A new book series dedicated to easing problematic anxiety is poised to spark a conversation that is long due in American society: that of mental health in early childhood. Ms. Brett Lindsay Murphy’s Very First book series, now available online, follows the adventures of Bittyrina GiGi, a young dancer who is facing a lot of firsts – and is learning how to overcome her fears and apprehensions through preparing for what’s to come.
The Very First series consists of three books: The Very First Ballet Class for a Bittyrina, The Very First Dance Party for a Bittyrina and The Very First Dance Camp for a Bittyrina. With each new challenge, Bittyrina GiGi develops coping mechanisms that help her conquer “beginners’ anxiety” and comfortably pursue her goals.
The term “beginners’ anxiety,” which was coined by Ms. Murphy, applies to an infinite number of scenarios, and can be experienced by people of all ages. The core message of the Very First series, which is that preparation is the key to managing the anxiety that often accompanies being a novice, has even been helpful to teens and adults facing the same issue. Ms. Murphy has applied similar coping mechanisms and tactics in her personal life, whenever her nervousness rose to the surface during her multifaceted career as a performer and entrepreneur; and while she was pursuing a business degree at Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry and a law degree from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
The books come at a time when it is estimated that more than 1 in 20 American children (2.6 million) were diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression between 2011 and 2012. According to the CDC, 7.1 percent of children suffer from current anxiety issues while only 59.3 percent of those children received treatment for the anxiety in the last year. Problematic anxiety, which is the fear of the unknown, sees the anxious being plagued by the anticipation of negative events and outcomes, which, in turn, produce a toxic cycle of maladaptive thoughts and feelings that are often accompanied by avoidant behaviors that help alleviate their distress.
“Equipping children with the tools they need to overcome their fears is crucial for their mental well-being,” said Mrs. Murphy. “Bittyrina GiGi soon blossoms into a happy, confident little girl after developing the tools and skills needed to overcome the fear of her many ‘firsts.’ I believe that readers will relate to her story, and will gain the courage and strategies they need to face their own experiences as novices with success.”
About Brett Lindsay Murphy
Bittyrina’s founder and the author of the brand’s Very First series, Brett Lindsay Murphy, was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. Born into an industrious and crafty family of artisans, Brett Lindsay was raised to admire nature, simplicity, and life’s oft overlooked treasures. The eldest child of two imaginative parents, Brett’s favorite pastimes included writing stories and poems, recording original songs on her cassette player, and conceiving inventions that would simplify the lives of others.
As Brett entered grade school at Talala Elementary in Park Forest, Illinois, she also began her dance training at American Dance Center in Olympia Fields, Illinois. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, and modern at the dance school for many years. During those years, she encountered triumphs and challenges that influenced her decision to create Bittyrina.
Now, as the mother of a tiny dancer-in-training, Brett Lindsay teaches her ambitious bittyrina that any goal can be conquered with the right tools, preparation, and group of supporters.
Bittyrina is dedicated to designing distraction-free dance wear and programming for early dancers. The one-of-a-kind brand focuses on easing the introduction of dance training, while also encouraging free dance, family literacy, and relationship-building.
Offering a mix of products, services, literature, public and private events, the company’s overall mission is to strengthen the preexisting bond between humans of all backgrounds by encouraging everyone to forget their differences and dance their worries away.
To learn more about Bittyrina, please visit www.bittyrina.com