What do you do when the world terrifies you?
Motherhood is one big giant ball of insecurity and doubt. Now let me tell you what they do not tell you about having children. Remember all of those times in your twenties that you were carefree? All you had to worry about was setting your alarm, feeding yourself, and paying a handful of bills? Of course those were simpler times, but were you worried? Could you easily forget something and not worry about it? Guess what? Having kids means never having a moment where you can not worry about them. Never a moment where they are not one deep breath away from the surface of your thoughts. Even when they are grown up you will worry about them. For the rest of your life.
Now there are school shootings, bullying, texting and driving, deadly food allergies, and hate…. so many elements that are new and more complicated than the generations of parents before you. What to do with all of this anxiety? How do you let them fly and grow when all you want to do is hunker down, cover them in bubble wrap, and protect them with every bit of tiger mom in you?
Personally, I was never a worrier. Actually I probably was but it was masked in naivety. I didn’t know that my natural empathy would wreck me some day. Every time something bad happens since the moment I found out I was pregnant with my oldest I have found myself immobilized with fear and anxiety. Things that are 100% out of my control as well as the things I can control cause me endless hours of concern and worry. As a naturally laid back person in my pre-mommy life I was desperately ill equipped to handle anxiety. I simply didn’t have the tools built in.
What is grounding?
Other than wine, I have found one of the only things that helps bring me back from the edge of incompacity is grounding. It was after the shooting at Pulse when we lost our friend Cory Connell that my anxiety hit an all time high. It was hard to comprehend that someone I hoped my boys could grow up idolizing was now gone. He also reminded me a lot of my younger brother. The idea that such a good man was gone was/is horrific. That is when I found out about grounding. When in the middle of an anxiety attack it is terribly hard to know what to do to help yourself. These easy to remember steps not only help but are accessible when the world feels a bit too much.
• Look around you
• Find 5 things you can SEE
4 things you can TOUCH
3 things you can HEAR
2 things you can SMELL
1 thing you can TASTE
• Look around you again and see if you feel you have regained control of your surroundings.
Has this helped you? I hope it has. I am not a medical professional and my advice should not the only help you seek if you are feeling anxiety. Please seek out family, friends, and trained professionals for more help and tools to help you move forward in healing.