When I was pregnant, something just clicked and I was doing well with my anxiety, for some reason being pregnant made me feel a little bit more confident about myself. But unfortunately I soon lost that after having Alyssia and started to struggle again. But despite being at my absolute worst, I always feel better with my little girl by my side. I have spoken to quite a few mums about this and I got back quite a mixed response. I struggle to get out & about with Alyssia just the two of us without my anxiety making me feel like I’m going to collapse but a lot of mums have said they love the freedom of going to the shop without their children, this is my worst nightmare. As much as I hate it when my toddler decides to have a melt down in the shop, I still can’t stand the thought of going it alone. Having anxiety as a parent is the worst thing ever, I forever feel on edge and panic about the stupidest of things. Anxiety has caused me to collapse a few times now & I think to myself “what would happen if I suddenly fell unwell whilst I have Alyssia with me?” or “what if I collapse on the way round Asda and she’s in the trolley?” but I need to stop worrying.. right? Where ever I go, I won’t ever be alone. Not really, If I collapsed in the middle of a shop whilst I have my toddler with me, somebody is bound to stop and help me? A whole shop full of people, surely one person would help. I don’t know why I let anxiety stop me so much, but it has really held me back this year and I am so so ready to let it go.
Anxiety sucks, it really bloody sucks and having anxiety as a parent sucks even more. Not only do I feel rubbish in myself that I’ve not managed to get out the house but the mum guilt floods in when I realise I’ve not taken my toddler out in 3 days. Anxiety attacks seem to just come on out of the blue even when I’m least expecting it. I’ll often find myself pacing the floors & trying my best to distract myself but the more you think about anxiety or even see the word A-N-X-I-E-T-Y when you’re anxious makes things even worse. I’ve struggled with this for years so why can’t I manage it? Am I failing? or am I unwell? I finally plucked up the courage to ring the doctors after struggling for so long & they’ve decided to put me on beta blockers to slow my heart rate down. Quite often I can feel my heart ‘overbeating’ & it feels like it’s going to jump out of my chest any second which makes me even more anxious. Anxiety is a vicious cycle & it is one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve tried therapy, I’ve tried medication, I’ve tried ‘not panicking’, I’ve tried distracting myself & I’ve tried walking away.. Walking away helps at the time but not in the long run. My friend bought me some ‘calm balm’ as a way of calming myself down in anxious situations, it works in the sense that it makes me feel relaxed but in a full blown anxiety attack nothing seems to help. I thought I would write down 5 things that help me when I feel anxious to help other mums in this situation or to just look back on when I need reminding.
- Walking away – As I said walking away helps at first but not in the long run. Sometimes it’s best to walk away if you feel like things are getting too much. It’s okay to walk away, sometimes.
- Music – I love listening to calm music, my partner finds it hilarious but I find that it really helps when I’m worrying about something or feeling stressed. YouTube is great for finding calm music.
- Water – Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go, if you always have a drink on you, you’ll be okay when you’re feeling anxious. I find that this really helps me in anxious situations.
- Calm Balm – using this has definetely helped relax me & I would recommend this product. All you have to do is rub it on your chest & neck etc & it works almost instantly.
- Breathe – Always remember to breathe in through your nose & out through your mouth. A support worker once explained it to me like this: “Imagine that you are breathing in blue clean air through your nose & that you are clearing out the bad feelings by breathing out the red air through your mouth.”
What helps you when you’re feeling anxious? Do you have any tips that could help me?