Dealing with Anxiety and Depression as a Mom
Growing up anxiety and depression was just not talked about in our family. I really never understood it until I developed general anxiety a few days before my 19th birthday. We actually ended up in the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack. Luckily my husband and in-laws have plenty of experience with it and helped me know it’s okay. Surprisingly not long after my anxiety surfaced other family members of mine developed PTSD, postpartum depression, and general depression. These last few years dealing with my own anxiety and from mine and my husbands family, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to deal with both.
My anxiety developed a couple months before becoming pregnant with River. Deal with anxiety is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I became so bad I would not leave the house on my own or stay alone in our apartment. I would stay the night at my in-laws because Cody worked nights then. Panic attacks happened even when I was around people. I actually ended up quitting nursing school since my anxiety was about dying from a heart attack, stroke, etc. After a few month I was absolutely tired of living in fear and depending on others, Finally, I decided to do something about it. I researched for hours and went to therapy, so I could feel like me again. In the long run, it turned out that my body just doesn’t make enough serotonin (the happy hormone) so going on medication helped the most.Though the other tips and tricks, I learned help alongside the medication. These tips are all great for depression as well.
Meditating was really hard for me in the beginning! Sitting quietly and concentrating is just not easy for me. It took several days and attempts to finally make it work. Once I actually did it, it helped immensely. I could calm my self down during an attack and actually get my body to realize I was in no danger. I also found I had fewer panic attacks on days that I meditated. To this day I try to set aside 15 minutes a day just to have some meditation time.
Like meditation, yoga helps you relax and concentrate. I’m very fidgety during a panic attack, so I like to move. Yoga helps calm me down and give me the relief of needing to move. In general, exercise is great for anxiety and depression! Yoga is a daily thing for me since it’s so beneficial for anxiety and my all around health.
If you put junk into your body your going to feel like junk. Cutting down on caffeine or getting rid of it all together helps with heart palpitations and can help with anxiety attacks. Certain foods such as spinach, salmon, avocado, dark chocolate, etc. help reduce anxiety and increase your happiness. Omega 3 fats are known to help anxiety and depression as well and vitamin D. I take both as a supplement daily along with eating a healthy diet. Add more fish, fruit, and veggies will certainly help your overall health if anything.
As I mentioned above vitamin D helps with anxiety and depression. I find during the winter I’m more to see an increase in my anxiety. Getting outside not only ups your vitamin D levels, but fresh air and exercise helps you feel better as well.
I was not big on going to therapy. Like I said my family wasn’t too keen on the idea of mental illnesses. I found it to be a big help though! My therapist taught me several coping skills. If your issue involves something that caused the anxiety or depression then they can get to the bottom of it and help you cope with it. She taught me about breathing exercise, ways to distract my self during an attack and many other things.
If none of the above are helping it may be time to talk to your doctor. I finally broke down and went to see my general practitioner. She put my on a daily anxiety medication and another for when I have a panic attack. This finally got my hormones balanced out and I can now function and take care of my children. I do have some anxiety still, but it’s really night and day for me.
Ask for Help
When I’m having anxiety issues I don’t like to ask Cody to help me. I’m not sure why, but eventually I break down and ask him. He takes the babies and I go try to relax. I go take a bubble bath with candles light and practice my deep breathing. Remember there’s no shame in asking for help. It will help your mental health and be better for your children.
Find a quiet activity
When I’m home alone with the kids and have an anxiety attack it’s horrible. The first thing I do is find a quiet activity for River to do, so I can focus on calming down. This way your stress levels aren’t being increased because you have a crazy toddler running around. I usually give her the tablet or put a movie on with the sound on low. If it’s close to nap time I put her down, so I can fully focus on calming down.
Join support groups
A Facebook group I found had a great group of people who were extremely helpful. I loved to read other peoples tips and trick on how they dealt with their anxiety. I Incorporated many of the tips into my own routine. They’re also great at listing and giving advice. Sometimes it’s hard not having someone who completely understands how you feel. They know exactly what you’re feeling, so they know how to help you.
- Being a stay at home mom without going crazy
- Self-care as a stay at home mom
- Simple living as a stay at home mom
Having anxiety or depression as a mom is extremely difficulty. You want to be super mom for your children, but it’s just not possible when you’re fighting your own body. There is help though and you can find work towards feeling normal again. What are your tips or tricks to help with your anxiety? Let me know in the comments.