by Jude Jacob October 31, 2022
About me: I was born in Idaho and today I live in San Diego. I started my professional career in 2016, fresh out of college and fresh into having full blown anxiety attacks every other week. I worked with mental coaches, sports psychologists, and had so many life-altering experiences that eventually transformed me from the mentally weakest person I knew to one of the strongest. Today, I'm a continual work in progress, I'm always working to make myself stronger and better.
Struggles with mental health
My mental health journey is the reason that my physical fitness is where it is today. If I hadn't had so many struggles with my mental health, I would have stopped competing a long time ago. What made me continue was that I knew the anxiety was getting in the way of who I could become in my sport. And so, I pushed through. I wanted to work on my mental toughness, and the more I worked the more things improved. When I started, I couldn't finish a competition without a panic attack and now I'm winning championships.
We are all looking for light bulb moments when it comes to mental health and there are some, but ultimately mental health is a progression. It's a constant struggle that we always need to be working on.
Overcoming sports anxiety
One of the most critical things for me was detaching my value as a person from my performance. In 2016, I felt worthless if I didn’t compete well. I needed to understand I am worthy as a human being first and foremost. We often find something in our lives that we are decent at and attach our value and worth to it, but we need to know we are worthy regardless.
30 Days with Chari
It’s taken a lot of work to change my mindset and I’ve worked with many sports coaches and psychologists to make the shift. I used my firsthand experience in this journey along with my masters and bachelors in education to create my own mental health training program: 30 Days with Chari where I share my top tools.
It’s important to keep in mind, tools take time and dedication to master. For example, breathwork has been so helpful for me. But it’s something you need to practice. Just like you can't run a marathon immediately, you might not notice the benefits of breathwork off the bat. I find that some people try this tool and dismiss it, but I saw that after 3 weeks of work it took my anxiety levels down significantly. I was in flight or fight mode a lot and this was one of the tools that helped me stay calm, cool and collected.
The basics are very simple: I do a 10 second breath, sometimes while watching TV, sometimes while meditating. I do 4 breaths in and 6 out for 10 minutes twice a day. I ramp up to 20 mins twice a day during competition season.
Progress not perfection
Life isn’t perfect and of course I still have times when I feel anxious. But these days I know I can get past this and I trust the good days are just around the corner. Today, I am proudest when I don't feel my best but still turn up and do my best with mental health, with my sport, and with my skin. Life is about doing your best to progress.
I have combination skin, which is sometimes very oily, sometimes super dry. I'm always outside and sweating, which wreaks havoc on my skin.
My daily routine
I am very pale, but I was convinced I could get a tan if I worked hard at it during college. I used to do silly things like go outside without sunscreen on holiday in Hawaii, and of course I damaged my skin doing this. I love FRÉ because the products help repair my skin and I resonate with the mission of giving back and planting trees for every set sold. I feel like your skin gets what it needs but you put your money in the right place.
My skin used to be super dry and flaky and is definitely better now with serums. C ME has also repaired sun damage and reduced my pigmentation, which is great! I really like PROTECT ME. Moisturizing sunscreen is so important, too many sunscreens are drying. These days I use sunscreen religiously.
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