The past few months have been hard, really hard. Many of us moms find ourselves exhausted and overwhelmed by our new normal, and our mental health is suffering. But in order to care for our children the best we can, we must first be mindful moms, taking care of ourselves, especially our emotional well being.
NextLevel Urgent Care is here to help, with some great tips on mental health during this trying time.
Self Care Goals
- Mindful moms aim for being a good enough mom – instead of for being the perfect mom.
- Create space in your day for your needs as well. If you are not in a good place, nobody will be.
- Stop the constant worrying. Choose a few issues that really bother you the most and come up with a concrete plan. For example, if you are worried about your loved ones, establish a texting routine every morning to see if anyone is symptomatic and you can then decide what will be your next move based on that.
- If you can, try to help a neighbor or a friend. Helping others is good for your anxiety and emotional well-being.
- The idea that we grow through adversity is not new. During these times we all draw on strength developed from past stressful experiences. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger – as cliché as it is, there is a truth to it. More importantly, research also shows that choosing to see the upside of stress can help you learn and grow. What do you draw on, to find your strength?
- One of the disturbing aspects of the current situation is the uncertainty of the situation. Developmentally we are born into uncertainty – leaving the mother’s womb, where am I going? – and keep on fighting throughout our lives to establish some certainty. It is extremely unsettling to not know where we are going to end up. And that is exactly what we are dealing with today. We are bombarded by the news, social media messages, hypes and rumours which although they are all attempts to establish some certainty – even if they claim the worst, it is trying to bring some certainty – throw us into a more anxiety prone state after all. The only certainty we have is now, in the moment. We are here now. Mindful moms take a breath to acknowledge that. Just breathe. Take things one step at a time, do what you can and do not think about the things we cannot control yet.
Mental Health Coping Strategies for Mindful Moms
Coping is what we do when life happens to us, and some people cope better than others. Here are a few pointers on how to cope with our current situation.
- Accept – When things get tough, human beings tend to look for someone to blame for it. If you are aware that this is what you do, you may harness this tendency better than others.
- Talk – Do not sit with your feelings all bottled up. This is not just a phase. We are knee deep in this situation. We need to process what is coming up in us to be able to go on in a healthy way.
- Connect, connect, connect – This may sound pointless right now, but we need to make the effort to stay in touch with our loved ones even if it is through a phone call or internet. It helps tremendously to feel close to each other and to remember that there are people out there who genuinely care for us.
- Remember, this will pass – Set yourself a realistic timeline, and reorganize your mind accordingly. That will help you maintain an awareness that life is not going to be like this forever. Remain mindful that life is good and precious no matter what. We are in this together. Do not lose your perspective, mindful moms.
Your Reactions are Normal
If you feel anxious all the time – remember that human beings are like pressure cookers. When the pressure cooker’s whistle starts blowing, we do not try to block the whistle with our finger. We turn off the stove, let it cool down a bit and then the whistle slows down and dies off gradually. It is the same for human beings. However, instead of the whistle, we may have different mechanisms. This may present itself as an overwhelming sense of anxiety, repetitive and intrusive thoughts that we cannot get rid of, or an intense pre-occupation with the kids’ stuff or something that may be seen as too much to an outsider. The fact is, you are just showing a normal reaction to a very difficult situation.
Have you been having very negative opinions of others lately? Do you think the way you are being treated is outrageous and you are much better than others? If so, you might be experiencing a “self-righteous” streak. In that case, one might wonder whether or not you have experienced some form of shame recently? Why? Because shame and self-righteousness are intimately connected. When we feel that we were wronged in a relationship, we might experience shame as opposed to anger – with the hope that the other person will make amends. When this does not happen, and we get an opportunity to retaliate, our instinct might be to respond from a self-righteous place instead of a more empathic and compassionate one.
At Houston Moms we take Mental Health Awareness very seriously. We want to make sure that we are all the very best that we can be and that we can get the resources we need. In order to honor this week, we have created this series:: Mindful Moms:: Mental Health Awareness. Enjoy this series and seek help wherever needed to ensure that you are taking care of yourself.