Seven Simple Ways to Deal with Anxiety in Motherhood {The Short List}

Health, Mental, motherhood / Monday, April 25th, 2016

I’d like to write about a topic that’s a bit sensitive but I know other moms might benefit from:

Anxiety in Motherhood.

I have personally experienced mild to severe chronic anxiety throughout all my mothering years (4 kids and 12+ years). Yet, even while I’m about to share ways to prevent and deal with it, I still struggle with it. So please don’t let this post fool you into thinking “she has it all together” – because I don’t. I’m just sharing what has helped. Plus, it helps keep me accountable to my own suggestions by sharing them.

With that disclaimer out of the way and adding that I’m no expert by any means, I’ve learned a lot about anxiety and have found effective ways to both prevent and deal with it that I’d like to share for those who may also struggle with it. For these posts, when I say “anxiety”, I’m talking about those moments of anxious panic that come in certain situations and also about the chronic anxiety that weighs over you all day for months on end like a permanent cloud.

Today, I’ll share a short list of seven ways I’ve learned to deal with my own anxiety that incorporate the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental, and relational aspects of our whole selves. I’ll expand on each of the seven over seven days starting today so it’s not too much to try and read at once – that might be too stressful – then I’ll post it all together at the end so it’s all in one place for those who like it like that.

Seven Simple Ways to Deal with Anxiety in Motherhood

1. Prayer Breathing

When you’re feeling anxious, take a deep breath and pray!

2. Gratitude Journal

Refocus your thoughts with an attitude of gratitude. Keep a journal of everything you’re thankful for.

3. Time-Outs Alone

Take time to be alone and let off steam.

4. Time-In Together

If you’re calendar gives you a panic attack, maybe it’s time to take a “sick day” and stay home together for a day.

5. Talk it Out

When you’re feeling anxious and stressed, it’s helpful to process those emotions by talking them over with someone you trust.

6. Take Care of Your Body

Taking care of our physical bodies with what we eat, how much sleep we get, and staying active does wonders for our overall mental health.

7. Ask for Help and Help Others

Helping others gives us someone to think about other than our own problems and asking others for help humbles our pride and gives others purpose. It helps us to help others and it helps others to let them help us.

Stay tuned for this week for an expanded version of each of these Seven Ways to Deal with Anxiety in Motherhood.

I welcome comments and suggestions for ways you’ve dealt with anxiety in your mothering days also!

8 Replies to “Seven Simple Ways to Deal with Anxiety in Motherhood {The Short List}”

  1. The talking it out thing is so important. I have found (as I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life) – that when I hold things inside, they hold much more power over me. They are always bigger and darker in my head. When I speak them aloud esp. to a trusted friend or my awesome spouse, most of those things causing me to worry or be fearful, lose momentum. My theory on this – in my head (in the dark) I am susceptible to the lies of the prince of darkness (who likes to use my insecurity and doubts to trouble me). However, when I bring them into the LIGHT, I hand them over to HE who is light and has dominion over the light. When I am able (as sometimes my anxiety has no tangible source) to put the feelings into words – JESUS covers them in truth and love. Thank you Erika for always being so authentic and open in your writing – your honesty is such a gift!!

  2. Looks like you have some great ideas Erika! Sometimes I have to get my mind off the problem too, as I tend to re-play or re-hash my thought ad nauseum in my head. Looking forward to your thoughts!

  3. I love how you named the “Time Outs” and “Time Ins.” I’ve done both of these many times, but just not called them such clever and appropriate names. 🙂 I especially like how you pointed out that staying home can sometimes be just what you need. Looking forward to your expanded thoughts on each of these!

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