Dealing with Stress and Anxiety As Mom
OHHHHH. MYYYYYY. GAWWWWWWWD. That is what my body, brain, and mouth says when I've hit a wall.
You know what wall I'm talking about the wall that is like girl you need to chill out!
The wall that says we are done here.
The wall that is attached to a mirror and gives you a good picture of what you actually look like.
The wall that says its time to get off of the hot mess train! Like, now.
Ok if you are a little lost about what the heck I'm talking, here it is plain and simple.
Its the stress and anxiety that comes with motherhood.
I believe that everyone's threshold looks a little different but I'm pretty convinced that everyone has dealt with a little stress and/or anxiety in their motherhood journey, Amrite?
Unfortunately for me I already had a lot of stress and anxiety before I even had kids. Then I had them and boy oh boy did sh*t hit the fan many, many, many times. I'm talking hid in the closet moments, uncontrollably crying moments, yelling, feeling inadequate, you get the picture.
Its been a hard journey, not gonna lie.
However through out the years and lots of therapy I've been able to but some tools in my ”stress and anxiety toolbox” that has help me along the way.
Since I believe sharing is caring I wanted to share a few things that I do to help me deal with my stress and anixiety.
Ps. Before the mama police come at me, I want to say that I am no medical professional at all! I am just a mama to two that has learned a few things that have worked for me! So take it or leave its not bible! (Ive watched too many episodes of the Kardashisans 🤦🏾♀️)
Lets Dive in!
1. Gratitude- This is part of my daily routine along with journaling. There is something about taking the time to reflect on the good in life that puts everything in perspective. So if I'm stressing about the kids room not being clean or me forgetting to bring extra clothes to preschool, well at least my kids are happy and healthy. Right?
2. Getting Some Fresh Air- Changing your environment, going for a walk, or just simply taking in a few deep breaths can really calm you down. I know when I'm just overwhelmed and my anxiety is high, I have to get out of the house. I have to just switch things up and it helps. Because then I'm focusing on something else. I'm walking, I'm breathing, I'm getting my thoughts in order. So when I come back I'm just little bit more clear headed.
3. Doing something that tied to my core values- This one is new for me! I've recently redefined my core values and I've been trying to do things more that are tied them. So for example I love adventure but I'm not able to get up and travel every time I feel adventrous. But you know what I can do, I can make a new recipe. So if I'm feeling stress or have anxiety I can always go back to my core values and check to see have I been doing things that matter to me? If the answer is no then I do something that matters.
4. Doing something just cause.- I know that this is similar to the previous one but I think sometimes as moms we get so caught up in doing things for a purpose. We don't give ourselves enough time to just do things because you wanted to. Recently I've started doodling. Yes like the little drawings you did in high school during lecture. I'm obesssed. I've watched like 20 different youtube videos about doodling and I've been in love with it. It doesn't necessarily serve a purpose, but it makes me happy and it calms me down and that to me is enough.
5. Breathe- Its kinda sad that we actually have to think about something that keeps us alive. Right? However when you do actually spend some time thinking about your breath. My goodness does it feel good. It instantly brings me to a calm place and its the first thing I do when my stress levels are high.
6. Stretch- I don't know about you but I carry alllll of my stress and anxiety in my shoulders, neck, and upper back. My body loves to give me signals when my levels are just way too high. I'm tense, I get headaches, and I start carrying Icy hot around like a 75 year old woman. It aint cute! So stretching and doing a little yoga has helped out with this tremendously. I just need to incorporate it a little more so that is more proactive and not reactive.
7. Look at your calendar---When do you get me time? I see the soccer games, the pta meetings, the work schedule, the doctors appointments. But where are you? This is the place I go when I need to completely recharge. I put myself on the calendar and i don't cancel plans with myself. This allows me to fully recharge and fill my cup.
8. Go to Sleep- Take a nap girl! I'm just going to leave that there. You deserve it.
9. Be honest- If you are struggling say that you are struggling. That doesn't mean your failing or a bad mom or an incompetent mom. You just are in a season that is stressful and the people around you need to know. It's hard to help someone that keeps saying "I'm fine." I know as women we are so use to saying I'm fine. But mama you gotta put your superhero cape down sometime and say how you really feel. Doing that alone its going to relieve some stress off your shoulders.
10. Ask for Help- Along with being honest we gotta ask for help. I know its hard because we just want to do it all but the problem with doing it all is, we simply can not! No one is doing it all happily! Let me repeat that one more time. No one is doing it all happily! Ok? So be honest and ask for some help. The help doesn't have to be this huge big favor. It could simply be, "hey, can you put the kids to bed so I can take a bath." or " can you handle dinner tonight so that I can just relax."
That is small but its taking something off your plate. Its lighten your load. It is releasing some stress.
Bonus: Therapy. I will forever be an advocate for therapy. It has been the best investment I have ever made in myself. It has given me so many tools and resources to help deal with a lot of my stress and anxiety. So if you can afford I highly recommend seeking a therapist.
Tell me how do you deal with stress and anxiety? I would love to hear!