What IS The Husmus Social Circle?

The Husmus Social Circle is, first and foremost, a safe place for people with anxiety and other mental health issues.

Our message is one of hope, and we highlight the stories of people that have used their difficult mental health journeys to create something really special.

Our main hub is over at HusmusSocialCircle.com, (which is where you can sign up), but our blog posts will also be featured right here.


I Wrote A Book!

What if, nestled alongside our world, there existed other worlds of a slightly different kind?

Maybe there’s a world lightyears ahead ours- in the future, where one rash decision could lead to a collision of fates. Maybe there’s a world where all the fantastical creatures you’ve ever dared to believe in actually exist, and they know more about you than you think?

Otherworldly is a collection of two magical short stories that weave all of the above into one day and one night with four unforgettable characters discovering the power of family, friendship, and pithy banter.

Find it in e-book and paperback formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Writing has always been my first love. Ever since I learned how, and even before then as seen as scribblings in my “diary” as a five year old, I’ve loved making up stories. I would carry around a green spiral notebook to write my “poetry” in when the mood struck. The first thing I ever remember wanting to be when I grew up was a poet. I was praised for my writing abilities at school and won publication in poetry anthologies. But with this acknowledgment came… pressure.

For a long time I pushed writing away. If I didn’t pursue it, I couldn’t fail at it, right? My worst fear was that this thing, this one thing that I’ve been unequivocally deemed “good at”… what if it turned out that I wasn’t good enough?

So this book may come as a surprise to many of you. In growing older I’ve realized that making these characters come to life and capturing their stories so that you can enjoy them in your own mind the same way I do in mine truly brings me joy; and for as long as whatever it is you’re doing continues to being you joy… I don’t think it’s possible to “fail” at it.

I’d like to give a huge thank you to the Get It Done Tiny Book Course which walked me step-by-step through the self-publishing process, with fun check-ins, playlists, and pet photos throughout the way!

September Audio & Graphic Work Updates


Dr. Alexandra Trevisan’s ‘Spiriosity’ Podcast:

Frances M. Advincula’s ‘Product Remixed’ Podcast:

Sara Weinreb’s ‘Medium Well’ Podcast:

Baily Hancock’s ‘Stop, Collaborate & Listen’ Podcast:

  • Episode 44: Connection X Collaboration: Amy Giddon, Co-founder & CEO of Daily Haloha
  • Episode 45: Innovation X Collaboration: Saleema Vellani, Innovation Strategist & Author of “Innovation Starts With I”
  • Episode 46: Innovation X Collaboration: Matthew Manos, Founder and Managing Director of verynice
  • Episode 47: Innovation X Collaboration: Justin D’Angona, Senior Partnerships Associate + Pandemic Alliance Project Manager at XPRIZE


New Seasons and New Voices – Catching Up With Husmus

Long time no see! Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:


🎉 There’s a new member of the Husmus podcasting family! 🎉

I recently started editing Frances M. Advincula’s Product Remixed Podcast. It’s full of super interesting interviews, talented people, and fresh perspectives on tech. My latest edits there are:

Dr. Alexandra Trevisan’s ‘Spiriosity’ Podcast:

Sara Weinreb’s ‘Medium Well’ Podcast:

  • Episode 67: Embracing courage, the art of demanifestation, and finding the extraordinary in the ordinary with Deborah Hanekamp of Mama Medicine [Live!]
  • Episode 68: What is your wellness routine in service of? (solo episode)
  • Episode 69: Building and growing a size-inclusive slow fashion brand with Hanna Baror-Padilla of Sotela [Live!]
  • Episode 70: Plants for the people, celebrating local plants, and nourishing yourself with Erin Lovell Verinder

Baily Hancock’s ‘Stop, Collaborate & Listen’ Podcast:


May Update- Check Out What’s Been Sprouting!


Dr. Alexandra Trevisan’s ‘Spiriosity’ Podcast:

  • Episode 5: The Importance of the Study of Religion and How it Applies to Everyday Life, with Dr. Kin Cheung
  • Episode 6: Learning from Indigenous People and Their Traditions with Lecturer Tina Katsanos

Alyssa Benjamin’s ‘Our Nature’ Podcast:

Sara Weinreb’s ‘Medium Well’ Podcast:

Nikki Carter & Colleen Youngs’ ‘Pencil Me In’ Podcast:


Busy-ness Before Bunny Day!


🎉 New Podcast Launch! 🎉

Dr. Alexandra Trevisan’s ‘Spiriosity’ Podcast:

  • Episode 1: Introduction
  • Episode 2: Asking Life’s Big Questions with Senior Lecturer LD Russel
  • Episode 3: Religion in the Contemporary United States with Dr. Sean McCloud
  • Episode 4: Exploring Contemporary Paganism and Burning Man with Dr. Sarah Pike

Alyssa Benjamin’s ‘Our Nature’ Podcast:

Sara Weinreb’s ‘ ‘Medium Well’ Podcast:



Long time no see! A lot has happened in the land of Husmus since the last post. Long story short: EVERYONE GETS A SEASON 2!

You get a season 2 and YOU get a season 2 and YOU GET A SEASON 2!

Baily Hancock’s ‘Stop, Collaborate & Listen’ Podcast is back for Season 2!

Her first episode is “Collaboration X Connection: Michael ‘Frosti’ Snow, Creator of Canyons

Sara Weinreb’s ‘Medium Well’ Podcast is also well into Season 2:

And one of our newest editing additions, Alyssa Benjamin‘s ‘Our Nature’ Podcast has also kicked off its 2nd season!

Posting all of the graphics I’ve created since the last post would take up WAY too much time, so I might just be sticking to audio editing updates for a while. Speaking of which, there are more new shows in the works to look out for. 👀 I’ll keep you updated!

Guest Blogger Spotlight: Meghan Gieber – How I Healed My Body From Bouts of Anger Last Week

Meghan Gieber is a wellness + goals life coach, as well as a barre3 owner and instructor. You can find her on Instagram @meghangieber, and on her website meghangieber.com.

How I Healed My Body From Bouts of Anger Last Week

In all of its fury, anger is an emotion we need to handle delicately. The emotion can be felt by anyone, but it’s in how we deal with anger that can protect our health. When suppressed, anger manifests itself physically, negatively affecting our bodies. When released, anger can lead to big transformation, and our bodies are able to go back to a healthy, calm state. This blog post is meant to offer tips for how to release anger, based on how I dealt with my own last week.

I’m generally a very peaceful person, and it’s infrequent for me to feel rage. Last week, however, a few things happened that really irritated me and my arms broke out in a rash. The constant flood of adrenaline and increased heart rate was taking a toll on my body. I wasn’t going to let my emotions get the best of me, so here’s how I healed my mind and rash:

  1. Accept the feeling of anger. Admitting to feeling anger can feel vulnerable, which leads to suppressing it. By accepting that anger is present, releasing begins.
  2. Acknowledge sensations in the body. Tuning into the body with eyes closed and noticing physical signals from the feet up through the crown of the head provides awareness of where the body stores anger. These sensations might feel restricting, tight, short-winded, heavy, or achy. None of them are good for us, and bringing awareness to them starts to release suppression.
  3. Carve out a few minutes of breath work. The simple practice of slow breathing reduces stress immediately. Sending breath down into the areas of tension starts to loosen them up.
  4. Give the body permission to release rage. This affirmation, said out loud, heals: “I give myself permission to release all rage I currently feel inside of my body in order to protect my health, and move forward from the experience that taught me a lesson.”
  5. Talk or write about how anger feels in this situation. Expressing emotions is critical to the healing process. If applicable, speak with the person who caused anger, or write the feelings down. This practice brings emotion from inside to outside.
  6. Put yourself in a calm environment. The body wants to be in its natural feeling state of peace. Cozy up on the couch with a blanket, open a bedroom window, or make a cup of tea. A nature walk will also help calm the nerves and spike endorphins.
  7. Get lots of sleep. Adrenaline is tiring and the body seeks rest. Rest helps recenter the body and mind and is often a great remedy for feeling better.
  8. Rinse and repeat. Be patient. Anger can take time to subside. But with this plan, the anger should soften each day.

Moments of anger can happen to us all! But you don’t have to let it affect your overall health. Instead of neglecting it, which causes the body to drown in adrenaline and a high heart rate, take action towards releasing and see how quickly you heal.

If you resonate with this article and experience irritation or rage, I am here for you. To schedule your free session, send me an email at meghan@meghangieber.com.

The Guest Blogger Spotlight is for shining the light on people that have used their mental health journeys as fuel to get them to where they are today. If you’d like to be featured, send an e-mail to Nicole@Husmus.co!

How Simba Helped Me Realize I’m a “Spoonie”

I’d just seen a pin on Instagram and instantly knew that I had to have it.  It was a re-creation of a cereal box prize that I remember from when I was little- a little plastic spoon with Simba from The Lion King on the handle.  The nostalgia factor alone had me hooked.But then I looked at the description under the picture.  It discussed something called “The Spoon Theory”; a term coined by Christine Miserandino that I will try to give a quick re-cap of.

Basically, for people with chronic illnesses or even mental illnesses, we start each day with a certain number of “spoons”.  Spoons = energy bars.  On some days, if they’re good days, we wake up with a lot.  On bad days, not so much.So let’s say you and I both start the day with the same amount of spoons.  We decide to go grab coffee.  By the time we get our coffee, I will have less spoons than you, from being anxious.  Going out for coffee doesn’t make you anxious though.  You still have all your spoons.

The whole day goes like this.  Situations will cost me spoons that won’t cost you spoons, because they’re not things you would (or should) be worrying about.  But that’s the way with anxiety- it doesn’t make sense.  So I’ll be pretty tired by the end of the day, and it might not be clear to you why.  Anxiety is mentally and physically draining, but no one can SEE it happening, so it’s understandably hard for others to understand the toll it takes on your body.  You might not get why I want to just chill at home for a while; you still have your full set of spoons!

The Spoon Theory also allows me to make a point that I used to find difficult to find the words for.  When a “spoonie” uses their spoons for you… it’s a BIG deal.  You must mean a LOT to them.  They’re willingly going somewhere or doing something that will make their body feel pretty shitty for a while, and cost them a substantial amount of energy.  But they’re doing it for YOU.  This is something that anyone who is a friend or family or a significant other of a spoonie should try their best to understand, especially if/when they get frustrated with said spoonie.

So that’s basically the crux of that I felt compelled to share with everyone.  And here’s the 90’s-riffic pin that started it all:

Pin from NostalgiaVault

From Anxious to Activist: How my anxiety helped me strive for exactly what I want, the way I want it

Elpha was kind enough to feature my career journey (and the large part my mental health played in it) in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week! Read it over on Elpha’s site here, or I’m also going to paste it below for safe keeping. 🙂

“Thinking outside the box” is not so much a skill as it is a survival method when you never fit in that damn box to begin with. I have anxiety. Anxiety has many different faces, but the form it takes in my life often has me avoiding social situations, or any sort of event that might be to sensory-overwhelming. I’m also an entrepreneur, so you can see where this may cause some bumps in the road!

I’ve always had anxiety for as long as I can remember, but I’ve also always been extremely goal-oriented. I would decide that I wanted to do something, and then, come hell or high water, I would get it done. I believe that it was this sort of single-mindedness that allowed me to forge the paths I needed to to achieve what I wanted to achieve. Because the odds were always stacked against me.

I’d like to take a little time-out here. Understandably so, when we have things about us that are different, we tend to be embarrassed or ashamed of them. We may even try to hide them. I’d been doing it throughout most of my life. “I’m sorry I can’t come to your party, I’m sick.” “Sorry I’m late, something came up.” But when it came to my college plans, I knew that if an arts degree was something that I truly wanted, and it was, I needed to get real with myself. I couldn’t always physically attend classes. Some days my anxiety was just too high. I realized that the path I needed to take was through distance learning (online courses), and I would do all the legwork I had to to find colleges that awarded degrees through 100% distance learning. There weren’t many, and I would search online for hours and hours every night. Eventually I did find a few, and though it took me roughly twice the time to graduate as it did for my non-anxious friends, I got my Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts in 2017.

This isn’t to say that you need a degree to be successful; but you do need a plan that works for you. If you know in your heart that you can’t handle on-campus college life, it’s not fair to yourself to apply that pressure. Find another way, or make your own. I kept with this same mantra when I started looking for work.

I knew I wanted to be able to wake up every day and create. I also knew that I still couldn’t make the commitment to commuting to and from an office. Leaving the house was something that was, and still is, very difficult for me. I started my online school search all over again, but this time for online internships. And just like last time, eventually, I found a match. Podcast audio editing – something creative that I could do right from my house!

I threw myself into honing my skills and being the best I could be at audio editing. This work paid off, because through word of mouth I was getting offered more and more podcasts to edit. My clients liked my work so much that they were telling their friends about me; and then those friends would reach out! I decided to give myself a brand name to do my work under: Husmus. Husmus means “house mouse” in Swedish, and that’s exactly what I was: a little mouse in my house scurrying around, getting my work done.

My story could very easily stop there… but it doesn’t. I was editing all of these podcast episodes for all of these badass entrepreneur women, and listening to them week after week took its toll on me. They were talking up panels and rallies and networking events; things that I knew would be super beneficial to grow my own brand, but things I also knew I couldn’t get out there and go to. That’s when the seed was planted for the Husmus Social Circle.

I posted on online forums for female entrepreneurs asking for advice and opinions, and so many of the responses were the same: “I feel like this too… I thought I was the only one.” Like I said before, when there are parts of us that are different, we become good at hiding them. Too good. So good that we didn’t know others were also struggling, since no one wanted to take the first step and admit it. And it’s hard to blame them, really. There’s little to no representation of mental illness in the media; and when there is, it’s often grossly inaccurate.

So I wanted to form a community. I wanted a safe-haven for female entrepreneurs working just as hard as all the ladies going to expos and workshops, but not able to reap the same benefits. A sounding board for women that had to forge their own paths due to their own mental health conditions, just like I did, because the traditional ones just aren’t always possible for us to tread.

The good news is that the more we talk about mental health openly, the more we realize that we’re not treading these paths alone. One day I hope that these events will offer more virtual components, but the only way to do that is by speaking up and showing that we’re a group that is largely underrepresented in the business space, and we deserve more accessibility to these happenings that will help us grow our own brands and businesses into the best they can be.

Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” I could not agree more. Working with and around mental health challenges is difficult, but it’s also do-able. Stand strong in the progress you have made, don’t let the setbacks stop you, and keep striving for exactly what you want, the way you want it.

Nicole Canovas is a graphic designer, audio engineer that specializes in podcast production, and mental health activist. She founded her “creative tech services” brand, Husmus, in 2017, and in 2019 started The Husmus Social Circle: a growing hub of resources and support for fellow entrepreneurs working with anxiety and/or other mental health issues. Her main goal in all of her work, be it visual, auditory, or through her writing on the Husmus Social Circle blog, is to ensure that important stories and ideas are shared, and that the voices behind them are given an equal platform from which they can be truly heard.

If you’re ready to share your own story, please do e-mail me at Nicole@husmus.co and I’ll post it on the blog. Talking and sharing is such an important part of not only growing awareness in others, but growing confidence within ourselves!

Guest Blogger Spotlight: Mark Merphy – Overcoming Panic and Fear

Here are my tips and coping techniques for overcoming Panic Disorder and General Anxiety issues. If you care to read my story I will attach it to the end so as to not waste time getting to the important part of this document.

First we will start with the facts that you need to understand about yourself to effectively utilize the document.

You are not broken and you have control (though seemingly little at first)

The biggest thing I had realized from my experience that I wish I understood earlier was I was not a defective human. So many people go through this experience that you would never have suspected. But many people are terrified to share their experiences and understandably so. Our society does not deal with mental health issues well and people are afraid of stigma. As you talk about your experiences with others you meet more and more people who can relate and suddenly you are no longer weird, dying, or losing sanity. A huge turning point in my anxiety was when I had talked to my great aunt (grandfather’s sister) and she told me that she too had went through the same experience when she was young and that it eventually went away. Up until this point I had not met anyone who understood what I was going through or at least was willing to talk with me about it. And it was the first time I had had hope that it wasn’t permanent.

Trust in hope

This came to me much later, after loosing hope for longer than I would like to admit. I started to accept the fact that I would always have this issue and I would never be able to have a real relationship or career. It was a naive thought and a dark place in my mind void of hope. If I could meet myself in the past I would have explained that the suffering is temporary and my own fear is keeping me locked in the terrible experience. This information would have sped up my healing process a great deal. At the time I believed I would be stuck in the same place forever. Hope is what will get you out of that place. The hope that you will overcome the fear. The hope you will find what it is that is triggering you emotional response. The hope you will find that place of peace in your mind. Hold onto that hope and don’t doubt your ability to get there.

Your emotion fear and panic will pass

Anytime I find myself in an anxious panic state of mind I realize that that feeling of fear and discomfort will pass. What I like to imagine in my head is that I’m a sailor and I see the storm coming in. I have to drop my sails, drop my anchor and wait for the storm to pass. There is nothing you can do stop the storm from hitting you and that is scary. You can do things to help your ship make it through the storm more intact but you can’t avoid them at first. So you do everything in your power to be the most comfortable you can and once it’s over realize the next will be easier. Most of us want happiness and comfort all the time but life is constantly changing like the weather. Start to realize that these changes are good, they are the very reason you don’t need to stay fearful and anxious once you get control of your ship. Once the fear, depression, anxiety feelings pass (usually after crying) get up and do something. Go for a walk, paint a picture, literally anything. If you don’t the feelings come back.

Here are the coping techniques that have helped me and the people I have shared them with thus far.

First, find your sanctuary. It can be physical, spiritual, mental; whatever it takes to get you in a place of complete relaxation. I’m talking so relaxed that you accidentally fall asleep. I am a very auditory person being a musician, so I needed a music to get me there. But there is a catch; I love lyrics. If the song was in a language I understood it caused me to think about the meaning and words and I wouldn’t fully relax to that accidental fall asleep stage. So I searched until I found a Buddhist chant with soothing female voices that I could instantly feel my body relax. I couldn’t understand the language so my mind didn’t have to contemplate the lyrics. Now the reason I explain this in such detail is because so many people give up too early. You need to find the environment that completely relaxes you. Not just “kind of relaxed” but the feeling of absolute safety and relaxation. It may mean your bedroom with soft pillows. It could mean a room of complete darkness or a room full of light and color. It is all dependent on your person. We all feel comfort in different environments. You must search yourself until you find the environment you need to get there. Don’t give up until you find it. Try progressive muscle relaxation techniques/meditation.

Now that you know your sanctuary, you will slowly build confidence and control. The goal is have complete control of your bodies ability to feel comfort. At first you will need to escape to this sanctuary you created. When I was agoraphobic and having panic attacks every day I would lay in my bed in the position I felt most comfortable. I would put headphones in and wear shooting ear muffs that canceled out almost all outside noise if the house was too loud. I would put on a sleep mask if the light was too bright. And I would allow the music to relax my body. It was the same feeling I experienced from my lorazepam but it was drug free. My muscles would relax I would feel the calming sensation and I would allow the panic to pass through my body and I would unknowingly fall asleep. Now for a few weeks I had to do this every time I experienced panic. I had to leave to my sanctuary. Becoming familiar with that feeling I would attempt to reach that state of mind in my vehicle or a friends house anyplace outside the sanctuary. And I found I could eventually achieve that state of relaxation anywhere. This is essentially meditation and gaining back control of your fearful mind. Look at the progress you make. There will still be terrible panic attacks but you will more effectively make it through them. Every time you make it through a big panic attack while maintaining some level of comfort you will learn to fear them less. They no longer control you. Again I will reiterate… do not give up.

Learn to adapt to what your mind throws at you. There were times when my panic would change. I didn’t feel comfortable sitting still trying to breath. So through trial and error I realized that pacing or walking would make me feel more at ease through a panic attack. I still had to go through it but I would feel much less anxiety and panic if I was moving. So I would walk around my house or take a walking in the woods or go up and down stairs. Pushups, pullups and jumping jacks didn’t work. I had to be moving and experience the feeling of changing location. Again I am specific so you know you must try anything you can think of and then recognize what it is that comforts you. Then you develop your own personal tool kit to your specific type of panic. And every now and again when I felt like I had figured out how to calm myself my body would find a new way to make me feel fear. I would notice a pain or a flutter in my chest something new that I never noticed before. And I would have to find a different form of comfort. There were times I would be trapped in a car with someone and I would feel it and I would have to actively breath in while counting and breath out to make sure I would slowing my breathing down. I would panic through the whole experience thinking I could lose my control at any moment. If you just trust the process and realize it’s temporary you won’t lose control. Eventually your cognitive tool kit becomes developed enough that you know what you need for what situation. This is when it all starts to go away. You start to live in calm. And whenever you feel that panic coming you see it before it takes hold and you can escape the panic attacks all together. They go away.

Help others once you have gained control of your fearful mind. As you do and you hear their stories, by calming them you will strengthen your tools and state of mind. You will learn new things that may have not occurred to you that you can add to your tool box.

To wrap this up, I will list the things that have helped me just in case any of you are similar enough to me that I can save you time looking for solutions.

My Cognitive Tools

Walking/Pacing, Earplugs/Noise Cancellation, proper breathing, Proper posture, Stretching, Massage, Yoga, Being in Nature, Music (but only songs that relax me), Singing in my vehicle, talking to myself with comforting affirmations, Binaurl Beats, Various forms of Meditation, learning about the mind, learning about spiritual practice and various religions, giving up control in certain situation. Progressive muscle relaxation.

I hope any of this information can help you even if only in a small way.

My Story

I had my first panic attack when I was twenty-five and thought I was dying. I couldn’t tell if I was having a heart attack or my lungs were closing up. I ended up in the ER where the nurses and doctors thought I was on drugs until my blood work came back clear. They said they thought it was a panic attack which I didn’t really believe because I had when my whole life through many stressful situations without ever experiencing this. Now that I look back I realize it happened while I was visiting my friend at Fort Knox who was about to be deployed to Iraq. I had just lost one of my best friends from high school to an IED in Iraq three years prior. Although my conscious mind thought I was tough and it was no big deal my subconscious remembered the pain and fear. I had panic attacks every day multiple times a day for months on end. It was no longer about my friend it was the fear of dying and the fear of the next panic attack. I was agoraphobic for a brief period of time but I overcame this with the help of my sister and some techniques I discovered that worked for me. At many points I lost almost all hope of ever being “normal” again. I was given many self help books and videos to watch of people who supposedly had the answers but as I read and watched it was apparent to me it was usually a money grab on people who had real issues by people who had never experienced the real terror that comes with Panic Disorder. So now that I have found what helped me I would like to share this with as many people as possible. The less time anyone has to spend in that state of mind the better. I have been trying my best to help anyone I meet that is going through this. It is temporary and you can find peace. I suffered intensely for three years and as I developed my coping techniques, the amount of time I spent in fear and worry diminished on now I’m stable again. I haven’t had a panic attack in over five years and I have experienced things that should have triggered it. I honestly believe everyone is capable of getting here but it requires some work.

Although part of me wishes I had never had to go through this experience. Now being on the other side of it I am grateful. I am grateful that I can now help people in a way I had never been able to previously. I am also grateful because the same tools I needed to overcome this are the same tools I used to sing on stage in front of people for the first time in my life. I don’t know if I ever would have without experiencing something far more terrifying in my opinion.

There is always hope

If you want some extra advice feel free to message me on Instagram @markiemusic.

The Guest Blogger Spotlight is for shining the light on people that have used their mental health journeys as fuel to get them to where they are today. If you’d like to be featured, send an e-mail to Nicole@Husmus.co!