Anxiety disorders are extremely challenging and scary to live with, making seemingly simple tasks seem unsurmountable. How are you supposed to balance school, work, family, social obligations, making decisions, and more without panicking? Even with ongoing mental health treatment, managing an anxiety disorder is a lifelong effort.
Adding children into the mix brings another layer of complexity to managing an anxiety disorder. Learning how to be a parent with anxiety may seem like an impossible task, but, with the right help, treatment, and support, it’s more than feasible. It may take some extra effort and intentionality to do, but you can develop the tools and skills necessary to manage your condition and still be present for your children.
Recognize (and Respect) Your Limits
At times, every parent feels the need to be a super parent, meeting their child’s every need without flinching. But everyone has their limits, whether they’re struggling with anxiety or not.
Learning how to be a parent with anxiety means recognizing and respecting your limits and setting the necessary boundaries. Pushing yourself past your limits will only be detrimental to your mental health.
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Make Caring for Yourself a Top Priority
As a parent, it’s natural to put your child’s well-being before your own. Sometimes it’s necessary to forgo your needs in favor of your children’s, but that doesn’t apply when it comes to caring for yourself regarding your anxiety and your mental health. Understanding how to be a parent with anxiety is like when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant insists you put on your oxygen mask first; you must take care of yourself so you can be present and active in your child’s life.
Sometimes parents see accepting help as a sign that they can’t do their job alone and that they’re bad parents, but that’s simply not true. Everyone needs help at times, especially when you’re a parent struggling with anxiety. As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and that’s especially true when living with an anxiety disorder. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help when you need it.
Seek Mental Health Treatment
Mental health treatment should be at the center of your plan for learning how to cope as a parent living with anxiety. It’s a vital part of ensuring your oxygen mask is in place before trying to help your child with theirs. Seeking mental health treatment ensures you have the ongoing support necessary to manage your mental health while providing a safe, supportive environment for your children.
If you’re wondering how to be a parent with anxiety, finding help from a program like Lifeskills South Florida is a great first step. Working with a therapist can help you identify how best to regulate your symptoms and provide a safe, supportive environment for your children. To learn more about how mental health treatment can help you manage an anxiety disorder as a parent, call us today at 954-953-1742 or fill out our contact form.