It’s no secret that single moms face an intense amount of stress and pressure. If you’re a single mom yourself, you know how overwhelming it can be to manage parenting, work, and family life, let alone your own mental health needs.
Feeling stressed by all the demands of single motherhood is completely understandable. However, if your anxiety feels consuming and gets in the way of you being able to enjoy life, there might be something deeper at play.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that over 30% of adults in the United States will experience an anxiety disorder at some point throughout their lives.
The feeling of anxiety is a natural part of the human experience. It sends us into fight or flight mode when we’re in a dangerous situation, which can help to keep us safe from potential threats.
However, that response isn’t as helpful in our day-to-day lives when we aren’t typically faced with life-or-death situations. Anxiety can take a toll on our mental and physical health if left unchecked.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Each person has a unique experience with anxiety. With that being said, there are some common symptoms identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which therapists use to diagnose anxiety and other mental health issues. These symptoms include:
- Excessive worry that’s present most days for several months
- Difficulty managing the worry thoughts
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep
Keep in mind that there are a variety of other symptoms that a person with anxiety might experience. Difficulty relaxing, racing thoughts and physical symptoms such as stomach issues and headaches are also very common.
Managing Anxiety as a Single Mom
As a single mom, you already have so much on your plate. It can be difficult to carve out the time you need to take care of yourself.
This is completely understandable, and at the same time, you deserve to feel grounded in your daily life. Next time you feel anxiety kick in, try one of these simple strategies to help you feel better.
Strategies to Cope with Anxiety
Managing anxiety is a journey that takes time and patience. Some tools might work instantly, while others may take more practice.
Some might be a good fit for your needs and lifestyle, and others may not resonate with you. Take what works and leave what doesn’t.
When we feel anxious, we often get wrapped up in our thoughts, which leaves us disconnected from our environment. Grounding skills are meant to engage all of your senses in order to help you get out of your head.
There are tons of different grounding exercises you can try next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re unsure where to start, try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. This involves noticing five things you can see, four things you touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
Spending Time Outdoors
The healing power of nature is real. In fact, studies show that even spending 10-20 minutes outside can have a positive impact on a person’s mental and physical health.
This research shows that time in nature is associated with decreased heart rate and blood pressure, improvement in mood, feelings of comfort and calmness, and more. Bonus: you can get outside with your children so they can reap the benefits as well!
Breathing exercises are another simple yet effective way to manage anxiety. When we feel anxious, we often take shallow, restricted breaths or even hold our breath.
By taking slow, deep breaths, you can activate your body’s natural calming responses.
There are many different types of breathing exercises. Some people prefer to make their inhales and exhales equal.
Having a visual cue, such as tracing up one side of a finger to inhale and tracing down the other side to exhale, can help you regulate your breathing.
Online Therapy for Single Moms can Help you Feel More in Control
Finding the time to focus on yourself is difficult, especially as a single parent. Finding a reputable online therapist can help you get your life back on track. Don’t wait, overcome your anxiety today.