A Love Letter from Lisa

LisaThe Studio (MDR)’s leading lady talks about how setbacks can help you get ahead.

Okay people, I’m just warning you … this isn’t going to be a light and airy love letter, as it has been quite a challenging month for me. I watched one of my closest friends go through the death of her sister, a suicide, and it was beyond what this studio owner could fathom. All I want to do is wave a magic wand and take away the pain and suffering of this beautiful, tight-knit family that I have come to know well over the years, and bring back their beloved. Of course, I can’t do that, and it makes me feel helpless.

Helplessness is a place in which I do not function well, especially when I care so deeply about people. And just like I care about my friends and family, I hope you know that I care deeply about each and every one of you at The Studio (MDR). That’s why I believe that we have the power to help one another avoid getting to dark, vulnerable places — places where taking one’s life appears to be the only option, where self harm, an eating disorder, anxiety, or depression becomes the norm.  I am a big believer that coming to The Studio (MDR) or doing any form of exercise, no matter where you are in the world, can be a soothing balm to sufferers of major depression, low self-esteem, and a ton of other ailments. In fact, it has been clinically proven that depression symptoms improve with exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise eases depression in a number of ways:

  • It releases feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
  • It reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • It increases body temperature, which may have calming effects

Exercise has a ton of amazing psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
  • Get more social. Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk into The Studio (MDR) can boost your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

So, my Studio (MDR) family, let’s give ourselves a collective reality check. I’d love for each and every one of us to privately assess our current mental state and answer a couple hard questions: “Am I okay? Do I like myself?” If the answer is “no” to either one of those questions, then set a course of action that includes exercise and make an appointment for counseling. Then, do the best deed ever: Pose the same questions to your family, friends, and loved ones. And be there for them as you let them know that you care about them and want to help.

Let’s MAKE A DIFFERENCE in a whole new set of ways.  See you at The Studio (MDR), where we’re building state-of-the-art minds to accompany our state-of-the-art bodies.

An extra hug,



One thought on “A Love Letter from Lisa

  1. thestudiomdr says:

    Hello Studio (MDR) Members! Here’s a special note that you should all read!

    My name is Laurie Garza and I am one of your newer members at the Studio (MDR). I’ve been taking classes with you all for about 1 ½ months now. I love the challenging workouts, inspiring and knowledgeable instructors, and all of the lovely members of the Studio (MDR) community who have welcomed me with open arms!

    Last month, I read our lovely owner, Lisa Hirsch’s letter to us that was recently posted in the Studio (MDR) September issue. Lisa bravely shared the struggle and grief that she is dealing with over the loss of a friend, (her best friend’s sister) to suicide. My first reaction to this was to find Lisa and give her a giant hug at the Studio. My next reaction was to provide some resources and information for any loved ones or individuals who might be struggling with suicide.

    I am a crisis counselor at the Suicide Prevention Center as well as have worked within the social services/non-profit field for years. Upon my completion of my Master of Social Work degree, I will specialize in working with clients struggling with PTSD, trauma, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis.

    I wanted to take this opportunity to share some information about suicide with you all. Lisa is so right that exercise, nourishing our bodies with healthy food, and attending therapy can certainly aid in depression and has been shown to make a positive impact in many other types of ailments, as well. Having said this, there are many people suffering from the psychological pain that persists in those struggling with suicidal thoughts and desires.

    In 2008, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) came out with the first national scientific survey (of this large size) on suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults.

    In 2008…
    8,300,000 had serious thoughts of suicide
    1,100,000 reported attempts per year
    There is 1 suicide attempt every 29 seconds
    Women attempt 3 times more than men
    Men die by suicide 4 times more than women
    28% of those who attempt suicide make further attempts within 10 years
    40% of those who die by suicide make more than one attempt
    5,000,000 survivors of suicide over the last 25 years
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services/Suicide Prevention Center, 2008.

    If you, your loved ones, or any members of the Studio (MDR) are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please encourage them to contact the Suicide Prevention Crisis Line at (877) 7-CRISIS or (877) 727-4747. It’s open 24/7. Confidential, judgment free! Here is the website: http://www.didihirsch.org/spc.

    Also, there is a fantastic (confidential) support group called Survivors of Suicide that is run by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. It consists of a phenomenal group of people that meet weekly to discuss coping skills, share their stories, and communicate with others that understand the unique kind of devastation that losing a loved one to suicide entails. Here is some info on it:
    http://www.didihirsch.org/survivors-after-suicide. Many people find out about this group and wait years before they attend it for the first time. This is okay. It is there for you when you are ready.

    There is also a Survivors of Suicide Attempt support group. This is also confidential and can provide a therapeutic way to heal by sharing your story and by learning and hearing from others within the safety of this small group atmosphere.

    There are so many resources out there for you and your loved ones. Remember that the Suicide Prevention Crisis Line is always there for you 365 days a year, 24 hours a day!
    Call anytime at (877) 727-4747 or (877) 7-CRISIS.

    Let’s continue to take care of ourselves, and of each other!

    Much Love and Health,
    Laurie Garza

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