Can we just take a moment to discuss anxiety in motherhood? I feel like this isn’t talked about enough. I want to talk about it because I know I am NOT the only mom that experiences it. Learn my ONE TIP for managing my anxiety.
Anxiety in motherhood comes in many forms but for the purpose of this post I am only going to zero in on how it usually presents itself to me.
Just last night I was in the shower after putting Brody to bed. I was deep in thought about my ever-growing list of to do’s and I suddenly felt this overwhelming rush of anxiety.
I had to turn off the water a time or two because I could have sworn I heard Brody crying in the other room. I felt tense and worked up. The feeling just continued to grow which is odd because the shower is usually my safe haven.
Anxiety in motherhood can leave you feeling like an absolute lunatic. I know I feel that way sometimes. It’s like everything from your emotions to your simple thought processes are forced into overdrive.
I’m not writing about this to scare anyone that isn’t a mom yet or maybe hasn’t experienced this as a mom. I just want to shine some light on a difficult, yet normal, event that happens in motherhood.
So, let’s break it down a little bit.
Last nights specific bout of anxiety was undoubtedly caused by the ongoing series of frustrating events occurring during the last month.
Long story short…
Brody had an ear infection on the right side which obviously warranted a round of antibiotics. I also recently found out that he is anemic and must take an iron supplement.
Have you ever had to give an awful tasting supplement to an 11 month old? There’s basically a WWE fight on a daily basis here at our house. It mostly consists of me wrestling the baby to take his dose while he spews it from his mouth like a water fountain. Now, add a dose of antibiotic to that for 10 days.
A week after finishing the antibiotic, Brody started running a high fever. This lasted 5 days. After 2 doctor visits and some blood work, it was decided that he just had a viral infection and a touch of another ear infection. On the left side this time. So, another round of antibiotics for us.
Are you beginning to see a trend here?
Personally, my anxiety is typically caused by situations that are out of my control. As a mom I want to be in control of my surroundings – especially when it pertains to my child.
I also want to add that a huge trigger for my anxiety is being on social media too much. Just the other day I realized that even though I self-advertise my blog on several platforms I don’t have to spend so much time browsing around. Even when I’m not actively thinking “ugh, I wish my stomach was that flat” or “if only my house was that big” I still compare my situation to someone else’s.
I could write another whole post on the topic of guarding your heart from social media. Let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d be interested in reading!
Recognizing its arrival
This is a tough one for me since anxiety can be so unpredictable. If you think about it, though, anxiety usually attacks when one thing after another goes “wrong”. Whatever that may look like for you.
Here’s how I can *usually* recognize its arrival.
I become irritable. My mood swings increase. I become overwhelmed by the simplest tasks. Is this similar to your situation?
When I feel these things taking place I know it’s time for me to recognize my anxiety growing. Call it out. Make it known to yourself. Don’t bottle it up.
Managing anxiety in motherhood
I’m not going to pretend that I have some kind of “cure” or answer for anxiety in motherhood. In fact, if you know somebody that does then let me know!
I want to add that medication for anxiety isn’t something to be afraid of. If your anxiety is controlling you then it might be a good idea to talk with your doctor about getting some help managing it through medical care. Taking that step toward managing your anxiety is important, no matter the route you take. Especially when you understand the importance of being the best version of you for your children.
With that said, my best advice for managing anxiety is simply through distraction. Yes, you read that correctly.
You might just need to be distracted from the problem long enough for the irrational thoughts to go away. Or, maybe you need a little distraction so that you can come back to resolve the issue at hand when your anxiety isn’t through the roof.
Here’s why distraction works for anxiety
Distraction can be a number of things – it can be anything honestly!
- Going for a walk.
- Taking a shower.
- Watching your favorite show, even if this is the 6th time you’re watching it through.
- Unplugging – i.e. putting your phone away, turning off the TV, etc.
If you’re anything like me, your anxiety continues to rise when you think about having anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle.
Distraction steps in and forces me to take my mind off of what’s upsetting me OR it does the opposite. Sometimes going for a walk isn’t quite a distraction but more of a chance for me to think more clearly.
In the end, it’s important to remember that anxiety is temporary. And if it’s not temporary for you then it may be time to speak with your doctor.
Try my method of distraction for managing your anxiety in motherhood and let me know if it helps. I would also love to hear your versions of managing anxiety – even if you’re not in the thick of motherhood!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post today. I know it’s different than my usual blog posts but it was definitely heavy on my heart and, in fact, distracted me from my current anxieties. Hope y’all have a great rest of your week!