What, me worry?

I read an article yesterday about how just the act of worrying makes people miserable. Great! Now I can add the effect of worrying to my list of worries!

If you asked me a year ago if I was a worrier, I would have said no. Definitively no. I know that I can’t predict or avoid the pitfalls, and there will be pitfalls, so I don’t (usually) spend time on them before I have to.

Enter the crazy of parenting. It starts at birth. There is a real chance that one or both of us could die! If you’re lucky enough to bring home that baby, you can then shift your focus to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Just the words are terrifying! Death could befall your beloved Infant Suddenly, and it happens with enough frequency to be a Syndrome. BTW no one knows why it happens and there’s little advice for how to prevent it. Then, I’m not talking to my child enough. Not stimulating her synapses to fully develop her brain. Not paying enough attention to her. Not loving her enough.

You see how quickly I deteriorate. So instead of searching for advice that becomes lists of things I’m doing wrong, I’ve been looking for ways to manage worry. We’re never going to get everything “right,” because there is not one “right.” (Just because I can write it doesn’t mean I believe it. But I’m trying.)

Here’s the best advice I’ve culled from our friend, Internet. I hope it’s helpful to you. If you think of something else that helps you, please share it!

1.      Designate a worry zone. This chair or corner is where you’ll do your worrying, which helps to confine the worry and not let it pervade your life.

2.      Breathe. In and out, verrrry slowly. Again and again.

3.      Set a worry timer. For the next five minutes, you have permission to worry! Go nuts! Then let’s shut it off.

4.      Observe. When your mind is in a worry loop, catch yourself. Bring yourself back to the present. Look around, smell the air, listen.

5.      Write it down. Getting it out of your head and onto paper helps make the worry more concrete and allows you to stop cycling it in your head.

6.      Move! Get your blood moving and the oxygen flowing. Even a ten-minute walk around the block has done me wonders. The change of scenery, the fresh air, the people I encounter, everything helps.

7.      Be compassionate to you. Accept that you’ll worry. And it’s okay. (I find this particularly difficult.)

Was any of this helpful? Or, what works for you? How do you cope with worry?

Andrea Lee is a mom who’s winging it, just like everyone else. 

Tags: This Week in Moms, Mom, Mother, parent, parenting, baby, Kid, child, Children, Family, the y, YMCA, youth development, advice, calm, peace of mind, acceptance

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