Anxiety can be a big issue for many new parents and looking after your mental health at this vulnerable time is very important. Here are some tips that might help you to cope with new parent anxieties.
You may find that you find anxiety a lot harder to deal with when suffering from a lack of sleep. We know that sleep deprivation comes with the territory of new parenthood, but if you’re finding yourself overwhelmed, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help. If you’re not comfortable yet with leaving your baby overnight with someone else, try asking a parent or trusted friend to watch your little one even for just a few hours while you get some much needed rest.
Something to try if you’ve not yet is meditation. As little as 10 minute a day can really help to cope with your anxiety and reframe your outlook. There are lots of resources online to help you get started. Check out Headspace’s meditation for parents here.
Fresh air and exercise
Getting outside for a walk and some gentle exercise will be incredibly beneficial to both you and your baby. Soaking up some fresh air and sunlight, as getting exercise can help a lot in coping with anxiety and stress – as well as helping you to not feel cooped up at home, and to soothe a crying baby.
If you’re feeling isolated, which is particularly prevalent in recent times, there are plenty of resources available to you to help you meet other new parents who may be feeling similarly. If you’re not feeling up to social gatherings at the moment, or struggling to find any that are running in person at the moment there are also online forums and support groups available. Why not take a look at these resources for finding both online and in-person support groups for new parents?
Enjoy the little things
Don’t forget to enjoy your time with your newborn! If things start to feel overwhelming, focus on the parts of your life that have changed for the better – your new baby. Remember to sing songs, and play and have close bonding time with your baby – it can be easy to forget to enjoy these moments when we feel stressed or anxious.
Don’t take on too much
You’ve got a new life to look after, and it’s okay that they’re your complete focus. Don’t worry about the laundry that hasn’t been done, or the washing up that’s still waiting. You can’t be expected to keep up with all the housework and chores as well as being a new parent. It’s completely okay to not be superhuman. Look after yourself and your little one, and the rest will come with time. Try not to stress about everything you’ve not done yet, and focus on what you have achieved.