For me the moment that changed it all was when I become a mother for the first time. Before that moment, I was a relaxed positive thinking person. Sometimes worried never anxious. And then, all of the sudden things weren’t simple anymore, there where no right answers and doubt became my new norm. My stress levels started to rise every time parenting would get difficult- and with the first baby almost everything can be difficult and stressful.
After I had my second kid I thought I would got over the the parenting stress- I knew more what I was doing and what to expect, didn’t I? And yet, the stressful situations multiplied one after another. Taking care of two young kids was in a way easier, but every time they would both cry I would feel the stress rising and I’d feel my heart beating faster. I’d get headaches and shoulder tension pains at the end of the day. Almost every day really. I’d anticipate the stressful situations – long travel with kids, single parenting nights, etc. Anxiety slowly started to creep in.
By the time I had my third kid I looked like a mom pro- balancing the baby in baby carrier and two older kids, cooking dinner while managing homework and baby whining. I wouldn’t get stressed over the unknown parenting situations anymore but the overall stress just got bigger- I knew all the things I had to balance. I’m not sure at what time I started to wake up with anxiety, but at some point I realized that feeling anxious became my new norm.
Now, the fact that I’m a blogger for sure added up to it all. It’s an unpredictable, unstable self employment job and so, can be quite stressful too!
Why am I sharing this all with you? Well, I was talking to couple of girlfriends lately about how we feel anxious a lot, and how it feels lonely and difficult to explain to others- and each time these friends of mine where surprised to learn that me too I live with anxiety! But it felt good to see that we’re not alone. To share our ways of dealing with it. To lift each other up.
So today I wanted to tell you- if you too live with anxiety- you’re not alone. You’re not weak. You’re not doing anything wrong.
And while consulting and getting medication is always an option ( that I highly encourage!) there are still some ways that you can help yourself-
- Be gentle with yourself– know your limits and don’t take too much on yourself.
- Practice gratitude– it’ll lower your anxiety !
- Go outside – a walk in the forest may have the same effect as medication but is cheaper and more natural.
- Deep breath – every time you feel your chest is heavy and you can’t breathe – prace deep intentional breathing.
- Practice perspective- think about what will be important in 5-10 years- and does your current stress matters.
And lastly, I think the most important part in dealing with anxiety is understanding what anxiety is. Now, I know that when you feel anxious it feels like something really is wrong and it feels very real. But remember- the anxious feeling you have is NOT a valid information! Even though it feels like it is.
It’s just your body’s way of reacting to what your body perceived as danger. Now remember- this is most likely only a perception- it can be that you have live for years under pressure ( hello modern motherhood, hello modern work conditions and work culture) and so your body simply puts you in state of awareness of danger. But you know what, even if that feeling is unpleasant, it’s not a valid information.
So, let’s be open and talk about it. Let’s practice self respect, gratitude and perspective- let’s go outside often and breathe intentionally- and it will get better!
But also remember, if you feel anxiety is paralyzing you and none of these things is helping you anymore do consult and get medical care! Because you are not weak my friend and you’re not doing nothing wrong- you’re actually very strong and you can get help and will get better!