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— Anxiety

Maxine Goynes

Maxine Goynes, founder and podcast host of MG Method, sitting on a park bench

The founder and podcast host of MG Method who believes there is nothing wrong with saying I need help and I need support.

Maxine Goynes looking through her notebook

How does meditation manifest for you? What do you consider meditative?

Most recently, I started reading The Artist’s Way. You do these morning pages where you write consistently, continuously, tapping into your subconscious and I find it so helpful. First thing in the morning, I try to avoid going on social media and get to those pages right away. If I’m not doing the morning pages, I’ll do breathwork. Sometimes I’ll meditate, but breathwork gives me a little bit more physicality and I notice it has a direct correlation between my thinking and my energy. It makes me relaxed and trusting that I have some control over my day.

With breathwork, I do the 4, 7, 8 count. You inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, exhale for 8. I like to say little things often. It’s this premise that it doesn’t need to be big or grand. It doesn’t need to be this full-fledged get up. Days change and things come up. So it’s keeping the flexibility of tiny little moments that you can carve out for yourself.

Maxine Goynes holding a book

What has your journey to finding the “right” supplements looked like for you?

With supplements, I get so frustrated trying to find the cure. You’re constantly looking for it. But I wanted to start working on my internal health and the supplements have been really, really helpful. After my father was ill, I started to do a lot more research and get really curious. It’s something that comes from trauma and I wanted to be more informed. Then I realized that we all have so many nutrient deficiencies and so many things that we maybe aren’t aware of. Even having taken birth control for a long time, I realized that really affects the nutrients you’re able to get. So I have this little supplement protocol and I start on Sunday, line them up, and make sure that I take them in the morning.

How does movement impact your mental health?

I’m 1 of 4 girls and a former collegiate athlete. So there’s something about being in trenches with people when they feel like they’re struggling and you create that safe space. It reminds me throughout my day that this is how you need to show up. I usually train women in the morning and we’ve done it via FaceTime because of the pandemic. I often move with them and we definitely can feel in the workout overcoming adversity on the mat or trying to be malleable and flexible.

“All of the clients that I train, they’re in different places, so it’s such a complex group of people.”
It opens up a space for me to say, what are the challenges? What are the obstacles? And also, what are the blessings in this moment? What are the gifts in movement? Helping people find restored confidence in trusting their bodies and trusting their experiences has been such a blessing for my mental health. And I think any time you can get out of focusing on yourself and actually make that a group experience, the collective can support the individual.

Maxine Goynes sitting on a park bench, laughing

How do you start your day to maintain mental clarity?

I love checking in and using visual references first thing in the morning because it inspires me to think about how people strategically utilize their environment. This book by Tonne Goodman is beautiful because it shows different people within one book, so you’re not looking at one specific style. That diversity of art and the way people see the world is beautiful, so I always try to find time everyday to get inspired visually.

Studying these visuals comes from the idea that something is going to get lost on me. A fear I’ll run out of ideas or won’t come back to them. So its important to take the time to write them down, even if you do absolutely nothing with them. Knowing that they exist allows you to let it go. That has been really healing for me to know that, hey, you’re safe

Maxine Goynes holding a bottle of body oil

How would you describe your mental health, currently?

It fluctuates. I have moments where I feel more aware than at other times. And for me, that feels progressive. That makes me happy. That gives me joy. And also, knowing that part of that experience is that there are days in which you feel like you can’t get anything right and the world feels like it’s crashing down. Even the most simple of things feel heavy.

I grew up in a family where when things were challenged, that was private. We didn’t talk about it. It wasn’t encouraged to speak on that. And now I feel the gift is knowing. There is nothing wrong with saying it’s heavy, I’m challenged, I need help, and I need support. So asking for that has been something that I’m learning to step into.

How does intimacy and relationships impact your mental health?

This kind of goes back to what we addressed a little bit ago, which is we need each other. Intimacy, especially during the pandemic, was interesting because for me, I’m learning new things that I can give to myself with regard to pleasure and with regard to sexual wellbeing. At the top of the pandemic, I started to lean into design as a tool for intimacy because some of the things that encourage intimacy feel very intimidating. But I was online and I found the most beautiful vibrator by Maude. I ordered it and it felt like such growth for me. It felt like something I should give to myself. So I feel we deserve pleasure. And I want that for people, whether that’s pleasure with self and being educated in that and being safe in that, and then deciding what makes you feel good.

I was reading the other day that when we give someone a hug and when we give ourselves a hug, our body doesn’t know the difference. And so I’m playing with what does that touch feel like? How often are we giving ourselves that physicality? It’s something that I’ve avoided for a long time. Let’s keep the intimacy at a distance. But I’m learning different ways that you can use intimacy, whether that’s scent or touch or texture or sound. But design is something that really turns me on. So I’m trying to find ways to bring it to every place.

What’s your take on medication, like antidepressants, and supplements?

I feel like it’s a tool and there’s no judgment in that. How can we use medication as a tool to support lasting behavior? And what type of habit formation, environment and people in the ecosystem can I create that allows me to use those tools, but also makes me feel encouraged to know that I’m learning new things in the process?

I’ve never had to rely on something outside of myself, but if I need it and I feel called to it and I want it in my life, I hold space for that. I take my supplements and don’t personally take any antidepressants. But I love that my friends and people that I care about have that as a tool in their life. If people feel supported in that, it changes my world experience too.

What makes you stressed or anxious and therefore impacts your mood and mental health?

I would say process. It’s the thing that everyone says, “lean into that,” which I’m learning. I have a lot of expectations and I’m always thinking I want this to be done faster.

I think that any type of anxiety is a gift. I know hearing that could be frustrating because it can also feel very paralyzing and crippling. But I think about what are habits that help me recognize moving towards a direction in a way that I feel supported.

I think anxiety also shapes who you are. If it’s Max without her anxiety or Jayme, without her anxiety, it’s not Jayme. It’s not Max. So I’m learning that my anxiety has gifted me other tools that may make me empathetic, curious, and thoughtful.

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