Please note that this article is what works for me, personally. Everyone will experience things differently and what works for me may not work for you. If you are struggling, please find medical help to manage it.
It’s no secret that being a mom can bring on some extra stress in your life. But what do you do when you feel your anxiety getting the best of you as mom? We barely have the time to pee by ourselves, how the heck do we find the time to take care of our mental health?
As someone who has struggled with anxiety for 10 years now, I have found myself feel even more anxious as a new mom and this was my biggest concern. I couldn’t find the time to manage it. I felt stressed, overwhelmed, and overall on edge. I knew I needed to find ways to manage it otherwise it would consume me.
I know there are others who also feel trapped like this so I am sharing with you my ways of managing my anxiety as a busy mom.
Wind down before bed
The only thing I have motivation to do after putting my baby down to bed is to sit my self on my couch, binge watch Netflix, and stuff my face with food. While this is great sometimes, I find during my more anxious times, I have a hard time shutting my brain off when it’s time to sleep and watching tv doesn’t help with that.
Instead of watching tv before bed when you’re feeling anxious, try something less stimulating to help unwind after the day and slow your thoughts down. I like to colour in an adult colouring book. The repetitive motions and mindless work really allows me to zone out and calm down the thoughts before bed. Other helpful activities are yoga, reading a book, or listening to calming podcasts.
Unplug for a little while
I have a really hard time with this one, being that my job is 100% based on being online and present. When I am feeling anxious, I am almost always feeling more vulnerable and susceptible to comparison. Normally, I am a very confident person with high self esteem, but anxiety is a terrible monster and that confidence and self esteem plummets when it’s around. Because of this I try and remove myself from social media until I can get the anxiety under control. Avoiding situations I know could heighten the anxious feelings is one of the best things for managing anxiety as a busy mom. Just finding comfort again in being present in your own life is a big help.
Reschedule your routine
Routine can be a huge help when managing anxiety. I know, personally, I thrive on routine. I crave the ability to control my surroundings and so having a well formed routine is critical for my mental health. I notice, when there are changes in my routine that I lack motivation, my confidence dwindles, and I have a harder time maintaining leveled emotions. That being said, I find if I am starting to feel more anxious than usual on a steady routine, that making subtle switches to it can help bring my anxiety down. Sometimes I fall into bad habits without realising it (ie: poor diet or sleep habits) that making a change to can make a big impact. Take a look at your daily schedule and see if there are any areas you can improve on.
Get your exercise in
Exercise releases endorphins which are natural mood boosters. They may not completely relieve you of anxious feelings, but they will definitely help! I try to get as much exercise into my days as I can. Sometimes it’s running around after my baby for a half hour, other times it’s getting out for a morning walk before I start my day. Either way, getting the endorphins up and running make a big difference.
Finding ways to manage the stress of life and motherhood can be an uphill battle. Know that you are not alone and there is always a way out.