Anxiety isn’t a topic we openly discuss in public. We’re afraid our anxiety makes us weak, we’re afraid of what other people might say or think.
When you have anxiety, you feel like you’re all alone.
Anxiety isn’t a topic we openly discuss in public. We’re afraid our anxiety makes us weak, we’re afraid of what other people we’re say.
Or, we’re afraid of being seen as selfish. We have so many things to be grateful for, how dare we complain?!?
But anxiety isn’t a complaint. It’s a condition that heals when we talk about and learn tactical strategies for handling it.
In this episode of the No Guilt Mom podcast, we dive into our personal stories of anxiety and give tactical suggestions on how we deal with it.
Anxiety as a new mom
Many moms have anxiety with their first kids. It’s a brand new world that not many of us are prepared.
We think its picking out cute clothes at Target or wearing your baby close to your chest.
But no one talks about the guilt and feeling that we are constantly failing at processes sold as natural.
Breastfeeding… I’m looking at you.
New motherhood is exhausting with little sleep and few reassurances that you’re doing a good job.
And then if you had a hard pregnancy…
You’re still recovering from the exhaustion of that like Brie after being hospitalized for months before her first child was born.
Motherhood is lonely
Or it can be in this day and age. Living in a pandemic doesn’t help with the isolation. We feel cut off and disconnected from everyone around us.
The feelings of panic start rolling in…
Or the ideas that nothing you ever do is good enough. What can you do then?
1. Be mindful of your triggers
With anxiety, you need to start asking yourself the question, “why did I do from feeling perfectly fine to in a nervous panic.”
For that, I mention in the podcast episode talks about how I use a process to identify circular thinking.
For example, once I was in the kitchen feeling perfectly calm when my son came to ask me a what we were eating for dinner.
I told him, he didn’t like it and started crying.
First, I went back and decided that yes, my son crying was the event. But it wasnt so much the crying as what I told myself as he cried.
It was, “my son doesn’t like healthy foods. Its because I didn’t feed him enough of them. This is all my fault. I’m a crappy mom.”
Does this sound familiar? How many of us moms do this?
2. Change the conversation
After realizing that it’s the crappy mom thought that causes my anxiety, I then ask: “Is this true? What can I tell myself instead?”
I can say, “my son is upset because he’s tired and hungry.” That thought makes me feel calmer and is based in fact.
Being aware of what we tell ourselves gives us more control and with practice, helps improve our moods.
3. Learn what helps you
For each person, anxiety will look a little different. In fact, each anxiety episode looks different. That’s why having a huge bank of strategies to pull from helps.
Everything from meditation to deep breathing to taking more time for self care. Start trying and figure out what works for you.
Exercise – as much hate as we give it sometimes – releases endorphins. While exercise alone isnt a cure-all for anxiety, it does help make it easier to manage.
Dance. Go for a walk. Listen to music.
I recommend that everyone make a playlist that lights you up. Mine is called “Badass”. It has Lizzo, The Greatest Showman Cast, Panic at the Disco and a ton more. I use it anytime I need to feel good.
5. Try a centering exercise
Here is an easy exercise you can do anywhere that incorporates all the elements:
- Earth: Stand or sit somewhere. Close your eyes and picture your feet touching the ground (Earth). Just focus on the feeling of the ground under your feet.
- Wind: Keeping your eyes closed, move your focus to your breathing. Breath in and out slowly. Focus on the feeling of your lungs filling with air and the feeling of your breath as you exhale. Do this several times.
- Water: If you have a glass of water or another cool drink close by, take a drink and swallow. Focus on the feeling of the cool drink in your mouth and going down your throat.
- Fire: Fire up your imagination! Now imagine a place where you are happy and relaxed. This can be somewhere you have been or somewhere you have only imagined going to. Close your eyes and just picture that place, your happy place. Keep with that image as long as you feel you need to.
You don’t have to suffer through anxiety alone
Reach out to people. Share this episode of the No Guilt Mom podcast as a conversation point. Ask if anyone else can identify with it and start talking.
The more we talk about our anxiety, the more we reduce the shame associated with it.
Resources we mentioned:
The best mom is a happy mom. To better take care of you, download our No Guilt Mom Mindset HERE. These reminders will help you second guess less, and feel more confidence every day in your parenting.