Actress and model Kristine Froseth has always been a big mental health advocate. A quick look at her Instagram shows that she’s been passionate about destigmatizing anxiety and depression for as long as she’s had a platform. Aside from sharing her own experiences with mental health struggles, she’s also committed to sharing resources and tips that her followers can take to their own lives. Frenshe hopped on a call with Kristine to talk about how she navigates anxiety and the number one thing that has helped her manage her mental health.
How has your relationship with mental health changed over the years?
Growing up, I remember getting the idea that therapy was a thing that only “troubled people” needed. In school, everyone always gossiped about those kids and it really stigmatized people who had mental health struggles. It took me a while to realize that we all have mental health struggles and there’s no shame in getting help. Therapy is an incredible tool for times of need; it’s also good for consistent check in on how the mind, soul and body is doing.
What has helped you most with your mental health?
Consistent therapy has been the biggest game changer for me. I am also big on incorporating daily practices such as meditations, walks in nature, and journaling. It’s important for me to follow through on these as much as possible in order to keep in touch with what’s going on internally and staying on top of my mental health before I get too overwhelmed. I’m much more mindful of anything that can help regulate my nervous system.
What do you think is a big misconception about mental health?
I think people often assume that individuals with mental health issues can’t function well (like hold down a job, or have a social life, etc), but people with mental health problems can be super productive and just be really good at hiding their pain. We just never really know what other people are really going through. But just because our mental health problems may not be something as obvious as a broken leg, it’s still real.
Another misconception is that addiction stems from a lack of willpower. That one drives me mad. Addiction is a disease and we need to be really careful about how we talk about it.
Do you talk about mental health with your community (friends, family, etc)?
Yes! I keep very open and honest communication with the people who are close to me. I am very big on talking about how we are actually doing and making sure there is always space to address what we are going through. I have the best friends who always show up for me and I feel incredibly grateful for having such a great support system. We gotta talk about our feelings and normalize it!
How does mental health (anxiety, depression, etc) affect your daily life?
Before therapy, I definitely struggled with not letting my anxiety run my life. It would get incredibly overwhelming and I’d regularly get panic attacks. I would get so stressed about the smallest things; a trip to the supermarket seemed daunting at times.
I’m really glad I started getting help with my anxious thoughts. Once I stopped attaching myself to the emotion and thought, I was able to breathe through it and see anxiety as a physical state instead of letting it take me on a ride all of sorts of worst case scenarios or thoughts.
I have by no means conquered it, but I have more tools to handle when I feel like the anxiety wants to take over. It definitely exhausted me a lot when it was bad and I feel like I missed out on a lot of fun experiences or connections. I was simply too overwhelmed and couldn’t separate myself from the flood of thoughts and the panic so I’d let it dictate the every day. The cycle became so negative for me because I would later be angry with myself for being anxious. But it was a part of the journey for me and I’m really grateful the awareness around anxiety is being further addressed and talked more about.
What would you say to someone struggling with their mental health right now?
My favorite mantra these days is, “You can always begin again.” It gives me a lot of hope knowing that wherever and whenever, I can still grow, heal, and change. After ur having done therapy consistently now for several years, I know that the brain is capable of change. Neuroplasticity is really real!
There are so many forms of therapy. I beg anyone who is really struggling to not give up and hope to remind them that they are worthy of getting better and that they are needed and loved.
Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue.