Dealing with Anxiety as a Mom

Motherhood is beautiful. It’s full of love, laughter, and countless precious moments. However, it’s no secret that being a mom also comes with a LOT of challenges, and anxiety is one that I struggle with regularly. Juggling responsibilities, managing the household, and meeting the needs of our little ones can often leave us feeling overwhelmed. As an anxious person prior to motherhood, I find that parenting can amplify my worries and leave me more than stressed. In this post, I’m going to discuss some of the strategies I use to help me deal with anxiety.

Prioritize Self Care

As a mom, it’s easy to put the needs of your family before your own. However, self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. I will say this until my fingers stop typing: make a conscious effort to carve out time for yourself each day. Whether it’s a relaxing bath, a few minutes of meditation, or a simple walk around the neighborhood, prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This not only can soothe your mind on an anxious day, but it can prevent anxiety attacks over time!

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety. I know that sometimes this can feel like one of those words people toss around that don’t really feel like a real, manageable task you can take on. However, mindfulness isn’t complicated. It’s as simple as taking a few moments each day to focus on your breath or taking time in the evening to journal. Mindful breathing exercises can help ground you and alleviate feelings of stress. Practicing your breathing when you’re not anxious can make it easier to do when you are.

Build a Support System

I’ll admit: this is the most difficult of the tasks on this list, especially if you have a strained relationship with friends or family members. However, seeking out ways to build a village is really important. You can start with a small village – one friend you can chat with over social media or a reliable therapist. Taking that first step to talk to just one person about how you’re feeling can be an extremely cathartic experience. So many other moms feel isolated as well, and you reaching out may be just what they need as well!

Follow Predictable Routines

Creating predictable routines can help bring a sense of order to your day. Structure and predictability can be comforting for both you and your children. Establishing a daily routine can reduce the uncertainty that often triggers anxiety, making it easier to prevent anxiety on a day-to-day basis. You can try out my morning mindfulness routine – it’s really helped me stay consistent!

Be Ready for Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety attacks can happen to anyone, even if you don’t suffer from regular anxiety. However, no matter how often you experience them, attacks are always a scary experience. Some little tricks I’ve learned to help calm myself during an anxiety attack are:

  1. Keep Sour Candy on Hand – Sour flavors can help divert our brain away from our anxious thoughts. I like to keep sour candy in my pantry to pop in my mouth during an anxiety attack to help distract my brain.
  2. Ice Your Vagus Nerve – Placing an ice pack on your vagus nerve, running from your neck down to your chest, can help you feel more calm during an anxiety attack. I find it helps slow my heart rate and makes me feel more at ease.
  3. Practice Box Breathing – Box breathing is a tried-and-true technique for re-centering yourself during an anxiety attack. You can read this article on WebMD for more details on how to box breathe.

Delegate Responsibilities

I know I said that building a support system was the most difficult way to reduce anxiety, but it might actually be this one! You have to delegate your responsibilities. I know as women we hate to ask for help. We want to be able to do it all on our own, but that’s just not possible! If you find that your anxiety is worsening, you need to sit down with a partner or with your older children to make sure it’s not all on you. If you don’t have anyone in the house to delegate work to, try setting aside a little money each month for help from a maid or childcare service. It’s worth it!

Me and one of my little ones, happy as ever!

Anxiety is part of being a mom, and really, it’s just a part of life. Having a few techniques on-hand for dealing with anxiety can help you minimize the impact those worried thoughts have on your life. Don’t forget – if anxiety ever gets too overwhelming, reaching out to a therapist or psychiatrist is always a great choice.

xoxo Fil

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