Today’s guest post comes from 28-year-old mother of three, Natasha, who is sharing her top self-care tips for mums who live with anxiety.
“Autumn has come again, and for a lot of mamas, this means the back-to-school hustle and bustle is happening every day in their houses. I know it certainly is in mine.
Trying to stay on top of laundry, lunches, supper, and any extracurricular activities that your children may be involved in can feel impossible. Never mind that you can`t remember the last time the carpets were vacuumed or the floors were mopped.
On top of being the incredible mama that you are, you also have struggles yourself… good old anxiety.
Anxiety is always knocking on the door.
So, you have sent your kids back to school, and you are left with your thoughts and anxieties on your own.
Can you relate to this?
This has happened to me every single year for the last 4 years that my children have been in school. The worry of every single thing that could possibly go wrong during the day, even though the likelihood may be very small. Anxiety doesn’t stop just because it is unlikely that it could happen.
So here I have some self-care tips and ideas for you, anxious mama.
1. Drink a nice hot cup of tea.
Try something with either no caffeine or just a smaller amount of it, as caffeine can tend to make our anxieties run even faster. If you are not a tea drinker, experiment. There are so many beautiful kinds of teas! But, the idea here is to sit for a few minutes and sort of allow all that anxiety to flow right out of you as you enjoy this beautiful warm drink.
Whatever your anxiety is telling you, write it down. Once you read it to yourself, you should be more able to move past it, or logically reason your way through it. Keep a notepad and pen nearby so that when you feel anxiety coming on, you are able to quickly get it down on paper. It may even surprise you what you read from yourself!
3. Get outside.
Spend some time each and every day outside. I know sometimes the weather sucks, but it really is so beneficial for us to be outside. It will make a difference in your mental health if you just spend a small amount of time outside. Try going for a short walk each day. Practise being present and mindful in those moments. Practise not allowing distracting thoughts to take over the beautiful walk.
I know some people LOVE yoga and some HATE it. I think it’s just like that though. I personally love it and find that it helps me care for my mind as well as my body. Practising to slow down and really focus on each breath helps me to slow down my mind at the same time, and then my anxieties are met with logic.
5. Get creative.
Dabble in painting or drawing, or maybe baking or singing? Try something artsy, where you can express yourself in a form that feels good for you. Experiment and be brave trying new things. Find something that makes you feel peaceful.
6. Positive Affirmations.
Say it to yourself each and every day:
- I am enough.
- I am a wonderful mother.
- I am in control of my life.
Find positive affirmations that speak to your heart and soul. Say them to yourself each and every day.
Experiment with textures and how they feel for you. I have a soft blanket that I like to have on me when I am feeling particularly anxious. The calming softness is a distraction and my mind focuses in on how nice it feels rather than the anxieties. I also have a rubber pokey stress ball that I use if I am feeling angry or frustrated. The texture against my fury allows me to feel as if I am relieving my mind of pressure. Try out different textures and their places in your life. Maybe it’s meditating on your rug, or maybe it’s getting creative with sandpaper.
This is a must for me. This might not seem like self-care, but it really is for me. I get very anxious if I don’t know what is coming next. I like to be prepared and having a routine helps me. It is self-care for me because I have taken time to devote to noticing what feels good for me at what time of day. Listen to your mind and your body and as much as possible, follow what they are saying. If a routine is something that works well for you, spend time listening to yourself as it is finding a routine that works.
Cook for yourself. Even if you are home alone all day long while your children are at school, you still need to cook for yourself. Make yourself beautiful lunches. You are worth that time and dedication. Healthy food goes a long way for mental health. Try to find a happy balance of healthy nutrition in your life.
Being a mama with anxiety is tough. I know this first-hand. With back-to-school well underway, I just want to send you a reminder to do some self-care for you too.“
A huge thank you to Natasha for her useful tips.
To read more by Natasha, you can find her on her blog, Thoughts With N.