For the past few weeks, I have secluded myself in my home and barely interacted with any of my friends or family.
That’s what happens when you allow anxiety and depression to overtake your life.
It finally took me realizing the affects my anxiety had my family, more importantly, my children, that I knew it was time to make a change.
I started having mild anxiety as a teen. I grew up pretty sheltered and the day my parents dropped me off at college, I began developing anxiety.
I was able to control it with breathing exercises and live a normal college life.
It wasn’t until after I had my first child, that my anxiety began to become more than a minor thing for me.
I would experience various triggers that would cause me to not be able to breathe. For example, simply driving was often a hard thing to do without having some sort of anxiety. If a large truck was on the highway, it would take a lot of courage for me to pass by it due to my anxiety.
I would continue breathing exercises but I was not talking to anyone about what I was experiencing.
Fast forward to a year ago, after my third child was born; my anxiety hit a massive increase. Unlike before where I would have anxiety attacks due to some sort of emotional trigger, I was now having moments of anxiety out of nowhere.
I could be sitting down at the computer and suddenly my heart rate would increase and my breathing would be out of wack.
I tried dealing with all of this on my own.
As moms, we find ourselves broken all the while fixing everything and everyone else around us. And it shouldn’t be that way.
We can’t save the world until we are whole ourselves.
Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, it could be something as simple as self-care. We don’t make time for it because we are busy taking care of everyone else, saving ourselves for last.
About two months ago, my anxiety began to take over my life and my business. Some days, I just could not function.
I knew it was time to make a change.
Talk to a Professional
If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, or anything you feel is overtaking your life, you can’t handle it by yourself. Talk to a professional that can help you. Often, we feel like asking for help is a bad thing. But it isn’t! I’ve read so many horror stories of moms taking their own lives and the lives of their children because they didn’t know any other way to handle what was happening to them. Please, if you ever feel this way, seek help. You can visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for more details on getting help.
Use Breathing Exercises
Using breathing exercises helps me to stay in control. It’s also a good tool to teach your children when they feel sad or upset. During these, I am clearing my mind and focusing only on my breathing. This allows me to calm myself and quickly get over my anxious feeling. The simplest exercise is to breathe deeply in through your nose, hold your breath for about 3 seconds, then exhale slowly (pursing your lips) and relax your body.
Write in a Journal
This probably my most favorite thing to do to help with my anxiety. I am able to just dump whatever things may be stressing me out or any emotions I have bottled up inside. It is very therapeutic to get everything out of my mind and on paper where I can see it. It is no longer weighing on me. I pray over those things and I give it all over to God at that time. It’s my way of releasing and letting go.
Anxiety doesn’t have to control you. You can learn to control it. But it starts with getting out of your comfort zone and getting help. Moms are built to handle a lot, but we can’t handle it all.
If you deal with anxiety or depression, I would love for you to share ways you get through to inspire other moms.