It is to be expected that parents will have to deal with anxiety at some point during parenthood. Having kids is wonderful, but it’s also incredibly stressful, and if you are wired for stress, your health can take a downward turn as a result.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for parents to deal with their anxiety so that it doesn’t ruin their experience with parenthood, and won’t have a negative effect on your children’s lives. Here are 9 useful tips that will keep you healthy in body and mind, and keep your anxiety at bay.
Concentrate on One Positive Thing
When you find yourself in the throes of a bout of anxiety, it can be terrifying as you feel yourself having less and less control over your body and senses. This is called the fight or flight response, and it can be tough to overcome. If you find yourself building towards an anxiety attack, try and concentrate your thoughts on one positive thing, as it is when your mind is racing from one thing to another that your anxiety is heightened. It doesn’t matter what your concentrate your thoughts towards, just have it be something good. Your heart rate should start to relax, and your anxiety will pass.
Take a Walk
A head full of thoughts and worries is a heavy thing to carry on your shoulders, so lighten the load and take a walk when things start to get on top of you. The exercise will release the anxiety without making your heart rate increase to a point where your anxiety levels could get higher, so put on a pair of shoes, pick a nice walk (preferably a scenic one) and go for a relaxing stroll. You might find that you can’t even remember what was bothering you, and that’s exactly the place you want to be.
Talk to Each Other
It seems obvious, but so many people don’t feel comfortable talking about their emotions, particularly something like anxiety, which can (but never should) be written off as a weakness. Whoever is struggling with anxiety should be able to talk to their partner about it, and their partner should be as supportive as possible in return. Just having somebody next to you in bed telling you everything is OK and taking your mind off the subject is going to be a huge help when overcoming a bout of anxiety.
The Medication Approach
While there are several natural remedies to dealing with anxiety, there are also a number of useful medications available on a subscription that can be a huge help towards living a calmer life without anxiety, including antidepressants, antihistamines, beta blockers and more. Read more about the kind of anti-anxiety drugs are available and see if you can find a medicated approach that works for you. Just be sure to keep them out of the reach of your little ones, and read up on any side effects that might come with the medication.
Yoga has been the tried-and-tested way of learning how to deal with anxiety and controlling your breathing for centuries, so why not give it a go? Search the web for the whereabouts of your nearest classes, and give it a try. Even if you’re not particularly flexible or agile, you will soon get to grips with all the poses, and the mindfulness aspect of Yoga will help to clear your mind of thoughts that are leading to bouts of anxiety, and help you focus on the positives of your life, such as the little ones waiting for you at home.
Seek Professional Assistance
For some people, as soon as they hear the words ‘seek professional help’, they can be very daunted. In fact, talking to a professional rather than your partner, close friends or family members might be a great deal easier, as they are strangers to you, but strangers with years of experience. If you find that you can open up in counselling sessions, it may be the case that the counsellor finds patterns that point to the direct cause of your anxiety, and you can then take steps on how to eradicate these issues from your life.
Join a Parent Group
The worst part of dealing with anxiety is the feeling of being alone, so why not book yourself into a parent group and talk about your parenting journey with other parents, who are likely to be going through exactly the same issues as you. Knowing that other people are just as prone to bouts of anxiety as you will help you come to terms with the fact that it is a very common issue, and nothing to do with your qualities as a parent. It will also help your partner to understand the condition better too, which can only be a positive thing.
Accept How You Feel
Anxiety feeds on the fact that you are afraid, and when you’re a parent, there is a long list of things that you may be wary of. One way that you can take some of the power away from anxiety is to simply accept the fact that you are going to be fearful about aspects of your child’s life – from hurting themselves to fitting in at school, their mental and physical health, etc. – and try to live in the moment, whilst enjoying each and every one. It can go a long way to de-stressing your life and might help to curb your anxiety.
Control Your Breathing
There is a saying that slow and steady wins the race, and that is certainly the case when it comes to your breathing when you have a bout of anxiety. Your heart rate will be going through the roof, but you can control it and get it back on track by taking slow, deep breaths whenever an anxiety attack comes on. Concentrating on your breathing will also take your mind off whatever has caused the anxiety to occur, which should, in turn, help everything return to normal.
For further information on how to learn to deal with stress and anxiety of your kids, visit this ParentingPod anxiety guide.
*Disclosure: This post was submitted on behalf of PennyMindingMom.com