7 Proven Tips for Anxious Parents to Relax
As a parent, you witness a lot of “firsts” in your child’s life: their first steps, their first day of school, their first time riding a bike. It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about these changes - for parents and kids alike. But what if your anxiety gets out of hand? Here are 7 tips to ease your worries.
Parenthood comes with many responsibilities, and worrying about your child’s well-being means that you’re taking your role seriously. That’s a good thing! But if your anxiety becomes all-consuming and uncontrollable, and you are overprotective of your child, you might consider taking some steps to alleviate it.
1. Accept your anxiety
Simply telling yourself to stop worrying so much won’t do the trick. Instead, a good first step to cope with your parental anxiety is to accept it. Acknowledge your fears and give them space to exist. This way, your anxiety may have less power over you.
2. Be proactive
Find solutions to the things you’re anxious about. Are you concerned about your child looking at age-inappropriate online content? Install Ohana and block apps and websites you don’t want your child to see. But keep in mind to not overprotect your child. For example, not allowing your child to use a device at all is a step too much.
3. Learn about child development
Parental anxiety starts with a self-made pressure to get it all right and be the perfect parent. Reading about child development can be a good strategy to feel more confident about your parenting skills. There are plenty of books on parenting so be sure to choose science-based literature.
4. Practice self-care
It’s been scientifically proven that exercise and meditation are great for reducing stress and anxiety. So go for a walk, go to the gym, do yoga, or practice mindfulness. You could also try breathing exercises to calm the nervous system and get immediate relief.
5. Talk to other parents
You’re not the only parent facing challenges and talking (and venting) with other parents you trust can ease your anxiety. Discuss possible solutions to your problems instead of just dwelling on your worries.
6. Teach your kid about safety
If you’re worried about your child’s online safety, start a conversation about this topic. Talk to them about the risks and set clear boundaries.
7. Get professional help
If your anxiety is reaching levels that are preventing you from functioning (e.g. sleep deprivation, depression) and taking care of your child, consider talking to a mental health professional. Even if your anxiety is not that severe, it may feel good to talk to an expert about your concerns.