Parents can be worrywarts. We worry if our kids eat enough. We worry if our homes are clean enough. We worry if our babies get enough milk. We worry if our kids are happy at school. Worrying over our families’ welfare and even anxiety is normal, but too much of it can also be limiting — both to us adults and even our kids.
Too much worry or anxiety can limit our kids’ opportunities and growth. It can limit their freedom and independence. And let’s admit it, it’s not healthy even for us adults. Do you think that you’re an anxious parent or dealing with parental anxiety?
Do you have anxiety?
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
- Can’t stop worrying over something
- Feels restless
- Having trouble relaxing or sleeping
- Having trouble concentrating
- Easily gets frustrated
- Feels that your heart is racing
If you feel any of the following and if you think that it is already impairing your everyday life and even your ability to function or parent your kids effectively, then here are a few ways that might help you handle it.
If you have a situation or problem that’s causing you anxiety:
- Take the time to calm yourself down before responding to the situation. For instance, if your child tells you that she got hurt in class, you can go home with your child and talk to her first instead of barging straight to the teacher. If the situation is still bothering you until the next day, then set an appointment to see the teacher. This way, you get the chance to calm yourself first and assess the problem before taking action.
- Try to handle things one step at a time. For example, if your child is sick and you’re anxious about it, then it’s ok to ensure that your child feels better first before worrying about your regular tasks/chores. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed or stressed.
Aside from anxiety over specific situations, here are a few simple steps you can do to cope with everyday anxiety:
- Talk to someone about how you’re feeling — it can be your spouse/partner, a family member, or close friend.
- Look for a support group — whether online or in real life, a support group with like-minded individuals who may also be going through the same thing can help. It can be via sharing their own experiences, or just the simple act of unloading your anxiety to a group of people who understands.
- Try to write down your feelings and experiences in a journal. This way, you can see if there is a pattern to your anxiety so you can then take steps to alleviate it.
- Try activities that are conducive to relaxation, such as yoga, breathing exercises, or even a new hobby that can somewhat take your mind off your worries.
If these tips were not able to help your anxiety, then it’s ok to seek professional help. Remember, as moms, we have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our loved ones.