Anxiety for anyone can be debilitating, but when you’re a mom, anxiety can feel like the last straw. On top of taking care of your kids, managing your home, and making sure everyone has clean socks and food to eat, you’re struggling with the crushing weight of fear, stress, and worry.
I’ve struggled with mild to moderate depression for years, but it came as a shock to me when my family doctor diagnosed me with moderate anxiety.
In hindsight, the diagnosis makes sense, but I still had a lot of questions (and, ironically, anxiety) over the diagnosis.
What is anxiety? How can I manage my emotions? And will I ever “cure” my anxiety?
Living with anxiety doesn’t have to define you, and there are ways that you can overcome anxiety, even when you’re overwhelmed with your “mom life” duties.
If you’ve been struggling with anxiety or depression, these are three steps that can help.
Talk to someone and seek medical help
You don’t have to fight this alone. In fact, you shouldn’t fight anxiety alone.
Anxiety is more than just stress. It’s the way you react to stress, and it’s often a caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain. It could be caused from your environment, your genetics, or even your upbringing or something that happened in your past. Your anxiety could even be caused by all of those reasons.
To overcome anxiety, you may need medication or you may need counseling. A nutritionist can also help you make sure that you’re eating the right foods and taking supplements that could help you.
But before you go jumping to conclusions, start by talking to your family medical doctor, who may be able to suggest a medical plan for your anxiety, in addition to helping you cope right now.
Make self-care a priority to beat anxiety naturally
There are things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms of your anxiety naturally.
Self-care can go a long way in helping you manage your anxiety. But self-care goes a lot further than just getting a massage or pedicure.
When you’re dealing with anxiety, prioritizing your health is essential.
Make sure you’re eating healthy meals and avoid foods that are known to trigger anxiety, like caffeine (yes, you may want to forgo your coffee).
Also, get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can increase your cortisol levels, which can cause stress and weight gain, neither of which will help your anxiety. If your mind is racing at night or if you wake frequently because of your anxiety, read these 15 ways to get more sleep, even as a busy mom.
Exercise can also help relieve your symptoms. You’ll feel better about yourself physically after exercise. Exercise will also help you release feel-good endorphins, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
A great course to help relieve tension, teach you to be more mindful, and reap the benefits of physical activity is the Healthy Moving Focus Class Bundle.
And for those of us who feel like we have no time for self-care?
First, get over those limiting beliefs right now. Your health is the most important thing right now. Then read these tips on how to make time for self-care.
Reframe your emotions to take the focus off anxiety
One way to tell if someone’s struggling with anxiety or depression is to listen to the way they speak. People often tend to talk more about themselves (using the word “I”) more often than usual.
When you’re struggling with anxiety, it can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and you have no reprieve. Thinking about anything other than your crushing anxiety is the last thing on your mind.
But while it’s important to get yourself healthy, it’s also helpful to get out of your own head.
Instead of focusing on everything that could or is going wrong in your day, reframe your thoughts. What is going right? How could you make things better?
Another trick is to focus on helping others. How could you help someone else to have a better day?
This is especially helpful if you have social anxiety and struggle to attend large functions. Think about others instead of worrying about how they are perceiving you.
For example, if you’re going to a funeral, think about how you can comfort the family members. If you’re going to a playdate or toddler time at the library, help a new mom who’s struggling to take care of her newborn while chasing her toddler.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, talking to a medical professional should be your first step to overcome your anxiety. But know that there are also natural remedies to manage your emotions.
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