Adopting a child or raising a child is a challenging task. It’s difficult as it is, so when you add in everything else that needs to be done in life, it can feel like too much. As we discuss how to handle anxiety as a parent, we’ll consider the many roles we also put in the effort to excel in, such as those of employee, friend, daughter, sister, entrepreneur, volunteer, etc., in addition to parenthood. Life’s pressures have a way of piling up and causing us to overload. Learning to control your emotions and respond rationally to stressful situations is crucial. This rings especially true when raising a family.
Those shoes fit all of us. Your child’s behavior is upsetting you while you’re dealing with a stressful situation at work. We can “lose it” in these situations, or we can walk away, take a few deep breaths, and work on calming ourselves down.
Nobody who has children enjoys moments when they feel they are losing control or acting rashly. As parents, we are well aware that our responses to our children can either add to or alleviate the tension in a given situation. The need for stress-reduction strategies becomes clear in light of this.
I regularly assess and adjust how my loved ones and I deal with our feelings and tension. No matter how cliche it may sound, I do my best to be a role model parent. When my kids are going through emotional or mental hardship or showing anxiety symptoms, I need to be as steady as possible for them. At my house, we either do stress-reduction activities as a family (with my kids) or on our own (walk away from my children to focus on my own self-care). The methods we have developed for dealing with stress can be roughly categorized into immediate reactions and longer-term recovery.
The importance of maintaining objectivity.
Recognizing that children are, first and foremost, children have been an immediate response that has helped me. Even as children, we face many challenges in life. The emotional maturity and cognitive abilities of toddlers and young children are still developing, so they have no idea how to deal with their feelings or what they’re going through.
Their young age allows me to relax my expectations and show them mercy when it’s warranted. Everybody has their bad days, and it’s impossible to avoid them. Also, remember that you have no power over a child’s feelings. This is why we need to implement methods for relieving stress. Keeping things in perspective can aid in stress management and provide some distance from the developing crisis.
Find out what stresses them out.
My preteen offspring are separated by only 18 months of time. My daughter can be the most chaotic of children, and she always manages to throw off my son, who can be the most laid-back of the bunch. Understanding your children, their personalities, and what motivates them can help you through difficult times. For instance, as a parent, I can now spot the early warning signs of anxiety in my kids. I now know who to approach first and how to deflect criticism. I now understand what sets them off and can often prevent a fight before it even starts. Recognizing the warning signs and developing a strategy to alleviate the stress that comes from your children’s arguments is crucial.
Learn when to walk away.
The ability to walk away from a stressful situation, such as an argument with your child, can be a useful tool for managing anxiety. Anxiety can be treated in many ways, but one of the most effective is to take a break. Relaxing your mind, heart, and muscles is essential. To begin, you must learn to identify the early warning signs of stress and anticipate when your stress will be at its highest. The only way to prevent a stressful situation is to learn to recognize the warning signs of stress in ourselves. Consider the physical manifestations of stress first. You may feel your heart rate increase, your body temperature rise, and the urge to fidget set in. Recognizing these signals will help you know when it’s time to withdraw.
Consider starting to walk if you currently don’t. Something as simple as going for a walk can be a great way for parents to deal with stress and anxiety. You should make this stress-reduction activity a regular part of your routine.
Be patient with yourself as you learn to control your feelings in challenging situations. Keep in mind that your first attempt may only sometimes be successful. You can better anticipate and prevent an eruption the more you are able to recognize and articulate your stress levels, even if only to yourself. You will eventually figure out how to deal with stress more effectively. It won’t be perfect, but you’ll learn to deal with stress constructively. Eventually, it will feel entirely second nature to you. My 11 years as a mother taught me the importance of self-care and recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress. A positive development is that I keep improving.
Making time and money available for my own development makes me a more effective parent. Self-care for me consists of creative pursuits like writing and exploring new places. That can mean finding a quiet place to sit for 15 minutes each day. As a form of self-care for my mental health, I like to take weekend road trips with my friends. Given that I am a single parent and my kids spend about half their time with their father, I am able to devote more time and energy to taking care of myself and enjoying the downtime I need to refuel and be a more effective parent. However, that doesn’t mean that parents are the only people who need to practice self-care. Every parent should make an effort to practice self-care, and they can do so with some planning and, often, assistance from others.
Conquering Everyday Anxiety and Stress
Keep in mind that short-term fixes and long-term methods can help you manage the stress you’re feeling right now. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try visualizing how you can incorporate some of these solutions and stress-busting strategies into your daily routine. Take your time with yourself; delays are inevitable. Realize that only some things are within your sphere of influence. There are always going to be responses you can’t anticipate. Just take a deep breath and get some space if you need to. Practice self- and other-forgiveness. Put in the time and effort to take care of yourself every day so you never run out of juice.