One of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety in life is becoming a parent. That’s not surprising considering how much a child can change your life, and the pressure of being responsible for a human being other than yourself can be very overwhelming. While welcoming a new child into the world is an incredible and joyous occasion, as a parent, you might find yourself struggling with both stress and anxiety. This is perfectly normal, but if it’s getting too much, here are some steps you should consider taking to help.
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s easy to let your mind run away with itself; before you know it, you’re overwhelmed by negative thoughts. This, in turn, leads to even more worry and frustration. As a new parent, you’re already going to feel exhausted, and the additional pressures of life and parenthood will begin to feel amplified as a result. You could try going to a professional therapist to talk and break down these worries and thoughts into bite-sized pieces, and teach you how to tackle these challenges more effectively. It’s also a good opportunity to be open and honest about how you’re feeling in a safe, private space that’s free of judgment or criticism.
Medication is another option for parents who are struggling with anxiety or stress. It’s a good alternative for those who aren’t comfortable with talking therapies and can work well in combination with therapy. If this is a route that you’re interested in taking to help with your anxiety, always speak to your doctor first and get their advice. If you’re breastfeeding, you might not be able to take certain medications.
Find Support Groups
Parenting support groups are a fantastic resource for helping you cope with parenthood stresses. Talking to other parents about these problems could help you feel better and remind you that you’re not alone in your struggle. Being a parent isn’t easy, some would even call it the biggest challenge in life, and speaking to those who are empathetic about your situation is important. Even other group therapy options could be beneficial as well.
Although your kids are a big part of who you are, don’t forget that you are still YOU. Holding on to your individuality is important, but as a new parent, it’s sometimes easy to forget about your needs and wants. Make sure you’re eating well and exercising to maintain your physical health, but also that you have time to do the things you love, whether that’s indulging in a hobby once a week or going out with your friends or partner twice a month for some time away from the kids. Practicing self-care is the first place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, so do not feel bad for putting yourself first once in a while.
Being a parent is challenging, and it’s common to feel stressed and anxious. If you’re a mom or dad who is experiencing these feelings, consider the options above and see if any can help you cope.