You think you know what high anxiety is until you become a mother. Suddenly, you’re not only responsible for yourself, but also a small human that now fully depends on you for food, sleep and love. This new life leads to many "What if’s?" With every new family visit and doctor’s appointment, your worries just grow bigger, you become more stressed, and the feeling of losing yourself becomes more of a reality.
5 Ways To Find Calm When The World Seems Chaotic
Dr. Irene Yaymadjian, PsyD., LMFT
But, you do the best you can. That’s all anyone can ask for right? You even try to cope with this new chapter in your life by seeing your therapist for mental support, joining your nearest mommy fitness class for physical support, and maybe even trying to take your little one to a mommy-and-me class just to avoid losing your mind at home listening to the wiggles for 20 hours a day.
Here are 5 ways to find calm when the world seems chaotic:
1. Don't stop doing normal things that helped you achieve happiness. Remember, your immune system is EVERYTHING and stress is the number one thing that reduces your immune system. What are those things that make you happy? Figure out ways to continue them while social distancing.
2. Allow yourself to get sun. Continue your mommy and me classes, attend your fitness sessions, continue to see your therapist. You can still partake in all of the things that helped you throughout the hardest times – Only virtually now. Take your computer outside and do them in the sun for that dose of much needed vitamin D.
3. Reduce reading online posts, watching the news, and scrolling through Instagram by at least 60%. Social media has given us a platform to spread information, however a lot of times the information we read is not credible and the sources are non-reliable. Try to monitor the time you spend scrolling and reduce it by engaging in other activities that boost your mood.
4. Facebook is NOT a reliable source of medical advice. I cannot emphasize this enough. I have mothers who come into my office frustrated, scared, and feeling bullied by things they have read, and group members who have made them feel judged. Better yet, talk to your doctors, do your own research, stick to reliable sources like the CDC webpage, and please, avoid Wiki anything.
5. Be kind. Be patient. Be assertive. These days everyone has an opinion. It's okay to assert yourself to your in-laws and friends when/if you feel judged. Avoid the negative talk on Facebook groups and treat yourself kindly. I see it in all the moms I work with and I find it sad that the people closest to them don't acknowledge the great work that moms are doing. You know what is best for you and your baby.
If you are having trouble dealing with anxiety due to Coronavirus and need support contact Hillside Wellness Center in Sherman Oaks at 818.849.6888. They offer a free first session to mothers dealing with anxiety and depression due to the current state we are in.
Remember: You're not alone, you don't have to be alone, there is so much support, all you have to do is make the phone call.
About the Author: Dr. Yaymadjian is the founder of Hillside Wellness Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women struggling with pre & postpartum depression, trauma, and sexual assault survivors. She has extensive training in addiction, and trauma and has a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University’s Psychology program and Pacific Oaks College.