Being a parent is the toughest job out there. A job that has no pay, long hours and not instruction manual. It also comes with a lifetime of worry that, at times, can be overwhelming. We know that feeling, and whilst you might feel alone, you aren’t.
The Effects of Worry on Your Mental Health
It will never change, from the moment you know you are going to be a parent, you worry. Worry about their health, whether they will be happy and even if they have eaten enough. If there is a topic you can worry about, when it comes to kids, you will.
Of course this is part of being a parent and for the majority of the time it simply causes you to think things over and have concern. Sometimes however, the worry can be overwhelming and you can find yourself being drastically affected by it.
This can mean your sleep patterns are disrupted, you eat less, are overly stressed, lack concentration and motivation. You may lose weight, have low mood and snap at the slightest thing. Worry can also present as pain in the form of headaches and stomach aches. You may feel on edge, find your muscles ache from the constant state of being tense, and be extremely tired.
Steps to Reduce the Effects
There are many ways you can help reduce the effects of worry.
Deal with the Problem
One of the best things to do is tackle the problem head on. Be proactive in dealing with it. Grab a pen and paper and write out the problem. What happened? What can you do now? Is there any help? Of course this is not always an option, some causes of worry are out of our hands.
Talk to Someone
One of the biggest mistakes we make in life is trying to deal with things alone. There is a reason why the saying ‘a problem shared if a problem halved’ has been around for so long. It holds true.
Talking about something that causes you distress can alleviate a lot of the symptoms. The relief from telling someone how you feel can be immense. It doesn’t have to be someone you know, if you find that difficult. Have a look on our therapy page for a few ideas on who you could talk to.
Self-care is paramount. We talk about this a lot because it is so important. When we are experiencing a situation that is overwhelming, the first thing to slide is our self-care.
Ensure that, even if you don’t want to, you are doing the following:
- Eating well
- Getting some fresh air every day
- Keeping yourself clean
- Getting a good nights sleep
These things may seem like mountains when you are worried and upset, but you need to do all you can to look after yourself. You can’t look after anyone if you are exhausted, starving and giving up on yourself.
Try Meditation or Deep Breathing
It does not work for every one, but meditation can be a great stress reliever and help in giving you back your equilibrium. There are a whole host of meditation exercises on Youtube that can guide you through the process. Take some timer to look through them and find one that works for you.
Deep breathing is a tool you can have in your worry and stress arsenal all the time. It is simple to do and very affective at helping you to calm you body and brain. We have a couple of articles that have step-by-step instructions to help you here. They are aimed at children, but the principle is the same no matter your age. When You Want To Roar, Breathe Like A Dinosaur (This one has a free download) and one about Bubble Breathing.
Remember, it is tough feeling alone and dealing with worry, particularly when it concerns your children. You aren’t alone though, even if you don’t want to talk to friends or family, there are organisations out there waiting to help. Of course you can always reach out to us on social media to and we can try to guide you to the right place. You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.