Guest Blog: 3 Tips to Help Moms Reduce Anxiety This Year

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Photo courtesy of Pixabay by ninocare
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting an estimated 40 million adults (or about two out of every 10 people) according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Becoming a mother can lead to all sorts of anxiety, but if you already suffered from anxiety prior to having children, it feels like everything gets turned up to 11. And while we hear more about treating postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety can be just as paralysing.

Feelings of anxiety can wax and wane as your child/children grow, but work, schedules, practice, projects -- all of these can continue to contribute to a mother’s anxiety.

Anxiety can be difficult and scary at times, but it is actually a very treatable illness. If you’ve been feeling increased anxiety for any reason, here are some steps you can incorporate into your life to help tone down your anxiousness.

1. Begin a Daily Self-Care Practice

It might seem hard as a busy mom, but give yourself the gift of self-care this year. If self-care is a foreign concept for you, as it is for so many people, start out by scheduling specific times in your day for self-care, just like you would for business projects, play dates, or practices. Try an hour, or if that seems like a lot of time to you, you can start even smaller. Even if you start at five minutes and work your way up, you’ll eventually begin to notice how much better you feel after slowly implementing your own self-care practice into each day. Remember, too, that taking care of yourself will make it easier for you to take care of others.

Self care can be anything from taking time to exercise or meditate, getting a massage, or even taking time to read a book. And these should not be stolen moments but time that you are gifting yourself. In doing so, you will help ward off anxiety, and this benefits you and your family.

2. Learn to Soothe Yourself During a Panic Attack

If you’re someone who has ever suffered from a panic attack, you know all too well how terrifying it can be. If you find that your anxiety is through the roof and you begin to experience a panic attack at any point this year, there are some things you can do to help it pass quickly. When you feel a panic attack coming on, start by telling yourself, “I know what this is. This will not kill me. I’ve been through this before. This too shall pass.” Repeat this saying over and over to yourself until the panic attack is over. Throughout the panic attack, breathe slowly and deeply. Try to progressively relax the muscles in your body one at a time. If you find that your panic attacks are increasing, it’s time to reach out to a medical professional.

3. Get Support

We all need support from time to time. I’ll repeat: We all need support from time to time. It is not a sign of weakness. There is no shame in it. The strongest people among us are the ones who know when it’s appropriate to reach out for help - and because they have a solid support system they can turn to, they feel more secure during times of crisis. If you don’t already have a support system in place for yourself, it’s never too late to start finding those people. Who can you turn to? Your family? A close friend? A colleague? Your doctor? Someone at church? Don’t be afraid to ask for extra help when you need it. Many mothers will just “suck it up” and keep going through the motions when they are freaking out on the inside. It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s not your fault if you suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is very common and is brought on by a complex list of factors that might include: genetics, brain chemistry, environment, life events, and personality. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s not something you have to suffer through each day. There are many options out there to take your mental and emotional health into your own hands. Just be wary of medications that can lead you down a dangerous path to addiction, which can cause even more problems. When you find ways to manage your anxiety, you are able to enjoy happier days with lower stress levels. And a happy mommy makes for a happy family.

Disclaimer: This article is contributed by a Guest Blogger. Ping of Health does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this article. Ping of Health disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.