Don’t let feelings of anxiety ruin your day.
I’m currently on maternity leave and trying to enjoy every moment. Unfortunately, I find myself having feelings of anxiety and being restless at home with my newborn. I sometimes wish I could go back to work (crazy, I know)!
I’ve learned that being uncomfortable or restless in a situation usually means there’s some sort of underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
But how do we figure out what they are, exactly?
It’s human nature to want to run away from uncomfortable feelings. We are born into a world of beings that have been taught for generations to push aside these feelings of anxiety instead of dealing with them. Why? Because society sees it as weak and vulnerable and (oh no!) we can’t be seen as vulnerable. Unfortunately, this way of thinking has led to some very negative reactions from our bodies and minds. We cannot simply push aside negative feelings for fear of being judged. If we don’t address the root causes of the restlessness or anxiety, we can never live a healthy, happy life.
I’m not saying it is easy to feel these feelings of anxiety. It will always take some work to realize where you are, what you’re feeling at the moment and address the issue. I will say it’s worth it, though. It’s worth sacrificing a little time and thought into being more mindful of yourself and your mind. When you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, try one of these steps to help calm your mind:
1. WRITE IT OUT
Whether or not you think of yourself as a writer doesn’t matter. Anyone can write down thoughts on paper, and there’s no right way to do it. Grab a journal or a notebook and just start writing down whatever comes to mind. You can start with a question like “What am I feeling right now?” and see where it takes you. Or, you could just write down a few sentences about your day and see where that goes. The hard part is actually grabbing that pen and starting. You’ll find that once you write a few sentences on paper, the flow will come naturally. Don’t judge yourself or your writing. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or someone seeing it because that will just hinder the process of healing. Start a blog, if you want. Just write!
Some people think of meditation as this weird concept they don’t understand. That only yogis and childless people can do it. While meditation can be a very elaborate ritual to some, it really just boils down to one thing: being mindful of your MIND. We live in a world that’s constantly on the go, with no time for inner reflection. How can you be the best version of yourself when you don’t even know who you are? Carve out a few minutes of your day to sit or lay down and just be. No tablet, no phone, no book. If any thoughts come to mind, just think about them being wrapped into a bubble and floating away into space. Just keep doing that so your mind doesn’t completely settle on a thought. Before you know it, you’ll be relaxed and free from feelings of anxiety, if not asleep!
3. GET OUT INTO NATURE
For some people, being outside is as natural as eating. For others, it can be hard to get yourself off the couch. If you belong to the latter group, I’ve got a solution: take a walk! Around the block, around the town lake, anywhere. It’s easy to do and just as recharging as a hike. Being outside instantly lifts your mood and spirits, if you give it a chance. You can even sit on your stoop and take a look around at the birds, the people and the cars.
4. CONSIDER OUTSIDE HELP
Sometimes, our feelings of anxiety can become so overwhelming that it feels as if we’ll never get away from it. At this point, you may want to consider scheduling time with a therapist to get to the root causes that you don’t want to face. There’s still a stigma out there about accepting help, but more people than you’d think get help. Keeping it quiet only makes things worse.
I know it’s hard to carve out time and space daily when you have a family, but it’s essential to take care of yourself if you expect to take care of others. Doing these things will help you face yourself and figure out what’s bothering you so you can move on with your day, happily. It’s doable, you just have to want it!
Feel free to leave other ideas in the comments section below! 🙂