The Honest Mom's Guide For Handling Anxiety
For as long as I can remember I've had anxiety.
I like to think that I'm pretty high functioning, but I'm sure I lose my shit as much as the next Mama (if not more!). I used to just be able to channel my inner badass and push through it, but since having Olivia it has gotten more and more difficult to "suck it up".
I had to start finding creative ways to handle my anxiety, because let's face it, Moms can't take sick days! We need to power through and take care of business! No rest for the Mamas!
Here are some of my tips for dealing with anxiety:
1. Get to the Root of What is Bothering You
I am so, so guilty of this. I blame my anxiety on all these surface issues, when in reality, the cause is sometimes something deeper. Be honest with yourself. Becoming more self aware is such an important part of dealing with anxiety. Being more aware of yourself and how you process things that bother you will help you avoid things that will give you stress and anxiety in the future.
As Moms we are taught that we have to do a million things at once, and that we have to simultaneously keep all these spinning plates in the air. I'm calling BS. We are humans, not robots! Do what you can. Figure out what is most important to get done and start there. Before you know it, you'll feel like you're handling it all like it's nothing.
3. Make a To Do List
I LIVE for lists. The feeling I get from crossing things off a list is the best. Totally makes me feel like my life is together, even though it's totally not. Having a list makes things feel more manageable. One step at a time!
4. Ask For Help
I need to steal a page out of my own book and do this more often. The moment we become Mothers it's like we feel like we have to be perfect every second of the day. This is total crap. By all means, shoot for perfection, but let's be real. The perfect Mom does not exist. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we all need a life line. If asking for a little assistance can save you hours of being an anxious mess, why not save yourself the torture?
5. Do Something that Relaxes You
Find something that feeds your soul. Something that stimulates your mind and quiets your nervous energy. Taking a break to do something you love when you're feeling anxious is a great way to revert that bad energy, and refocus on what really requires your attention.
6. Keep Things in Perspective
It's cliche, but things can always be worse. Remember in times of anxiety that things will get better. It is my honest belief that things happen for a reason. If something is meant to happen, it will happen no matter what. Anxiety isn't forever. This to shall pass.
7. Learn From Your Experiences
If it's one thing I've figured out, it's that learning what causes and heightens my anxiety helps me minimize my reaction to it. For instance, I know that when I procrastinate I become anxious, therefore, I avoid procrastinating. I mean, in all honesty, I definitely still procrastinate...(old habits die hard) but, I'm learning and growing and trying to use that to my benefit. Learn from what effects you.
8. Meditate (Sort of)
I would love to be able to actually meditate. If I could completely quiet my mind and slow my thoughts...that would be amazing...but I'm a mom, a thoughtless and quiet mind does not exist in my life! Instead, what I like to do is put Olivia down for a nap, turn off all noise, and close my eyes. I quiet my mind as much as I can, and try to find some clarity. I'm sure it's not quite as effective as actual meditation, but it calms me, and that's really all I need. Sometimes silencing the outside world helps you get right on the inside.
9. Talk to Someone
If all else fails, talk to someone. There is no shame in seeking a professional opinion. We are all a little messed up, having someone that can give you the tools to cope with your anxiety can be a total game changer.
10. Spend Time With Your Kiddos
I could be having a total anxiety attack, but when Olivia runs to me and hugs me or wants to play, all of that disappears. Loving and taking care of her keeps me distracted enough to stop focusing on what is making me anxious. Spend some quality time with your kiddos, it might just do the trick!
Anxiety is the worst, but it doesn't have to be if you've got the tools to deal with it. Hopefully my tips help you as much as they help me!!
What are some of your antianxiety tricks?