Sometimes you can just be trundling along, having a day, and then BOOM anxiety comes and pounces on you! Argh! The little inner voice that can send rational thoughts tumbling down a black hole doom spiral, while you feel like you’re watching helplessly from the sidelines.
Anxiety disorders are more common than you may think, and just because you’re now responsible for a smaller lifeform (or several!) it doesn’t mean your mind will finally get its shit together so you can get on with this parenting malarkey! Add in post-pregnancy hormones and the social pressures placed upon parents and it’s no wonder that many of us are feeling frazzled and alone.
The thing is though that Mothers often suffer in silence, we don’t want to be seen as not coping and anxiety whispers lies to us about how everyone will judge us and that stops us reaching out for help. It can be even worse as a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ or home educator as you feel like you’re not allowed to complain as you’re ‘choosing’ to stay at home with the kids, “it’s a luxury that not all of us can afford”, “they grow up so fast”, “you should enjoy every minute”, “you chose to have kids”, “you could just send them to nursery/school” UGH. Shut up already! All of those points may have some truth, but they are not even slightly helpful when someone just wants to feel heard and understood.
But your feelings ARE valid. Anxiety is a bitch and you are allowed to ask for help and support. So start by cutting yourself some slack and then check out these tips for stopping anxiety in its tracks when it slips its inky tentacles into your brain!
5 Simple Anxiety Hacks For Busy Mums:
1. Have A Cuppa
No, this isn’t just some weird British thing, having a warm drink can actually help ease anxiety. A change in temperature can help your nervous system focus on something else besides panic, you can also focus all your senses on it, helping to distract your brain. Concentrate on stirring, inhale the scent deeply, feel the warmth on your hands round the mug, enjoy the taste. (Maybe go for decaf options with this, caffeine can increase anxiety symptoms)
2. Try Rhythmic Breathing
Super simple and effective, just breathe in for the count of 5, hold for 2 and then out for the count of 6. Deep breathing increases your oxygen intake, slows your heart rate and relaxes your muscles so your body can move out of ‘fight or flight’ mode.
3. Pick a Soothing Scent
Some essential oils are great for helping us relax. Lavender is a well known one, personally I have a little rollerball bottle of a calming mixture in my bag just in case I need it! In my bottle I have Frankincense and Sweet Orange essential oils mixed in with a carrier oil, the roller ball bottle is great because I can just apply it to my wrists or wherever and its tiny so it fits in my bag or pocket. This mixture also works well on my kids when they’re freaking out about something too (my eldest suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder and anxiety is part of that package!)
4. Trim Your Bad News Feed
By this I mean unfollow or hide people or pages that only add to your stress. Are you following someone who just whinges all the time? Does reading the news stress you the heck out? Are you following someone who you wish you liked, but actually everything they post just pisses you off or makes you feel ‘less than’? Ditch them all! Curate your social media so that it supports and uplifts you.
5. Try Homeopathy
There are loads of different remedies that can help with anxiety and it’s best to see a trained Homeopath (like myself!) to see which would suit your individual needs. However here’s a couple of examples that might help – Aconite: this remedy helps people who feel intense panic and fear, often they worry they might die and their fears may be linked to past trauma. They may have a rapid heartbeat and dry mouth. Argent Nit: this remedy helps people who are anxious about upcoming events, usually accompanied by stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
Another thing you could do is make sure that you have a support network, you really need someone to talk to who will understand and listen, sometimes when we say our fears out loud it can help to put things in perspective and laugh some of them away so they have less power over us. Try to find other parents to connect to in your local area, and if there’s not a group nearby that does what you want then set one up! You’ll soon find that there are plenty of other anxious, lonely Mums out there, thinking that they were the only one who felt like this ❤️
How do you deal with anxiety? Leave your tips below to help out other Mums! ❤
Also while you’re here why not check out Self-Care Tips For New Mums
or reassure yourself that Nobody Has All Their Shit Together, And that’s OK!