Every new parent’s journey is different and first-time jitters are completely normal. The first step in conquering new parent anxiety is acknowledging your feelings and understanding that feeling a little uncertain during this transitory period is okay.
Understand Your Anxiety
The best way to understand your anxiety is by paying attention to how you react to your surroundings. As you go about your day, take note of what triggers your stress and try to dissect why it makes you anxious. If possible, remove your triggers from your routine. If the triggers are unavoidable, try a few relaxation and coping methods to calm yourself and clear your mind.
Take Care of Yourself
Although nurturing a new life can take up a large chunk of your day, it is essential to make time for yourself and rest along the way. According to parents.com, scheduling self-care days to destress and maintaining relationships with friends to keep a steady support system can ensure you don’t fully let go of the time you used to have for yourself.
Whether it’s making time to enjoy a hobby or taking thirty seconds to practice mindful breathing, take a beat to reset your mind and center yourself. For example, try the four-seven-eight breathing technique. Inhale slowly for four seconds, hold for seven and exhale slowly for eight seconds.
When caring for a newborn, no day looks the same, but creating a consistent schedule can make your world feel more organized. Working around a newborn’s sleep schedule is crucial for any new parent’s success. Huggies.com advises that once a baby is four to six months old, they begin to develop a steady nap routine. Parents can use this routine to structure their day and much needed sleep schedule. Sleeping when your baby sleeps is the best way to ensure you don’t miss out on catching z’s.
It can be overwhelming to step back and look at everything on a new parent’s to-do list. Instead, zoom in on the little things and celebrate every small accomplishment to encourage yourself as you navigate this new journey.
Give it Time
Adjusting to parenthood takes time. Nothing will happen overnight. Give yourself time to grow. Everyone’s journey is different. Most importantly, spare yourself some self-compassion.
Remember, you are not alone in this. Be open with your loved ones about your feelings. Create a conversation with your partner, friends, and family about your anxiety and help them understand what you’re going through. A strong support system can motivate you along your journey and help you feel less alone. If you need additional support, join parenting groups online or use local therapy services like High Expectations Counseling in Orlando, Open Doors Counseling Center in Winter Park, and Abba’s Heart Counseling in Altamonte.