Life is stressful and there are always things to worry about. Once you have a baby, the stresses and anxiety goes through the roof. The constant worry, fear and feelings of nervousness are part of motherhood but they can easily take over when you have anxiety.
After I had my son, my emotions went crazy. I experienced the baby blues, but then anxiety became part of my daily life. Whether it was worrying that the baby is not breathing at night, the stress of sleep-training, the guilt of leaving him alone to go get a massage or the anger and frustration when the baby wouldn’t stop crying – I felt like I wasn’t able to control my emotions.
Anxiety (and specifically postpartum anxiety) is very common. Today, I am sharing with you some ways that can help manage anxiety that have worked for me.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or if the anxiety is disrupting your sleep or you’re constantly preoccupied with worries, it is best to see a physician or psychologist to get help.
1. Remind yourself that there is no single right way to do things. When you’re second guessing yourself and wondering if you’re doing something wrong, stop and tell yourself that there really isn’t ONE right way. Choose what’s best for YOU and YOUR family!
2. Don’t compare on Social media – focus on your life! Don’t compare your life to everyone’s daily highlights. People usually just post the positive and omit the bad and the ugly. Social media doesn’t necessarily reflect “real” life. As you see, most of my posts show me smiling, wearing pretty clothes. Well that’s just a small part of my life that I choose to share online to inspire others. I try to post the “not so glamorous” pictures but it’s hard to open up and be vulnerable online. It’s scary to share it all. Writing this post took a lot of courage but I believe it can help many. So when you scroll though social media, remind yourself that what you see is the persons “best part of my day”. It’s nice to be motivated to work out or dress nicely but some days you may just want to be lazy in your sweats and eat chocolate. There’s nothing wrong with either.
3. Pause and breathe – I know its easy to say and it sounds like an easy thing to do, but taking deep breaths can be super helpful. When you are experiencing feelings of worry or stress, stop and take deep breaths. Breath in through your nose, count to 3 and exhale through your mouth. Especially in situations when you become upset or frustrated, pausing and breathing is one of the best ways to calm down.
4. Meditation – Meditation is one of my favorite things to do. It’s really hard to find time to do it as a new mom, but it is so much more important to make time for it. I usually listen to guided mediations on my phone right before bed. It helps me relax and go to sleep.
5. Progressive muscle relaxation – Another way to decompress and manage your anxiety is by doing progressive muscle relaxation excercises. You can do it by yourself or listen to a guided progressive muscle relaxation recording. I really enjoy these and feel truly at peace and relaxed afterwards.
6. Exercise – This is a very common way to manage anxiety and stress. Working out is so good for the body and mind.
I hope you find these tips helpful! I know living with anxiety is not easy, but it is manageable.
If you have any good suggestions or tips, please comment below!