I think every mama has experienced some form of Anxiety. Its just one of those things that can come with all the craziness that is parenting. But, unfortunately, some of us struggle with it more than others.
My struggle with anxiety started in high school, even though I didn’t recognize that is what it was. I always just thought I was a “perfectionist”, and it was really important to me to please those around me. I dealt with it fairly well, although, I did spend ALOT of time stressing and worrying about little things, but I don’t remember feeling like it affected my quality of life over all and I never considered it was something I should treat. As I grew into college, and even marrying my husband, I still just wrote it off as something annoying and it was just “the way I was”.
It wasn’t until after I had my first child, that I realized it was getting out of control. I was so worried about the smallest things, having intrusive thoughts, and couldn’t sleep for fear that something would happen to me or my baby if I wasn’t aware at every second. After many months of struggle, I finally reached out for some help.
This post tells my story
There are so many different ways to treat anxiety and something different may work for every person and I choose to treat my anxiety with natural methods. I am very aware that there are medications that can be used to treat anxiety, and I am all for using those if you want and need to! I have never taken medication, not because I am afraid of it or think it is “bad”, I have just been able to manage my anxiety with these natural methods, so I have not felt the need to try medicine.
Please, Please reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed and do not feel ashamed to treat yourself!
*Essential oils need to be used properly and by the direction from the distributor. They are natures medicine, and we treat them like so.*
I love using essential oils, they are a great alternative in many situations. I use them all over my home for things like cleaning, pain relief, skin care, as an air freshener. I am always learning new ways to use them. I was encouraged to try them as relief for my anxiety, by a many people. I will be honest, my expectations were not high, but I was pleasantly surprised! I have found that using the oils topically and inhaling them works best for me. I most frequently use a roller ball, and apply a diluted oil blend to my wrists, the back of my neck, or just take a deep breath in when I am feeling anxious. I have also used them in a diffuser, but because I have little ones at home, I am very cautious with what oils I use around them. Some of the oils that can be beneficial for anxiety are Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Citrus (my favorite is Wild Orange), Peppermint, Chamomile, and Frankincense. The blend that I have in my favorite roller ball is Peppermint and Wild Orange, diluted in coconut oil.
Yoga is a great way to manage anxiety naturally. The reason that yoga works for anxiety, is because it encourages you to slow down, breath deeply, and move with intention. You don’t need to worry about doing all the poses correctly or having amazing flexibility, to get the benefits from yoga. I have found that taking just 10 or 15 minutes, to run through basic breathing exercises and my favorite poses can make a huge difference. I *try* to do this in the morning, but that often depends on what my babies need. My son actually enjoys doing yoga with me, and you can find many “mommy and me” yoga videos on Youtube.
Similar to Yoga, meditation can help manage anxiety because it makes you slow down and think through things. I have tried doing meditation on my own, and I am just terrible at it. My mind wanders and before I know it I am running through the list of all the things I am doing wrong. This is why I like guided meditation, where someone is leading you through the session. I use YouTube to find meditations but there are also apps you can purchase, that come preloaded. The voices are always very soothing and it is so good for calming down. This is something you need a good amount of quite, uninterrupted time for, so I do it when my husband is around and I know my kids are taken care of. I most often use this method to fall asleep, when I am having a hard time. The voices of the meditation coaches are always very soothing and going through the sessions help me to shut of my mind. I have now memorized some of my favorite statements and on particularly bad days or if I am feeling extremely overwhelmed in a moment, I will repeat them in my head.
Using daily affirmations helps me to overcome some of the feelings that contribute to my anxiety. I have affirmations written and printed out all over the place…on my phone, on my bathroom mirror, in my car, on my fridge. Seeing them frequently reminds me to repeat them, and the more I repeat them the more I believe them. When I first started doing affirmations, I felt like such a fraud, like I was lying to myself. But it is true, that when you hear something enough, you will start to believe it! I also think that displaying and repeating the affirmations is so good for my kids. My almost 4 year old is in the parrot stage, you know repeating literally EVERYTHING he hears. So when I say my affirmations out loud, not only is he hearing me say positive things about myself, he is also learning that positive self talk is good.
Each day I take a Vitamin D supplement and a Magnesium supplement. I can definitely tell the days that I skip these, because I start to feel restless and worried. Magnesium is known to be a calming mineral and helps to regulate the nervous system. Vitamin D is so important for mental health. You can get some of it from being outdoors and in the Sun, but I need a little more, so I supplement.
before you start any vitamins or supplements, you should always speak with your physician
Taking care of yourself is so important, but I know it can be tough as mamas. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first, a healthy and happy mama is so much better for her family and you should always be at the top of your own list.
If you are struggling with anxiety, please know that you are so not alone. So many of us are fighting this battle silently, and that is why I share. If you are feeling alone, reach out, If you have no one you feel you can talk to, my inbox is always open.
I hope that you will find peace and healing, trying some of these methods.
And remember, you are one good mom!