Handle Anxiety Attacks as a Parent

2 Jan

Anxiety can happen to anyone, but as a parent, you’re a magnet for your brain going haywire. Sometimes, the anxiety is over a legitimate concern, such as the well-being of your child. Other times, it’s the less likely what ifs and the paranoia over your child that can trigger anxiety attacks. How does one handle anxiety attacks as a parent?

Handle anxiety attacks with help from Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

Let’s get the general anxiety treatments out of the way first. Diet, exercise, getting plenty of sleep, online counseling, and breathing slowly can help with anxiety. However, we are looking for ways specific for parents. Here’s a few:

Write Down All Your Concerns 

We all are a little concerned about our child. If they are entering school, you’re worried that they won’t be treated right, or they won’t do well with their grades. If your child is sick, you wonder if it’s a cold, or something worse. If you suspect your child has ADHD or autism, you may worry about this as well. Sometimes like I used to do, you may worry about intense scenarios, such as someone breaking into your house and kidnapping your child.

Write down all your concerns. Which ones are reasonable? Which ones are unlikely? Which ones can you take action towards, and which ones do you have no control over? For the reasonable ones you have control over, take action. Go see a doctor. Check up on your child at school. For the ones you don’t have control over, realize that worrying can’t change the outcome. It just upsets you more. For the unlikely scenarios, just remember they are unlikely.

Identify Triggers

What triggers your worries and anxiety attacks? For those who worry about their child’s safety, the news can be a trigger. Stay away from stories about bullying on the rise or missing children. If you’re worried about your child’s health, perhaps your own health is a trigger. Write down what you believe triggers your anxiety attacks so you can recognize the trends. Sometimes, these triggers are unavoidable; other times, you can. For unavoidable triggers, you can learn how to manage them.

Take a Break

 Sometimes, you need alone time. You’re working hard as a parent, and it’s okay to leave the kid at their grandparents for the weekend so you can enjoy some alone time. Stress from work and parenting can pent up and trigger your anxiety attacks.

Spend some time for yourself. Go on a mini vacation. Catch up on sleep. Get into a hobby. See some friends. Don’t feel ashamed doing this; it may help you wind down and feel better.

Handle anxiety attacks with help from Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

Talk to Someone

 Don’t be ashamed to tell someone about your worst fears and anxieties as a parent. Your spouse, your parent friends, your pastor, your counselor, trusted friends online; the list goes on. Voicing your anxieties and finding someone who will listen to you can definitely put you at ease.  Don’t keep it all bottled up. Parental anxiety is challenging, but by getting past it, you can grow along with your child.

Guest post: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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