Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 – Anxiety
We all know that our mental health has a huge impact on our day to day lives. This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on anxiety. Anxiety can feel overwhelming at times with research showing that 60% of adults suffer with anxiety at some time and for varying periods.
Having a baby is a life changing event filled with joy but there is potential for some or a lot of anxiety as well. Worrying about what to do, how to do it, particularly for first time parents can create feelings of anxiety that can be overwhelming. Having a baby that is uncomfortable, persistently crying and hard to settle can fuel anxiety further and contribute to poor mental health and in some cases postnatal depression in both mothers and fathers.
Most people would say they have experienced anxiety and some are luckily enough for it to pass without impacting daily life. However, for many of us the feelings are hard to cope with and can easily become overbearing if we don’t know how to cope with them.
The Mental Health Foundation have great suggestions to help manage anxiety and we recommended reading their tips here. These are relevant for everyone, and all possible even with a young baby, although sleep and rest might be more of a challenge so see if you can get a friend or family member to help you get some rest in the day when possible.
From our experience, breathing techniques, movement and getting outside can be a hugely positive way to calm your mind and reduce anxiety.
Another important thing to remind yourself is that you’re not alone. As the statistics show, the majority of adults experience anxiety and the dramatic change in life when your baby arrives is not to be underestimated. Sharing your feelings and anxious thoughts with trusted friends and family can really help and also speaking to people with young babies can provide reassurance and maybe some other useful tips too.
If you are finding you are feeling very anxious or struggling, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to your health professionals, contact your GP or Health Visitor and share your concerns and don’t feel guilty about prioritising yourself, your mental health is important.
Here are some useful resources if you want to explore further: Mental Health Foundation, Maternal Mental Health Alliance, Healthwatch, NHS, NCT, Mums Aid. Read more in our blogs about battling parental stress, becoming a dad and the fourth trimester.17 May 2023