One of the most common health issues I see in my office is anxiety. Anxiety might not be the reason that someone seeks out my help—but there is always anxiety surrounding the many health care issues my patients present with.
Acupuncture is an amazing modality to lower anxiety, however I always use it in conjunction with lifestyle modifications—as this combined approach really makes an overall difference in my patients’ quality of life.
To make it easy for busy moms like yourself, I’ve made it so that these lifestyle adjustments can be easily incorporated into your hectic life.
Here are my top tips for naturally lowering anxiety:
1. One sentence journal.
Each night before you go to sleep, take literally two minutes to write one sentence:
“I have a lot on my plate and it will all get done, but for now I am giving myself permission to the let these things go so I can get the rest I need to be the best I can be.”
This may sound trite (and I suppose it kind of is); however, it works. I really see a difference in my patients (and in myself) when they give themselves permission to let go of all the things on their to-do list and all of the things they are worrying about. Give it a shot. It certainly can’t hurt.
I know life is insanely hectic and there is barely enough time in the day to get it all done, but as I said above, you must first give yourself permission to let things go; and then secondly, you must try to get a minimum of six hours of sleep. Ideally we should be sleeping seven to eight hours, but I know that isn’t always doable. So shoot for six and feel good about it!
3. Drop the guilt.
So often I see busy moms feeling guilty for pretty much everything. A mantra I want you to adopt is, “I am where I am supposed to be and I am doing the best I can.” Period. As a psychotherapist once said to me, “Guilt sucks and it gets you nowhere. In fact, it gets you further from where you want to be.” Isn’t that the truth?! So find a way to be kind to yourself; find a way to be forgiving of yourself; find a way to appreciate yourself and all the hard work you are putting in everyday.
4. Practice gratitude.
In my first book, Chill Out and Get Healthy, I offer many tips for lowering anxiety. However, one of my all-time favorites is the grati- text.
Find a buddy to text with daily – and each day you both have to send one text that says, “I am grateful for _______________”. Fill in the blank. It can be something as simple as, “I am grateful for the six hours of sleep I got last night” to something more specific like, “I am grateful for the fact that my child only got one cold this winter.” In all the chaos of life, we must force ourselves to slow down enough to see all the good – as there is so much of it.
Another common cause of anxiety is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that usually results from not eating enough throughout your day. One tip I always have for busy moms on the go is to snack throughout the day. Even if that snack is four almonds first things in the morning (almonds are amazing at keeping your blood sugar even) or a hard boiled egg (have them prepared and sitting in your fridge so you can grab them on the go) or a piece of fruit. Snack on the food you are preparing for your kids. And, if you are dealing with anxiety, try your best to have some sort of protein in your mouth every two-three hours. This can be a handful of nuts, a scoop of nut butter or hummus or 2-3 ounces – which is about the size of your palm – of animal protein. Eating throughout the day will keep your blood sugar even and your anxiety at bay.
6. Don’t forget to take care of YOU.
Of course, people tell you this all the time, but how often do you do it? I really see a difference in moms who carve out time in their crazy schedules to go to the gym, take a yoga class, breathe for five minutes, get acupuncture or a massage. And now, during the coronavirus pandemic, this may seem even more challenging – but many wellness practitioners are offering their services online to help you stay sane while social distancing. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to add something to your schedule, but that time for you will make such a difference in not only your anxiety levels, but in your ability to be present as a mother, partner, friend and any other “hat” you wear throughout your day.
OK, now take a deep breath, say something nice to yourself and find a way to make a little time for YOU. You deserve it!
Read Next | Self-Care for Moms with Anxiety
Licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and book author Aimee E. Raupp is a women’s health and fertility expert. Her growing practice focuses on improving health and beauty, preventing disease and increasing fertility among women whose health and wellness are challenged by the demands, stressors and imbalances of Western culture. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @aimeeraupp.
Like what you read? JOIN the Mommybites community to get the latest on FREE online classes, parenting advice, events, childcare listings, casting calls & raffles, and our Parents With Nannies Facebook group. SIGN UP NOW!