Being anxious is nothing new to me. I have always been an anxious person. As I grew older it got worse. Year by year, little by little, my anxiety started consuming my life. The first time I really noticed it taking a toll on me was in 2008. This was not shocking. That it was the year we lost Matt (my sons’ father) and someone I love dearly. I was with him as he passed. Then I had to fly around the world back to my 4-year-old. I needed to be tell him his father was not coming back. Handling your own grief is hard but being a Mom, we carry our children’s grief too.
I tried controlling it on my own, but it did not work, and I sought help. This help ended with me helping my therapist with her issues and me on medication, which I knew nothing about, made me feel like a zombie and eventually caused me to stop cold turkey. I later found out, that this was a horrible way to stop anxiety medications. From that moment on, I was convinced I needed to help myself.
A life with anxiety is some what like a roller coaster and things can trigger it without your knowledge. For years after this I was doing well, I lived life normal in my eyes and it never really bothered me until I got married. I am not sure what it was. Maybe the miscarriages, the life of a wife as a Marine Corp Recruiter. Could be the move across country, the death of my brother in law Frankie or the thought of the loss for my sister and her children. .
The panic attacks started. The first one I can remember happening was while I was in Washington, D.C. burying my grandfather. I chalked the incident up to me finding out I was pregnant a week later. Sadly, my entire pregnancy was rough. I was anxious at every appointment causing high blood pressure. No doctor would really listen to me about being anxious and I just was not happy. I am also a stay at home mom caring for three kids. Two of which constantly fighting. The third is a teenager who is dealing with his own life issues. It was rough, scary and depressing to me. I love being a Mom. Being a Mom can also be draining. I needed to take care of myself.
After I had Aria, I hoped the hormones would regulate. Maybe I would feel more like myself but one week later I was back in the ER. There was nothing wrong body wise. But my mental health was not good. I most likely was having a panic attack along with severe anxiety. At least the doctor was understanding and listened to me.
Sometimes for myself, I just need someone to talk me off the ledge. To get me out of my head. It is often hard to find someone to do this for you or even understand what its like to live like this. My husband helps me a lot. My kids would set my anxiety through the roof. I was not enjoying being with them all the time because their yelling, screaming, crying, fighting and back talking would cause me to shut down. I really love them so much and I knew I needed to help myself so I could be the mom they deserved. As a Mom we want to present and to enjoy our children.
As Aria keeps getting bigger, my medical insurance finally gets straightened out and I felt more confident in seeing my doctor for my Anxiety. Then Covid-19 pops up and everywhere is shut down. Since I was not chancing going anywhere or wanting to attempt my second chance of getting help during these weird stressful times, I decided I needed to find ways that can help me. Now I know I could do a video call with a therapist but this would not work for me. I began looking for natural ways to help how I was feeling. Somethings worked great. Some only worked for a short time. But thankfully I narrowed things down to these top 10 ways of handling anxiety that worked best for me.
- NO CAFFINE (This is hard. I am a tired mom and sometimes I still have some)
- Chamomile Tea and as much as I want.
- Know when to say no. You do not have to do everything, and you know your limits.
- Positive mantra’s (You are ok, this wont last forever, you can do this)
- Being aware of your feelings and knowing when you need to walk away
- Eat healthy, take vitamins, lots of water and eat more berries/bananas/nuts
- Deep breathing. I have an app that helps me with this.
- Get outside. Nothing like a change of scenery and fresh air
- Have a person you trust who can tell you your ok if you need it (my husband).
- Get sleep. This is hard when you are a mom but if you can do it then it HELPS!
If I am consistent with all of this and forgiving of myself for not being perfect every day, these things will work. Anxiety is different for everyone. This may or may not work for you. In the end, if you are struggling with anxiety and you are not living your best life, please see your doctor as I will be seeing mine soon just to continue to care for my mental health in the best way possible. Asking for help is a good thing. It is hard for us Moms to always remember we matter too. We are always being the strong ones. Moms are always needed. Make sure to take care of yourself.