One topic of discussion between us is often about how we are stressed. It’s hard to admit that we are stressed, overwhelmed and sometimes just want to toss in the towel. It’s one thing to be stressed and recognizing it but to realize the level of anxiety is much greater.
I’d say prekids, that level of stress and anxiety were much much different. It wasn’t a constant battle of juggling work, home life, kids, dinners, snacks, laundry, laundry, tantrums, laundry, schedules, dance, swim lessons and all the things we do today. It was definitely a different lifestyle.
Taking the day-to-day out of it, your body changes after kids and well your hormones. Add in the emotional stress, the inner demons we battle day to day, all the other guilt we feel and receive, sometimes days are hard and that’s ok. The biggest thing is recognizing you are stressed or feel anxious, how to manage and what you can do to help.
We both have different stories and backgrounds on our stress and anxiety. Most people don’t talk about it and act like everything is fine. Hey, we are guilty of that too. But let’s talk about it more and help each other!
As I sit down to write this, the image that keeps popping in my mind is Will Ferrell’s character in Zoolander saying “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” haha! There are those days I sure do feel that way. It’s weird to write in words how I feel some days and letting stress/anxiety get the best of me.
I feel like I have always been a little bit of an anxious person, but I really didn’t notice or maybe I dealt with it better in my younger years (less to worry about ha). It wasn’t till entering motherhood that I have noticed having some anxiety.
Maybe it’s because the list of to dos has become greater or there is more to worry about (I’ve also been told I’m a worry wart, so that is not a good mixture with anxiety). I am a full time working mom, so balancing my day and time can be difficult.
In the morning you wake up, get yourself ready, then get your child ready. Get them to school and then get yourself to work. Work all day, pick up you child after school, get home, cook dinner, clean up after dinner, hang with your kiddo before they go to bed. Once all this is done, it’s 8:30-9pm. Where in the world did my day go. I have struggled with this a lot.
I love being a mom, a wife and my job, but there is not a lot of time for me…Gee that sounds selfish, but honestly everyone needs that. So to cope with some of my anxiety, I’ve realized I need to put some time in the week for something I want to do or do for myself. Here are a few things that I am doing or have done to help me with this…
Talk…it does you no good to keep all these feelings to yourself. That just adds fuel to the fire. My husband has been awesome and has really helped me. He also knows now to give me a little me time (take that bath, I’ll make dinner etc). Yours friends can also be of great support/help, thanks Mel!
Self care…Designate time each month for some self care. Whether it’s a massage, getting your nails done, facial, shopping etc. Do that thing that helps you to relax and not think about anything but the task at hand.
Exercise…I need to be more consistent with this. When I am on a good routine I feel much better and less anxious. Try to get a little in each week.
Schedule something fun to look forward to…whether it’s a vacation, girls night out, date night, fun activity with the family get, it scheduled. It’s fun to have something on the calendar other than a meeting or “Don’t forget to”….
We all are battling something, whether it be some type of mental illness, childhood issues or internal demons. It’s understanding what that is and how to manage. I’d say prekids, I was an easy going, pretty calm person. With each child, well that’s changed. Not to say I’m strung out and crazy, well maybe. But I’m always thinking a million steps ahead.
I’d say after baby number two, I started realize that I started noticing the stress and anxiety levels creep up. Maybe it was the hormones or maybe it’s just life. Now that baby number two is almost two, it’s life 🙂 Working full-time high stress job and being a mom and wife plus running a household, it’s a lot of stress and work. It’s all great but a lot of work. I’d say the biggest battle is always the guilt. The feeling that I’m not doing enough, I’m doing too much, view from others that I shouldn’t be working, trying to be successful at my job, feeling guilty about trying to be successful…well you get the idea.
So how do I manage…I can’t say I’m perfect at this but this is what I’m doing or have been doing to help.
Mediation… I started this when I went back to work and had to pump. I had so much anxiety when I would go into the pump room, really just looking at my pump made my heart rate go up. Why? Well I had the worry of not getting enough milk, I should be with my child, I should be working, I have a million other things I could be doing, I miss my child, I hate it. While I was pumping I used the Breathe app and it really helped calm me down. I started mediating in the morning right when I got up and then anytime I pumped, so about two or three more times. Since then I don’t meditate as much but I still try to meditate before I go into the office and in the afternoon. Which I’ve been slacking on and need to get back into it. I meditate anywhere from 5-15 min. It’s not easy and it’s practice but even just a little bit helps clear your mind. The biggest thing is when thoughts do come into your head, you recognize them and then let them go.
Eating… I don’t think is a big shocker but limiting processed foods and sugar can help reduce inflammation and stress. I’ve also cut back on caffeine. When I have coffee, I usually order a half-calf or event drink decaf coffee. I wish they would come out with decaf cold brew! I also really love THESE herbal supplements a friend told me about.
Creating Lists… I think generally we are all pretty good at creating lists in our heads but putting them on paper I feel like gives you room back in your brain. Instead of having to remember something or recall that to-do list, all you have to do is refer to your to-do list! It’s also good to keep in one spot in your house. Plus other family members can see your list and maybe take an item or two 🙂
Also, creating your daily to-do list before bed or when you first get up really helps free up brain space and gives you a glimpse of what you need to tackle. Try to highlight or star the items you must get done, everything else will be a win if you get it done, otherwise it’s ready for the next week or week. I like creating these at night so that way it clears my head before I go to sleep. More to come on some base to-do lists!
Exercise… I think this is a no brainier but it’s the hardest to do. How do you find time to exercise with a laundry list of to-dos, and laundry. As much as I would love to exercise everyday, it doesn’t happen. I will try to do at least 10-15 min while the kids are playing, take a walk between meetings and try to at least get three days in of regular workout.
Electronics… Just like you limit your kids screen time, you need to limit your own. Sure, scrolling Insta or shopping may be relaxing but your mind needs a break. Instead, sit back, enjoy that 10 min while your waiting for the doc to call you back, or waiting for the elevator. Your brain needs time to process and recover. Sometimes it’s good to be left with your own thoughts.
If nothing is working…talk to your doctor. They are there to help, support you and make you feel your best.
Just know there are lots of people going through the same thing. You are not alone and things do get better! You are doing the best you can do and doing an amazing job!