With the growing number of children and adults suffering from stress, anxiety and depression, author and fashion designer Evey Rosenbloom wanted to do something to help. She decided to release an online book at no charge.
The online book has become an important resource to help those that are struggling. The aim of the book is to provide people with hope and given them the tools to strengthen their mental health and overcome obstacles in their life.
Since being launched, the online book has gained a huge amount on exposure, so we decided to learn more about the book and the author, and this is what she had to say.
- First of all, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Evey Rosenbloom and I’m a proud mommy of two adorable wild little kids, a light-up dress maker, host of the Let Yourself Sparkle Podcast, Author and Happiness Coach. Born and raised in the City of Angels, An Honors graduate of UCLA with a background in Anthropology and Social Work.
I’m obsessed with all things rainbow and sparkly, I love farm life and horses, roller skates, and dancing in the kitchen with my kids.
I wasn’t always happy.
In fact, just a few months ago you would have found me hiding my tears under blankets in the dark, wishing I could have given my kids a happy life. I had crippling anxiety and depression and was having daily Migraines. I could barely see, I was so dizzy, I was leaning on the walls for support. I thought my life was over until I heard my daughters sweet little voice say: Mommy, You Can Choose to Be Happy.
Her words saved my life.
Today you can find me wearing bright rainbow wigs and dancing in my roller skates to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
Happiness turned out to be the best medicine for me, and I believe that I needed to experience the pain and suffering of depression, anxiety and debilitating migraines, so that I could discover and share the tools to light people up from the inside- out.
Looking back, I probably should have known that the little girl who was deeply fascinated by her grandfather’s ability to wake up excited, smile and celebrate life, after losing his entire family in the Holocaust…. Was destined to one day chase her curiosity to create a framework that enables people to push themselves from darkness to light.
Right now,… I’m probably eating popcorn or M&M’s in my office surrounded by rainbow spools of thread, dreaming of ways I can help people lower stress, energize happiness, and illuminate their own unique paths to joy.
Wanna know what lights me up? Helping people strengthen their mental health, find ways to let themselves sparkle, and remember how to enjoy their lives… Happiness is a choice I make every day, and I truly hope that the resources I put together- help other people nourish and enrich their bodies and minds in a positive way, because I believe we were all born to be happy.
- You have just released your new book ‘Mommy, You Can Choose to Be Happy’, what is the book about?
It’s a step-by-step framework of how anyone can naturally let go of toxicity, overcome anxiety and depression, and learn how to change their thoughts and actions to create lasting fulfilment and a meaningful life. It is for anyone, but I made it so simple that even a burnt-out mom with zero time to herself could to it.
It is a holistic, life changing approach which teaches you how you can train your mind and control how you feel through a series of daily choices and activities. The framework includes methods to overcome your limitations, positive affirmations, mindfulness, song, and dance, and a nutrition outline to help you understand which foods are known to strengthen, nourish and energize your body, and also which foods are commonly known to exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression.
The book gives tips to improve sleep habits and suggests specific physical activities known to aid in the production of serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine- your bodies “feel good” hormones.
In addition, the book helps remind you what you have enjoyed to do throughout your life, and also helps you discover new hobbies that would be fun or enjoyable, so that you can choose to find ways to incorporate those into your current life.
The framework teaches you how to live in the moment, provides you with a gratitude practice and stresses the importance of kindness, inspiring how we can each do our part to add more light in the world.
The book provides all these different scientifically proven methods to strengthen mental health, and while it can seem overwhelming, because there is so much, the good news is that we do not need to do everything in order to improve the way we feel.
While, I will say that the more you do, the better you will feel, (both emotionally and physically), there are so many different paths to happiness, you can just pick the practices and activities that resonate with you from the book, and do those.
Many can be done for 30 seconds to 5 minutes a day to notice an incredible positive change in your life.
- It has been reported that due to the COVID19 pandemic the number of adults suffering from stress and mental health issues has increased, do you believe this is the same case for children?
Yes. Both children and adults have reported experiencing an increase in poor mental health outcomes, which is evident use of substances and an increase in suicidal thoughts. Fear for safety and health have dramatically increased, so has financial loss among families, contributing to an increase in emotional distress, and the development of psychiatric disorders. Children pick up on the stress of their caregivers, in addition, they have faced sudden changes to their daily routines and social lives, and many experienced a disruption to their education. Many kids experienced drastic increases in screen time, loss of extracurricular sports teams and lost access to clubs and enrichment programs, there have been restrictions at mental healthcare facilities so many people of all ages had a lapse in getting the support they used to receive. Many children lost access to food, (they consistently received at school), and the need to stay home 24/7 put many at risk for an increase of neglect and abuse.
One of the most concerning facts is that there has been a significant increase in ER visits for self-harm among children. Which is of significant concern because youth who engage in self-harming behaviors are at an increased risk for suicide. These difficult times created feelings of isolation, boredom, sadness, despair, anxiety and stress which can have long term effects on children’s behavior as well as their mental and emotional well-being and physical health.
- Stress, anxiety, and depression continue to be a serious problem, do you believe enough is being done to help children and adults?
I know therapists are at full capacity, and they have waiting lists. There are many people who wish they could receive treatment to strengthen their mental health, and there simply are not enough resources to help them.
I also believe so many people are so quick to assume that a pill alone will fix them, and while I absolutely believe that medication is necessary in many cases, I also believe that it is not enough to help someone find joy. Many people report that even after receiving psychiatric treatment, they still do not feel happy, which leads many to give up hope that they ever can find joy. The problem however is that they are often not doing these simple exercises, known to help people break free of whatever it is that might be holding them back from experiencing joy and so many different tools to strengthen their mental health by stimulating the production of serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins. The tips I share in the book to help people overcome anxiety and depression and also energize joy, are actually used by some psychiatrists and positive psychologists in the treatment of mental health disorders. However often people have to hit rock bottom to learn these methods, and we hope that they are brought to the right facility and meet with the right treatment team to be given these incredible methods to heal. But so often patients in these facilities are pushed through the system so quickly in understaffed, overwhelmed environments and they are discharged before they’ve really been able to heal.
There was a young girl I met with when I was working as a Treatment Plan Coordinator in a Psychiatric Hospital. This was her 5th suicide attempt. When I went in to meet with her, she was so depressed she wouldn’t even look at me or lift her head off the pillow. I couldn’t even tell if she heard me. She seemed so far gone.
Before I left her room, I asked her to think if she could recall a time that something brought her even an ounce of joy. Later she was found leaping and twirling through the hallways of the hospital. When she was discharged, her family reported that there was a light in her eyes that seemed to have been missing for years. It had been years since she danced. She simply forgot that was something that used to make her feel so alive. The simple act of dancing revived her. Imagine if I did not think to ask her that very simple question?
So often people are so overwhelmed by the stress, anxiety and depression that they can’t even think of anything that they ever enjoyed to do. It seems really simple, but even just helping them remember what it was that they used to enjoy doing can have a tremendously positive impact on their lives.
I want to make sure these methods are shared widely, because they are clinically proven to work and before the Pandemic, it was found that more than half of the adults diagnosed with mental health conditions do not receive treatment. And it’s even worse among youth, 80 percent of children and adolescents get either insufficient treatment or none at all. Since the pandemic began, the rates of people developing mental health conditions has increased and the access to treatment has declined.
- A lot of parents of young kids who are suffering from anxiety and depression feel alone, how can your online book help?
It is so easy to feel alone when your child is suffering from anxiety and depression. My book lets them see that how they are feeling is so common, especially at a time when we are surrounded by so much grief and heartbreak and people are isolated from friends, family and their communities. I want people to know that they are not alone and there is hope.
If you want to join my virtual Happiness Course, I would love to offer you more support and guidance on your path to strengthening your mental health. Send me an email Evey@LetYourselfSparkle.com I am happy to help.
And it’s important to seek professional help if needed. These are unprecedented times, and it is totally normal to feel completely overwhelmed. If you know someone who needs help, The National Alliance of Mental Illness is such a good resource.
Call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-6264 M-F, 10 am –6 pm, ET Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741 for 24/7 support.
- What do you hope to achieve from your book?
I wrote this book as a guide for myself, in case I was ever hit with depression or anxiety again and was too distraught to remember how to pull myself out of it. I hope that my words provide hope and a path to heal for anyone who needs it.
- You have had your own experience with stress, can you tell me more about that?
After a wildfire swept through my neighborhood, I was overcome with the fear of not being able to protect my kids. I was waking up in the middle of the night to make sure there were no fires nearby. Any time the wind picked up, I panicked. I felt like I was in constant fight AND flight mode. It got so bad that I started to feel shaky and off balance. One day I noticed a numbness in my arms and legs, and I almost collapsed. I started having daily migraines and then the vertigo started. I was going from doctor to doctor, they ran all these tests. I was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines, and they said there was no cure for the dizziness. I spent my free time googling symptoms that I might be dying because I felt like I had become the shell of the person I used to be. What began with the stress of being unable to protect my kids, morphed into fears that they were about to lose their mother. The stress turned into depression and I hid my tears under blankets in the dark, wishing I could have given my kids a happy life.
Everything changed when my daughter saw me crying and looked at me with her sweet little eyes and said – “Mommy, you can choose to be happy.”
- So, an important question, why did you decide to write the book?
I once listened to story a man told, he was on his way to commit suicide, and he had told himself…. if just only one person was kind to him, he would not do it. Even something as simple as a smile would have derailed his plan. But no one even smiled at him. No one even looked at him. The entire bus ride, and his walk-through crowded streets, he felt invisible. He prayed someone would acknowledge him. But no one did. He felt completely alone, like there was no hope, and then he jumped off a bridge. The moment he jumped he knew he’d made a tremendous mistake. Luckily, he didn’t die. Now he goes around sharing his story about how simply looking at someone and acknowledging their existence and giving them a smile, could boost them up emotionally, and SAVE THEIR LIFE.
In the 1700’s, Rabbi Nachman said: “Sometimes, people are terribly distressed but have no one to whom they can unburden themselves. If you come along with a happy face, you cheer them and give them new life.
I wrote this because I understand how alone and distraught so many people feel right now, and I want them to know that there is hope and that they can heal, and how simple and profound certain acts like smiling can be to light up not only themselves (through biochemical feedback), but also the people around them.
I believe a little bit of light can brighten up the darkness, and since there is so much darkness these days, I want to provide people with the tools to let some light seep through the cracks.
After I realized that happiness was simply a choice that anyone could make, I felt morally obligated to share these tips with anyone who could strengthen their emotional well-being. Even if I can help save one person, that’s why I’m doing this.
- Some people believe they cannot beat depression and stress, what would you say to those people?
A lot of people will say- they cannot be happy because of a diagnosis, or their genes, or their financial situation, or because of terrible circumstances in their lives. It’s so easy to believe that your happiness is influenced by the cards you’ve been dealt. Or that since your pill didn’t make you happy, there is no hope. OR maybe you feel like being happy is selfish, or childish, or there’s a level of guilt involved, because so many people around you are suffering or didn’t’ make it, or maybe someone seemed to try to take that feeling of joy from you, so it feels wrong. I want to acknowledge that I understand how difficult it is for people to even want to find joy.
After surviving Aushwitz, Viktor Frankl said: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” He also said that “those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
My grandfather, Jay Shalmoni, who also was an Aushwitz survivor, (and lost his entire family), said “You could be very sad and cry everyday OR you could look back on the beautiful things when you had them and not think of the dark days. You have to go on and the future is what counts….You have to look to the future EVERY DAY. Don’t think back to the bad, sad things. Every time I walk up the steps, I look at my mother’s picture, I look at my brothers’ picture and so it is a reminder, but I can go up and smile at my mother’s picture and my brothers’ picture OR I can cry. So, it is up to me.”
It is up to you.
The truth is that we all are capable of feeling joy, and it starts with a choice. In order to change the way you feel, you have to first decide WHY you want to make the change.
For me, when I was in the depths of my depression, and my daughter told me I could choose to be happy, I absolutely did not believe her. But then I realized that I needed to do whatever I could in my power to be happy for my kids because I felt they deserved a happy mom, and once I found my reason, the actions I share in the book followed.
“I’ve met people who were terminally ill, or survivors of natural disasters and genocides – who had lost everything, who were choosing to be happy. Their decisions to shift their mindset, enriched their lives in such positive ways.
One of the most meaningful moments in my career as a fashion designer, was when I got an email from a father of a bride, asking me if I could add lights to his daughter’s wedding dress which was less than a month away. I quickly replied, does your daughter know you’re asking me to do this? And is this OK with her?
He explained to me that their whole family survived 9/11, if their subway wasn’t late, they would have been in the elevator heading to the top of the World Trade Center. When the first plane hit, they were in the middle of the park a couple blocks from ground zero. When the tower collapsed, they lost each other in a cloud of smoke and debris. They remember people jumping into the sea and running around with their faces completely covered with anything they could find.
He explained, they finally found each other, and since then have learned to just treasure and enjoy every moment of life. “She is really easy going, enjoys life and doesn’t take any of this too seriously!”
The next day, he dropped off his daughter’s dress, and I illuminated it with hundreds of hand stitched tiny bulbs. I cried when they sent me a picture of her smiling so beautifully in her sparkle covered glowing wedding dress as fireworks lit up the sky around her on the 4th of July.
I decided to give the book away for FREE because I do not want lack of resources to prevent someone from accessing their own joy.
To anyone who believes they cannot beat depression and stress, I tell them, they absolutely CAN if they want to. But they have to want to, and that is up to them.
- You say that you help people to change their thoughts, can you explain more about that?
We can train ourselves to think differently. The words we are surrounded by often influence our thoughts and minds. Even on a subconscious level. Disconnecting, or at least cutting back from stressful content is often beneficial because too much bad news, upsetting books and movies can negatively impact the way you feel. Try to listen to uplifting happy songs, inspiring podcasts, read stories about personal growth to try to keep your thoughts more positive.
Studies have shown that positive affirmations, and other practices such as mindfulness and meditation can actually re-wire and restructure the brain. It sounds impossible, but this is scientifically confirmed with fMRI or EEG technology.
The simple practices I provide in the book are proving to have incredible neurological benefits that can actually be seen and measured changing the shape and size of parts of the brain know for relieving a level of anxiety and depression, improving attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being.
- You say that you can choose to be happy, for someone suffering from stress and depression, that could seem like a mission impossible, do you really believe that you can choose to be happy?
It absolutely sounds impossible especially for someone suffering from stress and depression. But I wholeheartedly believe that there are a series of choices we can all make every single day that can lead us to eliminate harmful habits and behaviors and replace those with practices and activities known to nourish and enrich our body and mind that can make us feel profoundly better emotionally and physically.
- And finally, what does the future hold for you?
When we focus our attention on the future, we start to worry because we do not know what to expect.
While I often find myself worried about circumstances outside of my control, or dreaming of moving my family to a farm, I’ve learned that it is so important to focus on the present and let go of any fears and expectations to prevent spiraling back into feelings of fear and disappointment.
So, while I can’t tell you what tomorrow holds, I can tell you that today, right now, I am choosing to be happy.
Mrs. Rosenbloom’s book, Mommy, You Can Choose to Be Happy, can be found online, at no cost, at www.YouCanChooseToBeHappy.com