How to Defeat Mother’s Anxiety

Life as a modern woman can be overwhelming. We are doing our best to be a great mom, a caring wife, an attentive friend, and in some cases juggling work too, phew! There rarely is time left for ourselves to relax.

We are always making sure that everyone else’s needs are met. We believe that if we were smarter, faster, thinner, anything more than what we are… then we can handle it. 

Unfortunately, we are lying to ourselves. We are human, our capacity is limited.  Until we believe it, anxiety will invade us without warning or explanation, and we might feel that we are not good enough and then the negative self-talk starts judging us endlessly and mercilessly.   We can have a panic attack coming on from the anxiety.  This situation becomes tiring, exhausting, saddening and NOT TRUE!

We deserve compassion, understanding and patience, exactly what we give our family and friends.

So… how can we get out of this vicious cycle?

1.      Prioritizing our self-care is very important.

Just like a crisis on an airplane, we should get our oxygen masks on first and then put on the one for our little ones. It doesn’t make us bad selfish moms.  We need to take care of ourselves first to be able to take good care of others. There is plenty of research to back this up. SCAN of VA has excellent resources: https://www.scanva.org/support-for-parents/parent-resource-center-2/self-care-for-parents/

2.      Make a plan

Have a list of things that matter most to you and bring about the most positive emotions that you prioritize each day. All too often we end up trying to accomplish everything and judge ourselves for being unable to get everything done.

3.      Find our passion and practice it as a hobby or make it a living. 

When we find what we enjoy doing and actually do it, everything starts making sense and things will come into place. As a result our life will starts flowing.  We are human beings who are meant to lean towards self-actualization like a plant leaning towards the sun.  It will help to give meaning and purpose to our lives.

4.      Learn to set boundaries

It is important to learn to say no and lose the fear of disapproval.  We are worthy of love and the only approval we need is our own.  When we do things that we don’t want to do for fear of being rejected, it will make us upset and if we are expecting reciprocity from others and don’t get it, it will disappoint us.  Give when the desire comes from your heart and expect nothing.  Life will eventually surprise you with blessings.  

5.      Teach your children to help around the house and be self sufficient.

If we engage our children in helping and doing chores around the house, we are teaching them team work, we are giving them the gift of valuing what they have, and also, we are making them independent and integral human beings.

6.      Connect with people who you like

Spend time with people that make you their priority. Schedule time at least every week to spend time with someone that remind you that you are amazing, caring and worth being here.

 7.      Be aware of discourses and don’t fall in their trap. 

Discourses are the idealistic non-human expectations that have been created by society and marketing companies and have set the bar.  Discourses don’t contemplate the humanness of our society. Discourses are not real expectations from a human being and put us in a position of investing all our energy and sometimes money in order to meet those expectations to feel a worthy member of society. Don’t get in that game because it will drive your live and you will feel empty and very anxious at the end.

8.      Include some type of exercise in your routine

It has been proven that aerobic exercise decreases tension, elevates and stabilizes mood, improves sleep and improves self-esteem.

9.      Accept that you are doing enough at any given point to be happy with who you are.

Notice times that you would judge yourself or say I’m such a blank, and realize that it is just your brain lying to you or discourses playing with your mind.

To summarize, when you prioritize yourself and your needs, life seems to work out. Slow down your brain. Slow down your life. Realize you still accomplish the things that matter, and the things you don’t accomplish didn’t matter as much as you thought they did.

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