Anxiety can affect anyone & anybody. As it comes unannounced, anxiety can make your life a bit stressful. But, being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is not the end of the world.
Anxiety may make your heart race and you may feel like it’s hard to catch a breath. You may feel hopeless, you cry and at the end of the day, and the anxiety can leave your body exhausted.
Anxiety can develop for any reason, unknowingly. However, anxiety is also a common disorder diagnosed in new mothers. Postpartum disorder, the experience of handling a demanding newborn baby can sometimes drain the mother which can then lead to anxiety. And as a parent, dealing with anxiety can be challenging.
Of course, as a parent who has an anxiety disorder, daily challenges with the responsibilities and taking care of children can make your anxiety worse. But to breakdown in front of the kids is not ideal. Fortunately, anxiety can be better managed by adding several of the tips below:
Get your “me time” at least once a week
If you are a full-time parent who manages the house, doing all the house chores alone while managing children can be stressful and tiring at times. This is why a “me time” can be very helpful. “Me time” can help us to find ourselves, our passions or hobbies. Take some hours off at least once a week, go out for some window shopping, have a massage or have a coffee with friends. This can help to rejuvenate our mind and soul & helps with managing anxiety.
Take a deep breath
You probably heard this tip from your therapist or physician if you have ever seeked professional treatment. When the anxiety attacks, we will find ourselves having difficulty in breathing like we are running out of air. But by adopting breathing techniques, this “out-of-air” can gradually be managed. What you can do each time the anxiety attacks is similar to meditation. Get yourself to sit comfortably and take a deep breath; slowly inhale through your nose & exhale out your mouth. One round is for ten counts. Do this for at least four or five sets until you feel calm.
Nature is a good therapist. Adopting plants at home can help to alleviate the stress and promote calmness in the ambience. Studies also support that being around plants makes us release more serotonin which can calm us. Thus, this can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Some people can be perfectionists. While perfection may be needed in some tasks or areas, sometimes it can cause more stress than good. Accept the fact that as humans we can never be perfect. Sometimes letting go and taking things easy or as they show up can save ourselves from unnecessary stress that may lead to anxiety attacks.
Get some peace
Having children following us around and clinging onto us 24-hours can take a toll on the mothers’ mental health. Not to mention when they are fighting and crying and you had to play a referee. Take a short time for some peace such as taking a long shower, do some reading or gardening. Include this into your everyday routine and see how it changes your mood.
Include him and let’s co-parenting
Remember, taking care of children is not one person's job alone. Parenting needs both partners to work together. Co-parenting can be extremely helpful to your mental health. Parenting together can lift the burden and halve the stress. As a parent with anxiety, being open with your partner is important. Let your partner know what triggers your anxiety so he too can play his part. Sometimes being open to your partner can help reduce the pain and working together can spark more love between the couple.
Every mother wants the best for their children. Anxiety may affect the quality of life of a mother, but it can never affect the quality of her parenting. Living with anxiety may be challenging, but by adopting the right tools, we can pick up the pieces and stand strong for our children.