As an over-thinker, I get anxious about everything. I get anxious about going to the grocery store because I worry about getting everything that I need for the week’s meals. I get anxious about social events because they can be incredibly awkward for my weird self. I get anxious for absolutely no reason at all just because my brain decides to worry about nothing. I still have anxiety dreams about taking the final test of a class I never went to, many years after being a student. My heart rate jumps, my breathing becomes shallow, and my mind races a million miles a minute.
And then there’s the whole mom factor. Being a mom is enough to cause anxiety anyway with all the added pressure. It’s another little human that you are completely responsible for: feeding, bathing, entertaining, cleaning, etc. I worry about my toddler not having enough time socializing with other kids. Whether he’s going to throw a fit during dinnertime. I’ve made countless phone calls to my mom (who’s a nurse) with questions about exposures or injuries or illness. I wake up and worry about what the day will be like, what to make for breakfast, what to keep the toddler busy with, and everything else I could possible worry about.
Some days are calmer than others and my coping mechanisms are sometimes effective. Although, I tend to cope with obsessive behavior such as keeping the house clean. I haven’t used medication, although prescriptions can be life changing and totally necessary for many with anxiety. But there are three major coping techniques that I use that almost always calm the constant anxiety:
- A clean diet. The better I eat, the better I feel. It has to do with balancing out hormones in the brain with good nutrition, therefore leading to better mental health.
- Talking to other moms. I have social anxiety, so talking to others definitely does not come naturally. But there are few other moms that I can talk to comfortably. It took plenty of time warming up to it but their similar experiences to my own have made a world of difference in calming my nerves.
- Meditation and yoga. There are few things that truly calm the brain and body like meditation and yoga. The deep breathing, the gentle exercise, and predictable routine work wonders in releasing endorphins and slowing my heart rate. I use deep breathing any time I start to feel anxious.
Like I said before, many people with anxiety need medication, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you feel like you may have anxiety, please talk to your doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist. Even if you don’t need medication, it’s super helpful both talking about everything and having a professional help you along. Always, always, always talk to your doctor if you think you have a problem. And most importantly, remember that you’re not alone.