9 Ways To Cope With Anxiety As A Parent
As a parent, you worry about everything from where your child will go to college to what the color of their poop means. And if you pay attention to the news, it's almost impossible not to worry about their safety every time your child steps out of your front door. We are inundated with stories of senseless violence and tragedy on a daily basis, which could cause any parent to want to keep their kid in a plastic bubble for the next 18 years. But there are ways to cope with anxiety as a parent that can help you get through the days with a little less stress.
It's completely understandable to worry about the lives you are charged to protect. But it's important to pay attention to how your anxiety is affecting your kids. According to Everyday Health, anxious parents are six to seven times more likely to have anxious children, making it even more important to make sure you don't pass your habits down to your little ones. Talking to other parents, making time for your personal interests, and giving yourself a little positive reinforcement can help you relax. And if all else fails, it might not hurt to turn off the television for a while.
If you find that you're spending much more time worrying than enjoying parenthood, try some of these coping methods. You can read every parenting book on the planet, but the reality is that most of the job requires you to learn and grow as you go.
1. Learn The Facts
As mentioned in Psychology Today, it's important to know the real risks associated with harmful things in your environment. Once you have the facts, you may sleep a lot better a night.
2. Get A Life
As child and family therapist, David Anderegg told Parents, dads and moms need to make time to pursue their own interests and nurture their relationship with their partner. Trying a new restaurant or taking a dance lesson can help relieve some your stress.
3. Trust Yourself
The great thing about the internet is that it is full of parenting information. But it is also full of conflicting information, as many experts don't agree on one theory or practice. Instead of spending hours looking for experts to tell you what your children should be doing, sometimes it's best to tune everyone else out and trust your own parenting instincts, according to Anderegg.
4. Turn Off The TV
Sometimes, it's necessary to give yourself a break from the constant news coverage of mass shootings and plane crashes. As mentioned on CNN's website, continuous exposure to tragic headlines can cause you to overestimate the probability that the tragedy will impact you. So unplug for a little while and give your mind a rest.
5. Let It Go
You're going to worry, but it can help to learn to let go of worrying about things you can't control, according to the Empowering Parents site. We all want our kids to be well-liked, but they have to do the work to forge friendships on their own.
6. Use Your Breath
When you find yourself getting anxious, stop and take a deep breath (or ten). According to Psychology Today, practicing deep, slow breathing exercises can help eliminate some of the physical symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate.
7. Give Yourself Some Credit
Sometimes, you just need a little bit of encouragement to keep going in the face of anxiety. And no one knows how hard you're working at this parenting thing than you. As mentioned on the website Tiny Buddha, repeating a simple affirmation such as "I am doing my best," can help you remind yourself that you are being the best parent you can be.
8. Work It Out
If you're constantly worrying about your child, it can help to put on your sneakers and break a little sweat. According to Everyday Health, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and increase your energy. The body will release endorphins that can help relieve stress.
9. Remember That You're Not Alone
As mentioned on the website Very Well, it can help you put your parental anxiety into perspective when you realize that many other parents are concerned about same things you are. Talk to other friends who are parents. Knowing that someone else shares your concerns can help you feel better.