on Thu Sep 30 2021
As soon as we become parents, parental stress becomes a part of us. It’s natural to worry about the people we love. But when it comes to kids, since we are the ones raising them and teaching them everything, we worry more. Learning to manage anxiety is important to bring out your best as a parent. If we can’t handle stress as a mother, it affects our energy and the ability to function healthily. Mom anxiety affects not only us but our kids too. It’s hard for kids to live with a parent who has anxiety. So for our own sake and for our kids, let’s learn how to deal with stress as a mom.
The first step in dealing with stress is becoming aware of it when we experience anxiety. Anxiety manifests outward as headache, stomach pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, insomnia, and other sleep issues. If you experience these common symptoms, it could mean your brain is working hard to think about all those worst-case scenarios constantly. So when you catch your mind racing, know that it’s anxiety. And slowly try to bring your mind to the present.
After entering the era of social media, parents are worried more than ever. Why? It’s the speed at which news spreads and the advance in technology that helps us to know what’s happening in any corner of the world. This creates fear. Our minds are getting opened to the idea of the worst possibilities of events that can happen to our kids if we let them out of our sight. The truth is, anything can happen to any of us at any time. We can only minimize the risks but we cannot forever prevent misfortunes 100 percent of the time.
Once we understand the risks and take all the necessary steps, we need to stop reading about them. Reading, listening, and talking about it increases fear in our minds and emotional addiction continues. Stay away from people who causes fear in your minds. You can tell them how it causes anxiety for you, and excuse yourself from such conversations.
Learning to let go releases so much burden. It is the antidote to wanting to be in control all the time. Anxious people generally want to control the outcomes because they are too afraid of the alternatives happening. Their brains, when in overdrive, start to make a mountain out of a molehill. But trying to understand what you can control and what you can’t is so empowering.
One of the ways I cope with mom anxiety is by chanting positive mantras or affirmations. Affirmations help to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. They also help in getting rid of the negativity bias many of us experience, especially people with perfectionism and anxiety.
Mind and body are interrelated. When one is sick, the other gets sick too. Lack of nutrition, sleep, and exercise can also cause anxiety. Sleep deprivation has been proven to cause anxiety. Studies show that people with chronic insomnia are at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder. And getting proper vitamins and minerals is essential to maintain overall health.
If we are alive now, we are breathing. But this involuntary act of breathing is not enough when you are an anxious mom who feels overwhelmed by the number of tasks you need to do on a daily basis. When you feel overwhelmed due to stress, take a moment to take a few deep breaths.
The anxiety after becoming a mother mainly happens due to the overwhelming amount of chores you have to do on a daily basis. You are balancing chores, kids, school, work, and everything under the sun that has to be taken care of. It’s natural to feel stressed. A minimum amount of stress is okay if you can function despite it. But if you tend to panic and lose focus and end up in mental paralysis, your productivity plummets.
When it comes to parenting, they say it takes a village to raise a child. As a person fortunate enough to have family around to help in raising kids, I know this is true. But it also has some side effects when it comes to parenting styles. If you already are prone to anxiety, it can be hard for you to tolerate what others do with your kids – be it regarding the sugary stuff kids are fed or letting our kids get more screen time when we have our own restrictions in place. And it can increase your stress and anxiety levels.
Postpartum depression and anxiety happen as a result of hormone fluctuations and can last even months or years. If you try all the above techniques and still feel excessive anxiety and worry, seek professional help. Thankfully, people are now more at ease now about mental health stigma and shame. Mental health problems are curable and therefore do not hesitate from seeking help when you need it.