Mom anxiety is a very real and often scary emotional place to be in.
It is no secret that motherhood comes with a set of emotional changes that affect the way we feel, think, and act.
I want to first address that there are different types of anxiety, and whether diagnosed with anxiety or not, they all affect people in different ways and at different degrees.
For the purpose of this article, I will be referring to the generalized anxiety that comes along with motherhood (new moms and experienced moms alike) and that affect us all in different ways.
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to diagnose, treat, or replace professional medical advice. If you are experiencing extreme anxiety and/or depression, please consult with your doctor.
Let me explain…
When I had my first child, was as if an anxiety switch turned on and I started to see things differently.
I don’t recall being an anxious person before that, at least not to the degree that it has escalated to after entering motherhood.
A dog was no longer a sweet innocent animal, but as potential threat to a baby in a swing.
I spent countless hours awake, staring at my babies at the fear that they could stop breathing.
And now that they are older, mom anxiety has also found a way to grow with every phase they are in.
Fear and anxiety sneak in our everyday routine such as dropping them off in school and worrying about their safety and well-being.
Losing my appetite over the first symptoms of a simple common cold, and the paralyzing fear and anxiety that happens as a result of the possibility of something happening to them, or myself.
Some moms experience these feelings to some degree, and some know how to shake it off as they arise.
However, there are instances where mom anxiety paralyses you in ways that makes you feel imprisoned. When over-exaggerated thoughts consume you and don’t let you function.
If that is the case for you, you are not alone. In fact, mom anxiety is more common than you think.
We fail to talk about it because of the fear and shame of feeling like a failure. Fear of not performing up to the “standards” that society has placed upon us, when truly we are ALL fighting the same battle.
Quietly and conformed.
Despite our ups and downs in motherhood, one things remain certain: in order to give our children our best as moms, we must do our best to be in a good mental and emotional state.
But how do we deal with mom anxiety when it seems that it is something that happens on a daily basis?
And better yet, what can we do to prevent it from happening?
The truth is that motherhood will always be accompanied by some degree of worry, but there are things we can do from our end to ensure we keep some anxiety under control.
Below are a few things you could do on your own that could help prevent or deal with mom anxiety. All five things listed below have been extremely helpful in helping me cope better with my own mom anxiety.
5 Ways Deal with Mom Anxiety Naturally
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1. Detach from Kids
This one is a tricky one. Sometimes, anxiety alone also happens as a result of being away from your children.
However, spending time away from the kids could also help you get your mind off the daily motherhood grind.
While some things require someone else to take care of the kids for you spend some alone time, some other things you can do while they sleep.
Here are some ideas:
- Have lunch/dinner with a girlfriend
- Go for a walk around the neighborhood or at a park
- Watch a movie or favorite show when the kids go to bed
- Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure
- Infuse a few drops of organic essential oils
Being away from the kids and doing something for yourself occasionally will allow you to take a breather and decompress. Hence, helping you feel more relaxed once back to your routine.
Now, let me address that I understand we are all busy and that the last thing we have time for is ourselves.
However, a mental break IS priority as it allows to lower mommy anxiety levels by allowing us to reset.
Related article: Avoid Mom Burnout (5 Places to Think Clearly for Moms)
2. Goals and Learn Something New
One of the things that has been the most helpful in helping me deal with mom anxiety is keeping my mind preoccupied with positive and constructive things.
Setting goals and working towards them is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
This is especially helpful for stay-at-home moms.
When my second daughter was born my husband and I decided I would stay at home with my daughter. Returning to my nursing profession and having to put both kids in daycare wasn’t something we wanted to do.
Starting a blog was the best thing that could have happened to me.
I am a big goal-oriented person and feeling I was accomplishing something was incredibly helpful in helping me keep mom anxiety at bay.
Since then, through blogging, I have created two profitable blogs, written an eBook, and I am now able to contribute to our family’s finances.
Blogging allows me to set and accomplish goals constantly, which keeps my mind active and proactive. As a result, I am less likely to over think and over analyze.
Find something you can look forward to and work towards. That will in turn fill up some of the mental space that would otherwise keep you busy with anxiety.
Here are some ideas:
- Take a class you have always wanted to take (another language, cooking, etc).
- Read a new book
- Pick up a hobby (gardening, scrap booking, etc.)
- Start a side hustle (start a blog, start an Etsy shop, write an eBook)
- Work towards paying off your credit card
I know you must be thinking I am crazy, right! You barely have time to shower, what possible time would you use to learn something new?
Well, you are right. We don’t have the time, so we have to make the time.
And trust me, once you get going and see the positive impact that is making in your life, finding the time to meet your goals won’t be sacrifice. In fact, you will look forward to making space in your day to accomplish your vision.
Related Article: 9 Sanity-Saving New Year Resolutions and Goal Setting Ideas for Moms
3. Implement Routines
I have found that one of my biggest stressors is when I find myself running around in circles without plan.
That is specially true when it comes to having set routines for the kids.
Daily routines allows me to be more in control and less anxious. It also sets expectations for the kids which turn causes them to be less anxious and rowdy.
If you need help creating all kinds of children routines I highly recommend you take a look at this course.
Family Routines: How to Automate Your Housewife Life will teach you:
- Lunch Routines
- Kids helping with meals
- Morning routines
- After school routines
- Cleaning and house chores routines
- Homework routines
- and…clothing routines
You can check out the full curriculum here.
This my friend, could be a total game changer!
4. Find a Support Group
No one will understand what you are going through more than those who are going through it themselves.
This is where support groups come in to play.
Whether it is an online community of moms or a church support group, finding support and encouragement from others can make all the difference.
5. Turn to Faith
This one in particular is the closest to my heart.
It has helped me deal and overcome with major anxiety, fear, and overwhelm.
Because mom anxiety happens from within, faith can help restore your mind, body, and soul if you seek it fully.
Reading the word of God often ensures me that I feel loved, protected, and forgiven on a daily basis. On the same token, I also know that divine love and protection fall upon my husband, children, and entire family as well, helping me feel more at ease.
Here are my favorite scriptures on anxiety if you want to give them a try:
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:6-7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Be strong and courageous. Don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27
“Haven’t I command you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”. Joshua 1:9
And that my friend… is medicine for the soul.
In addition to praying for yourself, leaning how to pray over your children can also serve as an enormous antidote to mom anxiety and worry.
6. Take a Break from Social Media
Last, but definitely not least, is something we should all do more often.
How many times have you felt a negative feelings (anxiety, sadness, resentment, etc.) as you scroll down the perfectly put together pictures on your Instagram feed?
How many times have you felt as though you were under performing as a mom because your house or your kids don’t look as “put together” as most of the other moms you follow?
Focusing too much on what others are doing and how they “seem” to be doing it can impact how we feel.
Social Media is very deceiving. It tends to paint edited, airbrushed picture of life that if we’re not careful, can manipulate us into feeling less than.
That is a recipe for disaster if you are trying to keep anxiety at bay.
Maybe you have never really thought about it that way. However, next time you find yourself on Instagram or Facebook, analyze your feelings and see how and if they could be affecting you negatively.
If they are, try this:
- Erase all social media apps from your phone (Instagram and Facebook mainly) Ouch!
- For 2 weeks stay off of all social media handles (is not impossible!)
- Use that time to work on your goals, spend with your kinds, read your bible, read positive affirmations, read or listen to audiobooks (Audible Audiobooks from Amazon give you 2 FREE audiobooks when you sign up fro their 30-day free trial)
- Analyze how you feel after the two weeks and repeat the process if needed
7. Positive Thinking and Affirmations
From experience I know that one of the biggest contributors to anxiety is negative thoughts!
Learning to deflect and replace our thoughts into positive and uplifting ones can have a tremendous impact on the way we feel.
It is easier said than done but it is definitely achievable.
Here are a few things that can help with a positive mindset:
- Write positive affirmations on a Post-It note and put them in a place you walk by often
- When negative thoughts come to mind deflect them by thinking of 3 positive things
- Avoid interaction with negative people
Mom anxiety can affect us all at different levels. But it is up to us as to how we tackle it.
The above recommendations have proven to be effective in my life and the life of other moms whom I’ve interacted with in my journey.
Remember that everything comes in phases, and that if you feel as though you are trapped, “that too shall pass”.
Nothing is permanent. With every new day, there is a new beginning. Use it to feel better and be better… for yourself and for your children.
And if anything else, know that you are not alone.
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to diagnose, treat, or replace professional medical advice. If you are experiencing extreme anxiety and/or depression, please consult with your doctor (full disclaimer).
Have you experienced mom anxiety? What coping mechanisms have worked for you?
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