8 Ways I Deal with Anxiety as a Mom (Mum) by Kara Reynolds.

(image: Pexels: Gustavo Fring)

Anxiety is hard to manage. When you have children, your stress levels can skyrocket. You have to get it under control to stay sane. 

Fortunately, you have plenty of holistic methods that help — often as much as medication or therapy. Here are eight ways I deal with anxiety as a mom. I hope these tips help you, too. 

1. I Maintain a Healthy Social Circle 

Loneliness can kill. A national cross-sectional survey found an association between patients who reported feeling isolated and increased mortality from all causes. 

I don’t know what I would do without my other mom friends. While it’s challenging for us to all coordinate our schedules to meet up as a group, I make a point to get together at least once a week with someone outside of my family for tea or a nice partner workout. It helps us both feel more connected and lets us shuffle off our mortal mom-coats for a minute and celebrate ourselves, not our roles in life. 

2. I Practice Breath Control 

Regulating your breath (like in childbirth) can help calm physiological processes. 

Focusing on your inhalations and exhalations alone helps you slow down your pace of breathing. Techniques such as 2-to-1 breathing, where you exhale for twice as long as you inhale, can further help to relax you. Navy SEALS use a method where they inhale for four, pause for as many beats, then exhale for the same count to calm their panic in crises. 

3. I Choose My Mental Battles Carefully 

As a mom, you see danger everywhere. I used to drive myself mad every time my kids strayed from my sight, but I learned to pick my mental battles more carefully as they got older. 

For example, I could lie awake tossing and turning all night, wondering if the parents at my child’s sleepover drink or take drugs in front of the kids. Conversely, I could simply meet with them before the big night and assuage my fears. 

4. I Check-in With My Body 

You know that you get irritable when you have a cold. However, minor aches and pains can sometimes leave you snapping at loved ones without realising the underlying cause. My back might groan after a day at my desk, but taking it out on my family only creates more problems. 

Therefore, I’ve learned to check in with my body regularly. I made mindful body scans a part of my routine meditation practice. These days, I do them anytime and anywhere, taking a few moments to breathe into tight areas and ease mild pain. 

5. I Move When I Don’t Feel Like It

Who hasn’t had those days where going to the gym seems like a chore? Yet, I’ve also discovered that pushing through often makes me feel better than remaining stationary. I trick myself into moving even when I don’t feel like it. 

How? I tell myself that I will work out for only five minutes. I give myself full permission to stop if I still feel lousy and sluggish after that time. However, I usually find the energy to keep going once my blood starts flowing. 

6. I Eat Healthfully — Most of the Time 

I used to go to diet extremes. Sometimes, I’d throw caution to the wind, declaring, “life’s short. Eat a donut.” Other times, I’d go on strict diets, eschewing everything that didn’t fit the meal plan until I went slightly crazy and binged. 

Now, I practice the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating. I eat foods that fall into my approved “healthy” categories 80% of the time. For the remaining 20%, I indulge in whatever I like. 

7. I Stay Away From Alcohol

A funny thing happened to me during pregnancy. Despite the increased pressure with a new life on the way, I felt less anxious. It didn’t take more than one or two postpartum cocktails to discern the reason. 

Alcohol messes with all kinds of neurotransmitters. While it initially decreases feelings of tension, it comes roaring back with a vengeance when you sober up and your brain tries to return to homeostasis. You could find yourself feeling even more tense and irritable — and craving another drink to take the edge off. 

For me, it’s simply easier to pass on the anxious feelings altogether. I found healthier ways to relax. 

8. I Meditate 

Although it may look like I’m doing nothing, my meditation time is the most critical part of my day. Without it, I wouldn’t function nearly as well in daily life. 

You don’t need anything except three to five minutes of quiet time each day to start. If you sit silently in mindfulness, you’ll amaze yourself with how long even that short span seems the first few times. If you struggle, guided meditations can help you find zen, and they’re available free on YouTube. 

Moms, How Do You Deal With Anxiety as a Parent?

The eight tips above help me deal with anxiety as a mom. I hope that this advice will likewise help you decrease your stress levels. 

This article was written by Kara Reynolds, editor of Momish

How to Work and be a Mother during the Pandemic: Guest post by Miranda Davis

miranda2

If you are a working mom/mum during the pandemic, we will help you balance things. Working for others has become an activity from home, and sometimes we get clueless about what to do next. This article aims to help you out with being a working mother.

The pandemic was surely a surprise to anyone, especially any working mom/mum. It started slowly, and most people hoped it would not spread out of China. Unfortunately, it did spread, and we are living through it every day. We have to go out only wearing masks and only when we need to (if you are going out all the time, that is very risky for you and the others too). Washing hands frequently has become the standard. Shaking hands with anyone is out of contemplation if you are taking things seriously. Now, what about a working mother and COVID?

People with children are being forced to homeschool their kids while still managing to work (those who are not unemployed!). Things are not that easy. Now, look at mothers. It is common sense that a lot of them are single, living alone with their children while being a working mother during the day. A mom/mum who is also working at home is genuinely having the hardest of times. 

In the face of difficult facts, we have put a lot of thought into ways to help moms/mums (those living with a partner or alone with their children) through this difficult time. We know that moms/mums are very capable of enduring and overcoming tough times. Still, sometimes we get out of creativity, our energy gets completely wasted away. What should a working mother do in such situations? 

How working mothers balance life sometimes is a mystery. Even more, during the pandemic. If you are a mom/mum trying to figure that out, the tips below should help you.

miranda1

The first tip is to have a schedule that has the possibility of being flexible. This means that while it is suitable for a working mother to have a program that helps them stay organised, this same schedule should be adjusted to suit you. Sometimes your children might get hurt doing something, or other unexpected things happen. Give these things the time and attention they require. Then the question “are working mothers happier?” does not have to be answered negatively.

Now, this one does not apply to single mothers (sorry,single moms, ). If you are taking care of children with someone else (a father, stepfather, your current boyfriend, or other family members), try to come up with a schedule that lets you do the work as a team. You will benefit from not getting overloaded both with work and taking care of children. 

In case you are a single working mom/mum, things have surely got tougher for you, since the beginning of the pandemic. We genuinely hope you have assistance from some family members. Still, there are moments when you are a working mother, all alone with your children.

On these occasions, depending on the age of the child, you can get them to understand why working is essential. Keep them busy right beside you when you are working on your computer. When you are finally away from work, have a good time with your kid (or kids). Forget about work and being a working mom/mum, and just enjoy each other.

Then, at the end of the day, if you still have some energy left, get some time for yourself. You deserve it.

This works both in the case of you being a single working mom/mum or if you are a mom/mum who has duties shared with a partner. Take advantage of naps! Seriously. When your kid gets his/her nap in the afternoon, use this time to get rid of your workload. This strategy surely has been used since forever, but it is still important to remember it, to prevent overwhelm with juggling everything. 

One of the most important things during times when you are a working mother at home is to set boundaries. These boundaries have two sides. You should know that you need to focus when you are working, and when you are finally done with it, you need to disconnect. Shut down your computer, do not look at your phone, and enjoy time with your family. You will regain positive mental energy from doing this, and you will feel thankful for that.

We understand that being a working mother during quarantine is one of the hardest tasks. Thus, we sincerely wish that the few tips carefully written above have some use for you. If you have developed other ways of dealing with this and think they are beneficial, you are more than welcome to share them in the comments. After all, the question is, can working moms/mums have it all?

 

Author’s bio:  

This article was written by Miranda Davis, a freelance writer in relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves cooking and long-distance walking.