I have dealt with anxiety my entire life. I am a worrier and pretty high strung by nature. So, when I got pregnant, the anxiety obviously stuck around. For the first few days and weeks of Luna’s life, I barely slept. When you don’t sleep, your anxiety sky rockets and everything just feels worse than it is. I don’t think I ever had PPD, but I do think my anxiety peaked around a week after she was born. I constantly monitored her breathing and even held her for the majority of the time without sleeping.
Being a new mom is tough. It is something that I am still getting used to and still hanging on by a thread every single day. I didn’t want to start my blog to tell other moms how to do something or come across like I have the answers to anything, because I don’t! I am making it through each day at a time and learning as I go. I do love the connections in the blogging world. I love meeting first time moms, especially those with anxiety, and commiserating together. I am still working through one worry every single day over my daughter, but there are a few things that have helped me.
The first was sleep. I know everyone says sleep when the baby sleeps, but for every mother that is almost impossible. I have had a few friends do it and it really is great advice. But, if you are like me, that’s almost impossible to do. I asked several friends and family members (and my husband) to come and hold her while I was able to squeeze in a few hours.
Exercise. I was a runner before getting pregnant and I stopped running around week 10 of my pregnancy just from anxiousness and nerves. Looking back I am glad I had a break from running, but do wish I had kept up with exercise. I have slowly started to run again, and am planning a new blog post with my ease back into running! But, I have really really noticed a change in my mood and anxiety when I take some time to exercise.
Journaling. I started a journal for myself when I was pregnant, because shockingly enough, I was worried through a lot of my pregnancy. I really enjoyed being pregnant, so looking back it makes me angry at myself that I allowed so much worry to consume it. But, journaling helps me to write down silly worries and see that they are not and have not all happened. Everything I worry about doesn’t come true just because I worry. And worrying changes nothing, so writing it down is almost like releasing it into the pages. It helps me to write it and move on.
Find your support. Whether this is your family, your husband, your dog, or a counselor. Find someone who you feel comfortable opening up to. Find someone who you trust and can serve as a sounding board. You may not need advice, you may just need someone who will listen. I feel that when I say my worries and anxieties aloud, they often don’t seem so scary.
Now, I have no where NEAR come out of anxiety filled days and nights. There are still days all the time that I worry constantly. There are times at the end of the day I feel overcome with worry and anxiety. But, everyday is a little different. And most days, I try to focus on the positive things in life. But, these few things generally help me if I am having a rough day.