Getting Grounded as a Mom with Mental Illness ( Tips on Dealing with Anxiety and Stress)
Getting grounded sucks when you’re a kid. No video games, no cell phone, and no fun. When you’re an adult, though, getting grounded can take on a whole new meaning. Often, a quite important one for moms with mental illnesses such as Bipolar disorder, one of many anxiety disorders, or even PTSD.
By taking 5 minutes and a few quick steps we can take a minute to center ourselves and return to a state of mindfulness when we feel things getting out of hand. In fact, by using this method it is often possible to diffuse the situation before unwanted outcomes like panic attacks, migraines, or a variety of other health problems start to appear.
The Take 5 Method for Getting Grounded
In just 5 minutes and 6 quick steps, we can look at stressors in our life from a place of mindfulness to identify issues and analyze them and let them go. ( or at least work on coping with them better )
Is there a person who is a stressor for you? By taking time to look closer at these feelings and acknowledging them we can begin to see a situation through another person’s eyes. In doing so we can gain empathy to return to the discussion or situation with a new perspective.
It doesn’t have to change our opinion but every situation or discussion can go smoother when all participants have a true understanding of where others are coming from.
Are your own convictions or opinions causing the stress in a relationship? Are you perhaps treating someone unfairly or holding them to too high of a standard? While nobody wants to be a doormat it is important to remember that everyone is only human.
Is there an aspect of a situation that is causing stress for you? Perhaps your anxiety gets worse when you are in large crowds. I have noticed my anxiety rising a lot in malls. I think with all of the violence in the world these days I have a lot of anxiety over being a bystander to the next big tragedy on the news when someone decides to lose it.
Take the time to understand the biofeedback that your body is giving you in a stressful situation. Is there a sensory overload or another issue that can be corrected or combatted?
Do you find that there is a particular place that you have anxiety or elevated stress? Perhaps being in the car is a trigger for you or even just leaving the house. This is another time that it is important to listen to what your body is telling you. Do you tense up when you are driving? Are you more likely to have a migraine at home or at work? Take notes on these clues to make it easier to avoid or alter any stressors that you can identify.
Do you become more anxious or stressed as the day goes on or does it begin in the morning? By noticing the time of day that you are experiencing more issues you can remove any potential medical issues that are causing underlying problems.
Living with constant daily pain from Fibromyalgia and Lupus, I know to try to get as much as I can done in the morning. After about 3:00 pm my pain levels rise and my give a crap levels drop drastically. I have found that I am more irritable, short-tempered, and anxious during this time. By identifying this I can work to combat any issues that may arise.
Is there an underlying problem from elsewhere that is causing stress to bleed into another situation? Sometimes problems at home can cause issues at work and vice versa. Take a minute to analyze your life and make note of any stressful situations. Are you letting stress from these situations influence your interactions with others? By identifying these stressors we can be more mindful of this when it happens and correct it.
Don’t wait until anxiety and stress rear their ugly head to figure out how to deal with them. Work on finding coping skills like meditation or special breathing that will work for you. This way you will be armed and ready to deal with problems before they become problems grande.
I good exercise I picked up for this is to create a card with a favorite inspirational quote or even a picture of a place or person that brings you joy. Laminate this card and keep it in your purse or wallet. When you need to take a mental health minute whip out your card and give yourself time to breathe and re-center yourself.
Check out 7 Minute Mindfulness : ( a great program for meditation beginners!) Click Here!
The Effects of Stress
In the short term, stress sucks. Anxiety can be my worst enemy some days. However, the long-term effects of elevated stress and severe anxiety can be much more dangerous. When we live in a state of almost chronic increased cortisol ( the stress hormone ) our body begins to function in a state of fight or flight based on the constant demands on the autonomic nervous system.
Because our bodies are working to keep us safe from real or imagined terrors on a constant level they can begin to show signs of wear and tear. This can lead to chronic migraines, muscle tension, heart issues, and much more. Once our bodies begin in this loop it can be hard to work our way back out.
More on Mental Health
For more on anxiety and depression, including bipolar disorder, head over to our spoonies tab. While spoonies are traditionally chronic illness patients I have found a high number of my friends with mental health issues also find themselves with chronic illness issues.
Are you looking for a support group for moms with mental illness or chronic illness? Do you have a child with a mental illness? Join us in our growing Facebook support group for moms with mental illness and mom with children who have a mental illness.
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