parent that has been absolutely necessary for me to help them navigate today's world.

So, I'm just grateful for people like you who build tools and resources. And if you're just tuning in now, we actually have an announcement for a giveaway for some amazing resources. So, stay tuned for that. But tell us about how this journey started for you in finding or needing resources for anxiety and depression.

CARIS [05:55]

Absolutely. So, I was just telling you earlier, it was about 12 years ago, I almost lost my life to anxiety and depression. And I got to tell you, I was a master of the mask. No one knew I was struggling. Other moms, women listening, you may feel like you have to wear a mask as well. We put this pressure on ourselves to have it all together, don't make a mistake, be "perfect." Don't let anyone down.

And I was getting crushed under the weight of that mask. My husband and I were working together on many different things. I was even running a business out of my home. And my daughter who was two at the time, she was living her best toddler life. Everything looked great.

But on the inside, I was struggling with these feelings where it felt like I had a heavy weight on my chest. It felt like an elephant. My heart would race. I would feel breathless. I couldn't sleep at night. I could just be driving down the road with these random times. And my thoughts would just go to these catastrophic places. And I would just be paralyzed in fear.

And I didn't know what was going on. I was terrified to tell anybody. Because also at that time of my life, I didn't think anxiety and depression were real. I was one of those. I was one of those people who thought if you said that you struggled mentally, that you were just feeling sorry for yourself for being lazy. And my encouragement to you would be to suck it up, buttercup, pray harder, work harder, do more.

And that was not correct. That was the wrong thing. And I learned very quickly just how real anxiety and depression were. And I just found myself wanting to numb the pain and anxiety, wanting to numb the pain of those thoughts.

And I began to use food by starving myself. If I could keep the outside looking good, no one would know the mess that was going on inside. And for me, the bottom of the bottom, we found out that I was pregnant. At that time when we found out I was pregnant, I weighed maybe 100 pounds. I was a skeleton of myself.

And my doctor, she was so gentle and kind with me. She said, "Caris, listen. I don't care if you eat doughnuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For the sake of the baby, you've got to eat."

Now, you're going to get this when I say this, two things happen for us many times as moms, that momma bear instinct will kick in, right? We may not do it for ourselves, but we will fight for our kids. We'll stand in the gap for them, even for their friends. Whatever we need to do to be a protector, we're going to do that.

But second, if a doctor says you can eat donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you ate the donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I did. I ate a lot of donuts. And over about a eight-week period, I gained about six pounds, which was huge for me. But I ended up having a miscarriage, I lost the baby. And that was the bottom.

And in that moment, I felt like I was a burden. I was a bother to everyone around me. My husband and daughter would just be better off if I was not here at all on this world that I had. I felt purposeless and hopeless and useless.

But it was like two options came to be. I could give up or I can look up. And I'm just going to tell you, I do thank God every day that I looked up. And when I looked up, I wasn't alone. There were helpers there. A doctor was there to help me to get the medication that my body needed because I was in such an imbalance. A counselor was there to help me get back to the root of where that anxiety began.

So, for me, it did begin as a child. And we didn't talk about it back then. As my grandmother would say, you put your lipstick on and keep going. We pushed our struggles down. We didn't talk about it. And so, I had to get to the root cause. And I begin to learn how to deal with it, how to respond to it. My family and friends loved me through. I wasn't alone. I wasn't the only one dealing with it like I really thought I was. I thought that nobody else struggled with what I did.

And I came to find out that anxiety and depression were the top struggles worldwide. And then, for me, the shift began to talk to others about it to really begin, let's get these practical skills. Let's talk about how to implement them in our life and the lives of our children and our teenagers.

I was at a friend's house. Our daughters were having a playdate together. And she asked me how I was doing. And I thought I could go back to the old, "Oh, I'm good. I'm fine. How are you?" But I told her, I said, "You know what? I'm not good. I'm dealing with some anxiety and depression." And I kid you not with tears in her eyes, she looked at me and said, "You too?" I said, "Yeah, me too." And we both looked at each other, breathing a sigh of relief, saying, "I'm so glad you don't have it all together." We connected in that moment.

And it was like an aha moment really for me of why are we not talking about this more? Why are we not talking about our struggles? Because we do connect in that. We do build community in that. And then, let's help each other move forward. Let's go live a life fulfilled. Let's change our anxious thought. So, we're not paralyzed in the what ifs. But we can truly live in what is those moments right now, those precious moments right now.

And so, over the last 12 years, that's just been my passion, my heart, to really shine a light on mental health, shine a light on practical skills, how to train our brains how to respond to thoughts, to feelings. We don't have to accept everything that comes and to give parents, to give moms those tools so that we can begin to help our children and our teenagers have those tools.

Could you imagine where you would be right now if you had those tools as a child to know, oh, this is anxiety, oh, this is what these thoughts are and I can practice these skills and change those thoughts? And so, that just really drives me to want to help our children, to help my own daughters.

I don't want them to go through what I went through. I don't want them to be silenced or dismissed or feel like they have to be filled with shame for their struggle. I want them to know, hey, safe place, we can talk about it. We can acknowledge it. And then, we can learn how to move through it. So, I just feel so passionate about it. And it just gets me fired up. Anytime we get the opportunity to talk about it and help each other know, we can move forward.

CAMILLE [12:47]

That is so beautiful and so raw and honest. And thank you for sharing that. That can't be easy to do. I know that you're a professional in this space of sharing your story. Even just looking in your eyes as you're sharing it. I know that it's still hard to talk about because it's so real.

And what's interesting to me and I think that this is something that, thank goodness, this generation, we're talking about it more and we're talking about tools and how normal it is to have feelings like this. And I'll be honest. As a kid, I didn't deal with anxiety. I had a natural confidence. And it wasn't until I became a mother and witnessed my son go through a traumatic physical event.

I should just tell you what it was. So, when my fourth was in the backyard, this was about when he was three years old. He had come in from the outside and tripped on our deck and smacked his head right between the eyes. And it blossomed into swelling all over his face and big raccoon black eyes. It was terrifying. I'd never been through something like that. Thank goodness, the nose wasn't broken.

But within that same week, we went to a family event. And I said to all the kids, "There's a swing over there. Make sure that Jenson doesn't go over that way because if he were to get hit right now, that could be catastrophic. That could be horrible for him. It could even lead to major damage."

I just had this feeling and not to say I've never felt anxious because for real, yes, of course, we feel nervous, but to the level we're talking about anxiety of something living on you where you can't breathe and what is happening? So, I had never experienced that before.

In that moment, we got to this party. And I witnessed my son walk. Literally, he had opened a fence. Another kid opened the fence for him that didn't realize or didn't know. And I watched him toddle over to that swing. And this cylinder swing, the kind that's a circle, like hard outside and net in the middle swung and hit him right in the face. And I watched him smack and fall to the ground flat on his back.

And in that moment, I blacked out. I screamed bloody murder. I thought he had death. He was dead. He had blood streaming out of his mouth and nose. His face was already so banged up. And I, in that moment, had a full panic attack. I never felt something like that before. And thank goodness, he was okay. It hit him right below the nose instead of above the nose. It was within inches.

And anyway, for weeks and months after that, I felt that weight. And I felt that feeling of not being able to catch my breath and feeling heavy and just not being able to sleep. And for the first time, I had had friends that I talked to about anxiety or having chronic anxiety, debilitating, not wanting to get out of bed, feeling that weight on you, not being able to sleep. And I didn't understand it because I had never experienced it until that moment and then, those weeks and months following.

And as strange as it may be to say, I'm grateful for that. Because now, my kids, anxiety and depression runs pretty heavily in my husband's family. And I think all of my kids have anxiety, higher or lower levels to a degree. So, I'm grateful for that, that I have experienced that. But I do not want people to live there.

And now, I understand it. Now, I have sympathy and empathy for it because I've experienced it. And I know what that crushing feeling feels like. So, thank you for sharing that. And for people who may or may not have grown up with it, I feel like especially for our children and this is something that I learned now as a parent, parenting anxious children, is that it starts for them in the gut. Where if you say, how are you feeling? They don't know how to say, I'm feeling anxious. I have anxiety. They'll say, I have a tummy ache or I don't feel great.

Yeah. So, let's talk about that a little bit, the signs that you can have as a kid. And then, also the tools that you can use to teach your kids and also for yourself.

CARIS [17:26]

Absolutely. So, it can come, like you said, in multiple different symptoms for our children. They may say that they have a stomachache. They might tell you that their head hurts.

For younger children, from four- to six-year-olds, even seven-year-olds, they might begin wetting the bed again, like a regression in that. It could be where they are struggling to sleep at night alone. That separation anxiety might be there.

As we're getting ready during back to school, you may even notice that they don't want to leave you. They're terrified to get out of the car or they may ask a lot of questions for you as a mom or if you're a teacher listening, they may ask the same question over and over and over again because they need constant reassurance of, yes, my mom and dad's going to pick me up. Yes, the bus that I ride is going to come. They need that constant reassurance.

They might be fidgety where they're just constantly shaking their legs or moving their legs or popping their knuckles and biting their nails, twisting their hair. Some of those things might be there. Loss of concentration where it seems like they're not paying attention. But what could really be happening is those what-if thoughts. They're playing out scenarios in their mind. So, they are not paying attention and they don't realize that they're daydreaming. It may look that way.

A lot of times, it comes through outburst of emotions where you might ask one simple question. A simple question of what was for lunch today at school? And they just start to cry. And they can't explain why, but they're just overwhelmed maybe with that emotion or it could be not the sadness and the tears, but it's anger. And they have that emotional outbursts where they may want to hit or kick or scream or they might want to punch the wall.

So, you might see those types of things as well. And you can also see them pulling away. Maybe they're not hanging out with their friends as much or they're not around your family as much. You may notice that they want to be alone and by themselves more. So, these are a lot of the common things that you might see within your children.

CAMILLE [19:50]

Yeah, I'm just over here nodding. I've seen every single one of those things at different periods of time in my kids' lives. And thank goodness for resources. of the tools of how to work through anxiety because I've had to learn a lot about what that looks like.

I had a child who on the first day of kindergarten wouldn't let me let him down to the ground. And he just wanted me to hold him. He wasn't ready to physically even walk into the classroom by himself. What I love now more than ever is that being an advocate for your child and being able to notice the signs and then be able to talk through the process, not only with your child, but with the teacher as well so that you can work as a team together.

So, let's talk about what those tools look like. We'll talk about it for the kids. And then, of course, we can talk about it for us as well, what to do when those things happen.

CARIS [20:50]

One thing that I love about what we can do for our kids is that we as adults can practice it at the same time. So, they can be good things for us as well. So, you might be listening as a mom. And you're like I've never dealt with anxiety, but my children are. My teenagers are. So, you can practice these skills with them. And they're going to regulate off of you. They're going to watch you. They're going to imitate what you do.

So, these are good skills that we can practice together. And I do love how you pointed out teaming up with teachers, communicating, having those conversations together. Because when we can communicate and make it normal, that this is a normal thing, they don't have to be afraid to come to us. And we can start there to help our children with anxiety. We want to normalize the conversation.

And so, when they come to us and they say, "We're scared," or "My stomach hurts," or they might even tell you their heart is beeping. They might not say beating fast, they might say beeping. And so, they may describe some of those things.

And you can even help them acknowledge that and say that, "That is scary, isn't it? I bet that does feel scary," because then it helps them be like, "Oh, this is not wrong that it feels scary. This is not a bad thing."

So, those are some things that we can do right there is just acknowledge it with them together. Some practical skills that we can begin to practice. Helping them to learn how to take good deep breaths, to slow their breathing down. Because oftentimes with anxiety, anybody who's dealt with panic, like you said, or you find yourself driving down the road and all of a sudden, your heart is racing, you feel breathless, you feel like you're going to faint, our children may feel that at times, for example, when they're about to get out of the car, when a test is put in front of them.

Heart's racing. They're breathless. So, if they can learn how to pause and just take some good deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling, and just even practicing that before they have the anxiety is teaching their brain to calm down, to not go to those emotional places. When our emotions take over, we don't make the best decisions all the time. And we can overreact. So, taking those deep breaths helps the thinking part of our brain switch on. We can think rationally. We can think calmly and be focused. So, that one is an easy one to practice together.

Another one that is really great is to use our senses. They call it grounding. If you do find yourself spiraling in those what-ifs or you're daydreaming, when we can ground back into what is my present reality? What is the things I can control right now in my environment? Because a lot of times with anxiety, it's future-driven, it's worry-driven.

So, let's practice using our senses. What is something you can hear, see, taste, touch, smell? By the time you get through all five, it snaps you back into reality. And I love these things that are practical skills because you can make it a game with your kids. You can go outside one day, take your shoes and socks off, lay down on the grass. And just you can look up what is something that you see? Close your eyes. What is something that you feel? What is something that you hear, smell? And it can be a fun game for them. And they don't even realize at times that they're practicing those skills. So, that's a fun way that you can implement it just in your day-to-day life.

Gratitude has really been coming out really big for us lately. Maybe you all have heard a lot about this practice of gratitude. It's a natural built-in anxiety blocker. The crazy thing about our brain, it can't debate anxious and thankful at the same time. So, when we practice getting up every day, what's one good thing that we have to be thankful for? Or when they go to bed at night, what's one thing that you have to be thankful for? What was one good thing that happened today?

Kids are amazing at being grateful. When you give them the opportunity, they can give you a list of 1000 things. They're grateful for their cuddle. They're grateful for their mom, their dad. When I go into schools, it's so funny because they'll say, "I'm thankful that I don't have to share a bathroom with my sister," or "I'm thankful for my Xbox." I'll never forget a middle school student raising his hand and saying, "I'm thankful for my foster family right now because they're nice to me." And the whole room just pausing and being like, wow, that just hit the whole room in a powerful way.

And then, I think, too, helping our kids learn how to journal, doodle, draw out those negative, those scary anxious thoughts to give them a place to go. So, they're not staying in their mind. And I am all for community. We need each other. Mommas, we need each other. Our children, they need community. We don't want them to do life alone. So, let's find community. Let's find those friendships. Let's find those people in our lives that we can do life with and teaching our children to find those safe adults that they can talk to face-to-face.

If we can help them to find three, if it's mom, dad, a teacher or counselor, because what we don't want happening is for them to go to social media, to someone on social media that they don't know, a person they'd never seen, or going to YouTube videos and that being their safe place.

We want to build that foundation for them. We want to speak life over them, positive things, everything. We want them to know if they're struggling or having a hard time, you don't have to hide from us. We will help you work through that. We'll sit with you in it for as long as you need. And then, we'll move ahead. So, are those some things maybe that you were thinking of as we were processing through all of this?

CAMILLE [26:36]

Absolutely. I've done those grounding senses with my kids in the past. In fact, I had a kid that was sitting in a car once and getting out of the car was a really difficult task. There was a period of time that it was even post-COVID where it was with people that he knew, but he felt trapped in the car because he was scared to get out of the unknown, what could be?

And so, I remember, for him, what really helps is laying flat on his back. So, it was interesting that you said that. And we talked about do you hear that bird? What do you smell and this and that? And if they're new to that and they're in that space of feeling anxious, it can be hard to get there, where they're just like, "Stop talking. I don't even want to talk."

So, when they're new to it, I've found that it's just, "You can have some time alone as much as you need. We're in no hurry." Because if you're trying to hurry someone, which can be hard, because sometimes as a mom, you're in a hurry. You have to go somewhere, do the things.

But, like you said, when you practice it in other times when it isn't an anxious, hurried moment, that can help a lot. So, absolutely, all of those tools that you talked about have been things that I've practiced and used and found very helpful.

So, screentime, for us, has been a big factor in increasing or decreasing anxiety. And so, actually I wrote a program called The Screen Freeze program, which I don't market it anymore. But honestly, that was one of the number one things that helped my son get out of anxious and violent outbursts was limiting screen time.

We had five pillars. It was exercise, communication, reducing screen time, good foods, and good sleep. And so, we would go over those five and say, "Okay, let's go through the five. Are any of those missing? And turn it into a reflective opportunity for my son to say, "Oh, I haven't eaten since yesterday." Seriously, they will forget to eat. How much time have you been on screens today?

And so, I think that really communication and making it a big picture of what's a healthy approach to life for everyone, not just for you? But this is for me. This is for you. This is for everyone. We just have to figure out how to self-regulate. And it takes work and it takes communication. And so, yeah, I agree with all of those things that you said. That's been really helpful for us too.

CARIS [29:19]

I love that. And it's a process. As you all begin to practice these things in your life and help your kids, there are going to be days that you don't get it right. There are going to be days that you feel like it's not working. You know what I mean? So, you just continue to work at it.

CAMILLE [29:35]

Or where you need a break as a parent to be like, okay, I can't deal with this right now. So, I need to separate myself and be in a place where you can find that calm because big emotions affect all of us. And so, if your child is having a big emotion, it may be best to say, "I need a minute. I'm going to go take some alone time, and then I'll come back." And I think that that's good for your kids to see that, too.

CARIS [30:00]

That's what I was about to say. Yeah, because you're modeling for them that you can acknowledge that big emotion and you can walk away. Take a break. And when they see you doing that, again, it helps them to see that that's something healthy that they can do. And even sometimes, when your kids come to you and they don't know what to do, we don't have to be the fixer. They just want us to sit in it with them and just be present in there. Because we're not always going to have the answers. So, don't feel like you have to have the answers.

But as you were talking about screen time and eating good foods, we have to, in our home, pay attention to how much sugar have we had? I've noticed that with my youngest, that affects her behavior. And water, how much water have we been drinking? I feel like we as just humans are so dehydrated anyway. I love coffee. I'm just going to go ahead and tell you, but we need water.

CAMILLE [30:55]

Yes, we do.

CARIS [30:56]

We need water. We need it. Our kids need water. They need to be outside eating those good foods. And screen time, they're discovering that blue light blocks that melatonin production if we're on our devices before bed. So, getting off of those at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed every night, you're going to notice that it's going to help your kids at night to sleep better. If they get anxious at night, a lot of times, it's situational. Maybe it is nighttime, the bedtime routine, those types of things help, Epsom salt baths. We could talk for hours over all these.

CAMILLE [31:30]

I know. There are so many good resources. Let's switch gears a little bit to talking about our own anxious thoughts and tools that we can use to break those down and stop the cycles that keep us spinning in negative thoughts.

CARIS [31:47]

Absolutely. So, I think for us as moms we have to acknowledge that they're there. We just need to say, okay, here they are. These are the ones that I have. And the thing about anxiety and anxious thoughts is not multiple different messages that are different every day. It is on repeat.

The message that is on repeat to you and anxiety is going to be different than what it is to me. For me, it is what if I fail? What if I make a mistake? What if I'm not accepted? And those might be your messages too, but it just plays on this loop. So, we got to get out of that hamster wheel. We have to get out of it. But we cannot get out of it until we first acknowledge that we're on it, that we are in that loop.

So, I think, first and foremost, let's acknowledge that they're there. And those anxious thoughts are there. Second, there is something powerful about writing things down. I know you've talked about vision boards. The power of those, putting things visually in front of you, when we get things out of our mind that is there, that is just continuing to be pushed down and we give it a place to go, it's like getting weeds up out of your garden. You have to get down to the root and get it out of there.

So, when you're writing those anxious thoughts down, you're getting them out. It's helping you to get down to the root. Sometimes, I have to go back to where did this thought come from? How long have I been having these thoughts? And that does take time. And maybe as a writer, we have to block time out, maybe you block some time out where you just sit down, where you write your worries, write them all out, get rid of them. And you just do a brain dump, if you will, and just let those things go.

And then, a great visual to get rid of it is to rip it out of your notebook and throw it away, to physically throw it away, get rid of it. And then, don't just stop there. Because what I've noticed for myself, when I get rid of the anxious thoughts, if I don't replace it with something good, those anxious thoughts come back. And they bring friends. And those friends are not nice. They're not good.

So, replace them with positive affirmations, with good life giving thoughts about who you are, what you can do. What do those affirmations look like for you? Maybe you go and Google on. There's nothing wrong with that and look for those things and write those things down. And sometimes, you might say, I don't know if I believe this about myself yet. Keep writing it until you do. We're going to train our brains. We're going to train our bodies, our minds, our hearts to think this way, to believe this way.

So, look those things up, look those Bible verses up. Ask your friends, what are some good things that you see about me? And write them down. And something that I've started recently is putting it on sticky notes and putting it on my bathroom mirror. Because we want to change those thoughts. So, that's important.

I think another way to change our anxious thoughts, these things that we can do for our physical body, we need sleep. You don't have to burn the candle at both ends anymore. You don't have to. This is your permission to have grace that you pour out on yourself and you pour out on your schedule. So, you need to go to sleep. Cut the work off. Cut the computer off. The phone's off and get rest if it's six, seven, eight hours, we need to be in that window. We will feel so much better when we get sleep.

And I think one last one, say no. No is not a bad word. We need margin in our life. Anxiety makes us feel like we have to be busy all the time. We have to fill our time with busyness, with things. And if we're not, we think that we might be messing up, that we might be doing it wrong. When in reality, we need that margin. We have margin in our finances. We have margin in the clothes that we wear. And these are all good things. So, we need margin in our lives.

So, what can we say no to? Where can we leave some space to just breathe and to be present in the moment and just around. And that brings back the gratitude to say, man, I'm not where I was. I may not be where I want to be. But, man, I'm not where I was. So, I think those are important. And I know we touched on community. We need that as well. But those would be probably the ones. I would say focus on those for yourself to help you with those anxious thoughts.

Process, process, process, give time for it to work. And I think over time, you're going to see a shift. And it gets me excited to think about if these moms come together and do this together, what if you challenge yourselves together, you hold each other accountable and do this? It could be amazing. I think about our homes, how different it could affect our homes, our children, our spouses. Just what could come from that when we start to use these tools and practice them together as we move forward? Yeah.

CAMILLE [36:37]

That was a lot of good stuff. So, I'm curious for your experience, especially when you were coming out of that really dark space, which probably had some post-hormonal from just having had a baby and then also having a miscarriage. There's a lot of hormone going on in there, postpartum depression, I would imagine. What advice would you give for knowing when it's something that needs to be medically treated versus this is something I can sort through with these other tools?

CARIS [37:13]

That's right. Yes. And I love that you asked that question. If you find that you are struggling just doing normal day-to-day activities, that the anxiety and depression, maybe the dread that has taken over you where it's physically difficult for you to get up out of bed, brush your teeth, get behind the wheel of your car, and leave your home. If those things are happening and that's been happening daily for at least, I would say, four months, some experts will say five to six months. My encouragement and advice is don't wait that long.Don't wait that long.

CAMILLE [37:49]

That seems like a really long time. Yeah.

CARIS [37:51]

I say three to four months. If you find that it's really been a struggle, daily activities, you're just having a hard time. Maybe you're crying uncontrollably. You can't explain why. You feel wrapped tight, like a rubber band, like you might explode at any moment, every single day. If you see yourself there going down that road, get help right now. You are worth it to get help.

If our children were having asthma attacks or if they had a broken bone or if it was heart disease or high cholesterol or diabetes, we would seek medical attention. We would not wait. Immediately.

So, if you find yourself there, it is your brain and body saying I need extra help. There's an imbalance here. There's something going on. After my miscarriage, a few months later, I did get pregnant again. But I stayed in counseling. My doctor helped me with my medication because I was still anxious and still dealing with some depression and a lot of what-ifs.

What if this happens again through my second daughter being born? So, we want to get the help that our body is telling us it needs. It's sending those alarms. It's letting us know I need additional help. And that's not wrong. It's not wrong.

I'll tell you. I knew the medicine was working for me when my oldest daughter had a birthday party at a bouncy house, which probably gives anyone anxiety.It just did. "Mom, will you go down the slide with me?" And I said, "Sure. I'll go down the side." And we go up and everybody has their cameras out. And I was going to move out of my daughter Zoe's way. And they said, "No, no, no. Caris, we're taking pictures of you. We've never seen you have fun like this."

And that's when I knew the medicine was working. I was coming out of the fog. I was able to enjoy life. The counseling was helping me to get that healing and restoration that I needed. And that was the moment I quit fighting it. I quit beating myself over it because I knew this is helping my body. This is a healthy thing that I need in this season of my life.

So, please don't wait. Please go get help. If you need help finding resources for that, if that's something that we need to help do, then we'll help you do that. I love that you can look for counselors now all over the country. If there's not one close by to you that you need to talk to, but I would not wait longer than three or four months. I really, really wouldn't.

CAMILLE [40:14]

Yeah, that's really interesting that you talk about that moment of recognizing that you're having fun because I also think, too, as women, it's that grin and bear it or you suffer through it or you just deal, you make it work.

But I also think maybe for some of us who struggle with taking that initiative for ourselves, you could flip the script and say, don't you want for your child to have a happy mom that's going and playing down the slide and able to be present and enjoy those moments? Because I guarantee you, everyone around you wants that for you, too, to be able to enjoy those beautiful moments of life. Yeah.

CARIS [40:58]

Yeah Wow. I love that. So, I know that was a moment of silence there. But I just think that's powerful for moms to say that their kids want them happy, their friends want them happy. And they're worth it to be happy. They're worth it to have joy and to enjoy the season of life that they're in. It doesn't have to be a grin and bear moment anymore.

CAMILLE [41:26]

One question that I wanted to ask you is, what did it take for you to open up that gate of asking for help? What was that moment where you realized, okay, I'm ready to ask for help?

CARIS [41:46]

I think that moment for me, it was not easy. I will say that. Even in asking for help, it was not easy. It was very scary for me. And it felt awkward. Even though I love to help others, it felt hard and scary for me to ask for the help. I think that moment came when I realized that people wanted to help me, that my doctor and my friends and my family, they saw me struggling and they were not leaving me. They were there.

And I think knowing that someone wanted to help me, that helped me to ask for help. I think that was big for me. But I think, too, realizing that life was not over for me. There was more life to live. And I didn't want to live in that dark and scary place anymore. And even though it was hard and scary to ask for help, staying where I was at felt too scary to stay there. So, I had to try to ask for help. I had to. I had nothing left to lose at that point.

CAMILLE [43:01]

I think that people who are listening are probably relating to this. And if you are, I would encourage you to seek for that help and look up and recognize that there are people around you that want to help you. And sometimes, like you said, it's easy to mask.

And another key factor that you said, I think, is that you love helping other people because you're naturally a nurturer and someone who wants to help and lift up. And so, it can be harder for someone who is naturally the one taking care of other people to then say, oh, wait, but I need help, too. And I think women especially are in that situation a lot of times because we are the nurturers and the ones that are helping other people.

So, I want to talk about as we're wrapping up here, the resources that you've built and written. And you've written five books. Oh my goodness. And we're going to talk about that giveaway here in just a second. But tell us about your resources, how we can get our hands on those, and what they're all about.

CARIS [44:09]

Absolutely. So, I was speaking. I was traveling and people would ask me, "Hey, do you have resources?" And I had nothing. I just didn't. I never saw myself as a writer. And then, they were like, "Will you please write something that we can leave with to practice these skills?"

And so, December of 2019, I released my first book, Anxiety Elephants. It's like a devotional book, inspirational, to just help you daily deal with anxieties one step at a time. Because when you're stuck in that mode, you don't know where to move, where to go. So, it just gives you one daily thing to work on each day.

And it was interesting because it came out December 2019. And then, hello, 2020, just anxiety everywhere. And so, it was just a humbling thing to see how the book connected with people in Scotland and in New Zealand who were struggling with anxiety and they needed resources to help them deal with that.

And so, my daughters had a copy of the book. It was mom's first book and they wanted one. And they said, "Hey, mom, will you write a book like this with the words our age can understand?" And my oldest was really the one who communicated that to me. And they were in that 8- to 12-year-old range. And then, I remembered I dealt with anxiety at that age, how helpful could a resource have been?

And so, we focused then, my publisher and I, on tweens, on that 8- to 12-year-old range and wrote an encouraging inspirational book for them, Anxiety Elephants for Tween Boys and Girls. It's actually the very exact same content, just different covers. Because a lot of times, boys are forgotten when it comes to resources like this. I'm sure you could probably speak to that. And we didn't want them to be forgotten. We all need encouragement. We all have big emotions. We all have things that we struggle with mentally.

So, this is a tool that families can use together. And there's even journaling spots where you can write down notes that you can keep for yourself. So, brothers and sisters don't have to share. They can use their own.

And then, I have a child development degree. And so, the opportunity came about with this publisher to write a children's book to help just begin these conversations with families. For teachers, maybe it's back to school, Maybe it is bedtime anxiety. And so, it just recently came out. The title of it is There's an Elephant on My Chest.

And children get to walk through the story with Allie who wakes up and finds an elephant back on her chest. She woke up to see it again. And she begins to ask for help. She asked her mom for help. And her mom tells her, "You did a brave thing that asking for help." And her friends come in. There's a doctor, the school counselor, and they practice skills together to help make that elephant smaller and smaller and smaller. And then, something really fun happens at the end of the book. So, I'm just grateful to have that resource out.

And then, it's for moms in general. Look, I live my life in my car. I don't know about any of you others. But we're taking our kids to school and to practice and getting groceries and all the things. And so, we're trying to get everybody everywhere they need to go. And we can get overwhelmed and overstressed. And honestly, I was over it. You know what I mean? I wanted to get out of that mode. I wanted to just pause and be present in the moments.

And so, it's another just inspirational encouraging devotional book to help moms say we're not alone. We are so loved. And we are in this journey for such a time as this. So just I love that book so much. And it's small enough it can fit in your car. It can fit in your purse. You can grab it out. And again, I just read one a day to just pour that encouragement into your heart and life.

CAMILLE [47:54]

Oh my goodness, I love it so much. This is so helpful. Are these all available on Amazon?

CARIS [47:59]

You can get them all on Amazon. So, you can search for them there. You can even go to my website at www.carissnider.com. And you can see all those resources there as well.

CAMILLE [48:12]

Okay. I am dying to get my hands on these books. And we have big news for you. If you're listening and interested in all five of these titles, which all sound incredible, we are doing a giveaway. And this is how you can enter. First, you need to know this keyword and the keyword is elephant. And you need to follow us on Instagram. So, I'm going to give you those two handles. Caris's is @carissnider, spelled C-A-R-I-S-S-N-I-D-E-R. And mine is @camillewalker.co, C-A-M-I-L-L-E-W-A-L-K-E-R-dot-C-O.

And what we want you to do is write a review on this podcast wherever you're listening to the podcast, screenshot that review, and DM it to us with the codeword elephant. So, we know that you listened to it and you left a little review of something that you liked about this episode or something that you learned.

So, that's going to be a really fun way. And we'll announce it within probably a week after this goes live. So, I'm really excited about that. And what an awesome opportunity to help so many people. So, thank you so much for being willing to do that and for building such amazing resources. It's been so wonderful to have this conversation with you.

CARIS [49:33]

I'm just grateful for the opportunity to talk about this with you, to be able to pour into your listener family. And I can't wait to see who's going to win.

CAMILLE [49:41]

I know. Me too. All right. If you found this podcast episode helpful, please share it. I believe that this is a topic we can all use more than ever. And it's something that is true to my heart. I have experienced anxiety. I have children that experience anxiety and depression. And I feel like it's something that is no longer something we need to shy away from. It's something we need to discuss and normalize and give that gift of allowing us to free that error and remove the elephant. So, Caris, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been so great having you.

CARIS [50:16]

Thank you so much for having me.


CAMILLE [50:19]

Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. If you're finding yourself overwhelmed or in need of some help, especially as a busy entrepreneur, talk to me. I want to help create space and time for you to have your day back and really create a boundary of work time, family time, and getting the most done that you can.

I'm actually lining up my virtual assistant graduates from my 60 Days to VA program with busy entrepreneurs. And if that's something that you need, reach out to me. You can find me at callmeceopodcast@gmail.com And there's also a scheduling link below. Thank you so much for tuning in. I will see you next week.

Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment in a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss.


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