I have yet to meet another mother who isn't anxious. From the moment you find out you're going to be in charge of a little human, the mind turns on a bright "OPEN" sign, signalling to all of your worries, concerns, fears, and irrational fantasies to come in, take a seat, and stay awhile. However, unlike most unwelcome guests, a mother's worry and anxiety never leaves. From getting pregnant to staying pregnant to labour (LABOR!), or going through the adoption process, the anxiety is a struggle, and the struggle is real.
How do any of us anxious mamas cope (besides watching hilarious mum parodies and taking solace in some very real and honest memes about #mumlife)? I've conducted some self-tested research to find 10 simple ways to clear your space of worry and make more room for those moments that make it all worthwhile.
- Don't read every parenting book! Spare yourself the time and anguish. If you see something that interests you and you want to read it, go for it. But don't stock up on every parenting book. There's way too much information and you can and should trust your instinct to figure out what's best!
- Write yourself love letters. Journal your worries and your fears, and how you plan on conquering them. You'd be surprised at how easily nurturing others translates into nurturing yourself.
- Take long, deep breaths. You don't need to join your local yoga studio or google breathing techniques. Simply take equal count inhales and exhales, on repeat, until you notice a change in your body's energy.
- Abolish "perfection" from your vocabulary. You are enough.
- Keep your space serene. Be mindful of your environment. Keep your music soft, your voice low, and the energy around you peaceful. This may mean making some drastic changes like redecorating your bedroom, or small changes like lighting a candle every night. Making this shift happen will have a big result on your daily peace of mind.
- Read your body's cues. Give your body what it needs and not what you crave. Our bodies need water to flush out toxins and vitamins to keep our minds sharp and body's strong. Trade your caffeine for decaf, increase your exercise, and maximize your sleep. Don't sell yourself short from these long-term benefits.
- Make self-care a daily ritual. Morning yoga? Evening bath? Set aside time for yourself each and every day. You deserve a break.
- Take up a hobby. Been meaning to take up tennis? Or learn how to knit those cozy, chunky blankets? Find an activity just for you that helps distract the mind and tire your body. Sometimes we just need to disperse our energy, and focusing on a simple task or new challenge is a great way to do that!
- Find your tribe. You aren't alone, though you might feel like it sometimes. Seek support via mum groups or community events, and find strength in numbers. When you need help, seek it, and when it's offered, take it.
- Organize your time. Buy and use your planner. It's been said that we are anxious when we think about the future. Rather than fear the future, clearly write it down, and feel in control of what lays ahead.