Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Tips For Moms With Anxiety

Guest blog post by Jill Greene

As a mom of 2 who suffers from anxiety, summer can be a bit much for me. Although I love the fact that my girls are home, the general unstructured nature of summer vacation can leave me feeling anxious and more prone to panic attacks. At the same time, I know this is such a wonderful time of year and I want to enjoy it regardless of anxiety. It is in this spirit that I gathered these tips for a happy summer for anxious moms everywhere..

1. Have a schedule and stick to it. If you're home with your kids in the summer, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This helps keep your hormones balanced and can promote feelings of well being. It may be tempting to sleep in or stay up all night, but if you are prone to anxiety or panic attacks, a regular sleeping schedule is super important.

2. Have your children on a schedule too. Of course you don't want to be a drill sergeant, but a general schedule is good for kids of all ages. My older girl is a teen and would sleep all day if I let her. Giving the kids age appropriate chores that they must do to contribute to the household is a great way for them to feel that what they does matters. Keep a chart and use stickers for the little ones. Running the household is everyone's
responsibility in the family and so all members can- and should contribute.

3. Get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Take walks with the kids and the dog if you have one. Go before the hottest times of the day. Early morning or evening walks are a wonderful way to get some exercise and share family time together too. You can go to parks, hiking trails, or even around the neighborhood. Make regular walks together a priority- it's so good for easing stress and anxiety.

4. Don't stress over the social stuff. For some moms, summer is a time to party and hang out. As someone with anxiety attacks, this is not something I find enjoyable, especially when there is a lot of drinking involved. If you are invited to big get togethers with freinds, it's okay to limit your time there so that you feel comfortable. I like to go to parties early and socialize before the booze and drinking shenanigans begin.

5. Take extra good care of yourself. Commit to spending a few minutes each day doing deep breathing exercises, or contemplating loving, healing thoughts in quiet meditation. If you belong to a gym, this is an excellent time to start a yoga practice. Also remember to cut back on caffeine and refined sugar, as these can make you jittery.

6. Please try to enjoy yourself. Whether you spend your time dreading each day or really tring to make the most of the hot days with your kids, the fact is, summer will go by in a flash. I spent many a summer when my girls were younger just wishing the days away and I regret it now. If your anxiety tends to flare up during summer vacation, use these tips to help you feel better. Know that your anxiety may wax and wane, and you can choose to make the best out of this wonderful time of the year.

Jill Green is a mom, wife, and recovering anxious woman who writes an anxiety self help blog. Please read her Panic Away review for more information on the program that helps her overcome panic attacks. If you struggle with panic, there is hope, there is help!

Thank you, Jill, for sharing your story and tips with the readers of Mommy Rantings!

How do you handle the stress of summer?

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