“Please, please, please, go to sleep”, I cried. I laid with my youngest son, Adam, who obviously had everything else but sleep on his mind. I laid in his bed with him, while he cried and squirmed, trying to get out of my grasp. I could feel my heart race, my body shaking and my eyes tearing up. I knew I was going to have an anxiety attack.
This was just an example of a night that I had last month. Having anxiety and having a child that is going through their terrible two’s are two things that should never be mixed. Being a mom, you really have no choice but to try to stick out the best way you can until it passes. I have come up with 5 survival tips to help you through this tough time, while suffering with anxiety.
- Deep Breathing– When you have an anxiety attack, your breathing becomes more shallow and monitored and this can cause you to hyperventilate. If your child is having an episode, make sure they are in a safe spot, and walk away. Go into your room, sit on the bed and close your eyes. Try to cancel out all the noise. Take 1 deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and let it out slowly through your mouth. Do this 10 times. Doing this technique will actually help lower your blood pressure, calm your breathing, and slow your heart rate down! (* I am in no way a doctor, but these are exercises that I do and it helps me!)
- Alone Time- This can be really hard to do! I usually have the worst time getting any type of alone time at home. There are days that I let my kids know I am going to the bathroom and end up locking myself in there and sitting on the ground. This allows me to just take a breather and tell myself everything will be okay. In all reality, yes, everything will be okay, its just a small bump in the road that you can get over. It really doesn’t matter where you spend your alone time, whether it be the bathroom (like me) the closet, your room, or even the backyard. Take a moment to recollect.
- Meditation- I just recently started using this technique. I actually really enjoy it. When you can get a moment to yourself, there are free meditation videos on Youtube specifically for anxiety. The narrator will explain everything that you will need to do, and I promise you that by the end of the video, you will be so relaxed, you will want to take a nap!
- Distraction- Go outside! Make some memories with your children. Go swimming, play a game in the backyard, or even have them make some crafts out on the patio! The best way I can get my son to stop screaming most of the time, is by distracting him with another project or activity. Having them go outside, allows everyone to get fresh air and sunlight! Vitamin D from the sun, is actually known to help with anxiety!
- Get help- If you can get someone to come over and help you with the kids, do it! Whether it be your mother, best friend, or even your husband, most of the time, if you let them know what is going on, they will want to help you. Communicate with everyone about how you are feeling. If my husband comes home from work and I am stressed out, I let him know. That way he has me go into our room to take a nap or just lay there and calmly watch one of my favorite shows.
Don’t ever think you are alone on this, because your not. Even your mother had to go through this! Always make sure to let people know how you feel! Communication is probably the most important technique of them all. Without it, there is no help.