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Collaborative Post¦ While being a parent can be incredibly rewarding, it also comes with various challenges that often trigger unhealthy stress and anxiety. Anxiety, if left untreated, can affect not only your parenting skills but also your overall well-being. Here are six tips to help manage parental anxiety and prevent it from damaging your life.
Identify your triggers
To efficiently handle your parental anxiety, you must first know your triggers. Remember that worry significantly differs from anxiety, so take time to assess what causes your anxiety. Do you usually get anxious when they’re outdoors or with specific individuals? Are you constantly concerned with your child’s school performance or overall development? Learning what provokes your anxiety can help you plan how to prevent it or at least make it more manageable.
Being a parent often means placing your own needs in the backseat. However, constantly neglecting yourself can increase your anxiety and compromise your capability to function properly. Regardless of your hectic schedule, you must allocate time to cater to your own needs and wants.
Integrate self-care into your routine, and ignore any guilt feelings you may have. Self-care can be as simple as meeting a friend for coffee, walking your furry friend, or reading a good book while your little one is asleep in their stroller. Invest in quality products from trusted brands such as Diono to ensure your child is always safe and comfortable.
Utilize stress relaxation techniques
Aside from practicing self-care, you can also use stress-management strategies such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and progressive muscle relaxation. While there are medications and supplements developed to reduce anxiety, make sure to consult with your doctor before consuming any.
Reframe your mindset
Your expectations of yourself as a parent and that of your child can intensify your anxiety, so throw out any unrealistic and selfish parenting goals you may have. Adjust your mindset and stop striving for perfection. Continuously remind yourself that your child’s well-being precedes everything else.
Instead of fixating if your child is reaching their milestones, concentrate on their improvements, no matter how minor. Remember that every child’s development timeline is different, so let go of your idealistic parenting mindset.
Find a support group
Parenting can be lonely sometimes, so finding a supportive group of like-minded parents can help manage your anxiety. Connect with loved ones with children of their own or join online parenting support groups. Social connections not only help lessen your anxiety but can also pave the way for meaningful and lasting relationships.
Seek professional help
While the causes of parental anxiety vary with every parent, the risk of experiencing it may be greater if you have a history of anxiety disorder or other mental conditions. If your anxiety is consuming your life, it would be best to seek professional help immediately. Seeking guidance can help you better address your anxiety symptoms and prevent them from escalating.
Parental anxiety can adversely affect you and your child in numerous ways. If you’re battling anxiety, take note of these tips and reach out for help if needed.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Cover image by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash