Things That Matter

Gina Rodriguez Shared A ’10 Second Portrait’ Video About Her Struggles With Anxiety

In a recent Instagram post, “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez opened up about her struggles with anxiety and self acceptance in the face of feeling uncomfortable in her skin.

Gina Rodriguez shared a video from a project aimed at revealing our true selves through extended 10-second portrait style videos.

Hi Gina! @hereisgina #TenSecondPortraits

A post shared by Anton Soggiu (@antonsoggiu) on

To the untrained eye, this is just a regular video of a famous person, smiling for the camera. She reposted the video on her own Instagram account and it’s here, in her long caption, that her message becomes clear:

“My beautiful friend @antonsoggiu came to visit from Norway and he included me in his magical art. TEN SECOND PORTRAITS. It’s always great to be in front of his lens but this time it was just me. Bare and exposed in the streets of la. No makeup. No styling. Just me. I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it’s ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.”

In the short clip, where she stares into the camera, trying to smile, wearing no make up, on the street, in a cap — she looks pretty normal. But if you look a little deeper and keep an open mind, you see her bite her lip and struggle to keep the same face for more than a few seconds at a time. She appears to go through a million emotions in the span of 10 seconds, and there’s a sense of discomfort at certain points — that’s the anxiety seeping in.

For some, those feelings can be so intense that they become crippling. For many, like Rodriguez, that’s just a part of their every day lives. More often than not though, it’s not something most Latinos get to learn about themselves or talk about with their families. Sometimes, we just bottle that stuff up, put it away, and get to work, never dealing with it. Many of us don’t even have the healthcare to deal with it even if we wanted to.

Just imagine explaining anxiety to your immigrant abuela. She might just look at you funny. At most, abuela may give you a hug, serve you some asopado, and then ask if you’ve done your chores. All of that may feel wonderful, but it’s not really addressing the issue and that’s just the reality for a lot of us.

The Instagram account has several of these 10-second portraits. Some subjects are smiling…

Hei Jasper! @helloimjasper #TenSecondPortraits

A post shared by Anton Soggiu (@antonsoggiu) on

… While others show even more discomfort than Rodriguez did in her portrait.

Hei Trond! #TenSecondPortraits

A post shared by Anton Soggiu (@antonsoggiu) on

It’s a reminder, from Rodriguez, that anxiety is something we as Latinos should talk about and is more common than we may think.

You can check out the rest of the project here: #TenSecondPortraits


READ: They May Have To Take The V-Word Out Of Gina Rodriguez’s Show Now That Jane’s Been Getting Busy This Season


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Free Fierce Advice: How To Sleep While Dealing With Anxiety And Insomnia

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Free Fierce Advice: How To Sleep While Dealing With Anxiety And Insomnia

If you’re on Twitter you’ve probably seen quite a few mentions of sleep insomnia stirring about. Despite months of being kept in quarantine, users on Twitter are reporting an increase in their inability to sleep. For some, the lack of Zs can be contributed to anxiety or restlessness thanks to being so cooped up but others don’t really know how to explain it.

Fortunately, Latinas are sharing their tricks for beating insomnia. @alixserna a user on Twitter shared a tip for beating insomnia and we asked Latinas on Instagram how they’re managing to get back to sleep and their answers were pretty enlightening.

Check them out below!

“I take everything out of the sockets that I can take and go direct inside the blankets hoping a lighting doesn’t strike anything near me.” – mariav_sf@yaya_love_312

“Yep! I also close blinds, put on headphones, and sit on the floor. Sometimes there may be a blanket on my head.” – yaya_love_312

“I’m afraid of the floor as well bc I like to stay barefoot and my feet sweat haha. But my floor is wooden, so definitely it wouldn’t be a bad idea.” =mariav_sf@yaya_love_312 

Use a podcast

“I listen to podcasts. That helps with my anxiety and helps me fall asleep.” –erixcii

I listen to sleep stations and set a timer to turn off sound in an hour, instead of having an alarm go off in an hour (scroll all the way to the bottom when setting up alarm the sound on an IPhone.)” – ev.rod_

“I’ll try this thank you! My insomnia is crazy!” – cabronas4theworld

“Calm app!!!” – la_femme_foto

“I downloaded a free app called Slumber they have relaxing sleep stories and meditations for kids/adults. My son and I listen to it together at night. Its helped a lot.”- thickfitgoals

Hypnosis

“You can do a Hypnosis sesh!” –erinyvonne

“Also…lower your caffeine intake especially close to bedtime, supplement with a good b vitamin and take a magnesium product like Calm.” – mrs_alvarado_13

“No phone 30minutes before getting into bed. Don’t check notifications as soon you wake up. Say out loud 3 things you’re grateful as you go to sleep/wake up.” – marycarne_

“Headspace app & And I bought eyeshades with Bluetooth headphones in them 🥰 does wonders.”- ashh_burke

Ceiling fans

“I realized i sleep better w my fan on like the highest setting bc of the sound! so i got an app called “bedtime fan” which blasts fan noise & you can set it with a timer so it turns off by itself .” – alexa.r.s

“Restful nights blend @serenitybliss_ my personal favorite.”- alexa.r.s

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Michelle Obama Says That She Has ‘Low-Grade Depression’

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Michelle Obama Says That She Has ‘Low-Grade Depression’

Since leaving her life in the White House, former first lady Michelle Obama has been unabashedly open about her personal life. From writing about her marriage in her recent book Becoming to speaking out about our current president, Obama is unleashing her truth in so many ways. Recently, she revealed during an episode of her podcast that, like most of us, she’s been dealing with “some form of low-grade depression” thanks in part to recent events.

During last week’s Wednesday episode of her eponymous podcast, Obama talked with journalist Michele Norris about her mental health saying “Barack and I, we’ve lived outside of the norm of regular life for quite some time, and what we learned early on in the White House is — in order to stay sane and feel like the human that you once were — is that you have to have a schedule and a routine.”

Speaking out about her current mental state Obama revealed that she has struggled to keep up with her usual regimen. 

“I’m waking up in the middle of the night, ‘cause I’m worried about something or there’s a heaviness,” she explained. “I try to make sure I get a workout in. Although there have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low.”

“It is unusual,” Obama went on. “And it’s a direct result of being out of body, out of mind. Spiritually, these are not fulfilling times. I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”

Later on in the podcast, Obama explained she’d “be remiss to say that part of this depression is also a result of what we’re seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country since its birth. I have to say that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt, or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting. And it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life, in a while.”

According to research, Obama’s not the only one feeling the “psychological toll” of the pandemic and BLM events.

The Lancet Psychiatry, revealed that soon after the release of the video taken during George Floyd’s killing, rates of depression and anxiety among Black Americans skyrocketed at ones much greater than any other group.

According to The Washington Post “The rate of black Americans showing clinically significant signs of anxiety or depressive disorders jumped from 36 percent to 41 percent in the week after the video of Floyd’s death became public. That represents roughly 1.4 million more people.”

To cope, Obama explained that she’s tried to be kind to herself in moments when she’s feeling down.

“You have to recognize that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it,” she explained in the episode. “You kinda have to sit in it for a minute, to know, oh, oh, I’m feeling off. So now I gotta feed myself with something better.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090. 

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