If you’re a parent, there are certain things it’s natural to have anxiety about. There are a lot of risks in daily life, and when you have children, it’s your job to protect them as much as you can from those risks.
For example, 600 child pedestrians are killed by car crashes every year, which is why we as parents are so vigilant about supervision and hand-holding when our kids are walking on the streets or in parking lots.
What happens when, as a parent, your anxiety goes beyond what might be seen as typical, however, and becomes something more pervasive?
If you’re a mom with an anxiety disorder, everyday life can be a struggle, but the following are some things to keep in mind as far as coping.
Set Boundaries for Yourself and Stick With Them
Certain situations may trigger your anxiety more than others. For example, maybe you have social or situation anxiety, and playgroups are challenging for you, or perhaps the idea of chaperoning your child’s field trip makes you feel anxious. There can also be a sense of fatigue or irritation that comes along with anxiety, particularly when you’re pushing yourself too far.
Know that it’s okay to have personal boundaries and stick to them. You want to do the best you can for your child or children, but that doesn’t always mean you say yes to everything.
It’s okay to create boundaries and know what you can comfortably do versus what might push you too far.
When you have boundaries, you’re protecting yourself and your kids are ultimately going to be happier with a more peaceful mom. Also, note that setting boundaries isn’t the same as avoiding.
If there are other people in your life, such as your spouse or partner who can help you with different things, let them. Also, use your partner’s strong points if they’re your weaknesses. Maybe your spouse is more social than you are, so they handle more of the class parties or PTA events.
Be Able to Differentiate Real Worries From Anxiety-Related Worries
As was touched on above, there are very real worries that come with being a parent, and real dangers. Work on separating these from unrealistic concerns or situations.
Being aware of the ways you really need to protect your children is important, but so is understanding those things that probably aren’t a likely risk.
Being educated and aware can actually help your anxiety in many ways because you can make these distinctions.
Participate in a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be an excellent way to deal with anxiety, and it’s often used on its own or paired with medication for anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is talk therapy and you work with a counselor during a limited number of structured sessions to challenge your negative or inaccurate thinking.
This can help you see situations for what they are more clearly and respond to them in a healthier way.
You can do cognitive-behavioral therapy in person with a therapist, but there are also guide books you can work through on your own, or you can do it online.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works especially well for busy moms because it helps you deal with issues you may be having quickly and effectively and it requires a limited number of sessions so there is an endpoint to treatment.
Take Time Before Responding to a Situation
As a mom with anxiety, you may not realize how it can manifest itself in different ways, aside from just worry.
For example, you may be angry or irritable, and you may show this to your child even if you don’t mean to.
You should work on taking time before you respond to any situation to calm down and think it through. A suggestion may be to consider the benefits of taking CBD products. These are gaining in popularity and can help with stress and anxiety. Do some research on review sites, and try cbd pills for anxiety which could help you get the best possible results.
Find Things You Enjoy Doing
It sounds simple but think about the last time you did something you really enjoyed that wasn’t for your kids and your family. It may have been awhile. In fact, you may not even remember the last time.
Finding something you enjoy and then making time for it isn’t just a good tip when you’re dealing with anxiety—it’s a good parenting tip in general.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Maybe it’s reading, watching a certain TV show, taking a nap, or doing an at-home workout. Whatever coping mechanism you use, write it into your schedule each day so that you’re more likely to make time for it.