Jun-28-2013

Moms feel anxiety, but why wine won’t help

wine cheers

Many moms of preschool/elementary school-aged children are overworked, over-scheduled, have over-scheduled kids and continuously feel they are not doing enough. Their levels of stress are over-the-top based, in part, on their unattainable high expectations of themselves.

wine with baby

When they’re not worrying about the health and well-being of their kids, moms are critically evaluating their parenting skills. For some moms taking anti-anxiety medication or drinking alcohol has become a way of life. Many moms have said that this has helped them cope better and be better moms.

Chardonnay play dates, mothering with a buzz, prescription or recreational drug use, and food binges point to self-medication as the anti-stress lubricant for today’s moms. This comes at a time when here have been increased reports of depression in women, and new parents are reporting symptoms of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.

The “wine makes us better moms” culture has roots in the fact that women are hard-wired to crave close friendships. Taking care of young children can be tough and isolating. We long for the community of friends that can reduce stress and facilitate connection. Sharing a bottle of wine may produces feelings of warmth and relaxation, but for many moms self-medication may get out of control. Danger can exist especially if driving and transporting children are included.

Self-care beats self-medication. Here proven stress-busters to help moms reduce stress and offer a healthier form of self-medication:

Self-care

Nothing beats a healthful diet, sufficient sleep (although that may be a tough aspiration with small children), and exercise. Take a walk–it can do wonders for your level of stress.

Self-time

Pencil in some “white space” to enable finding even a few minutes in the day for reflection, deep breathing, journaling or just time to “be.”

Cultivate a passion or a hobby

Having some interest or passion outside your family is a great way to alleviate stress in your life and also a way of enriching your experiences. It doesn’t matter whether your interests are botany, birds, yoga, tap dancing or pastels.

Keep reading and listening to music

Research has shown that reading works to calm frazzled nerves and so does listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea.

Learn a few self-relaxation exercises:

Teaching yourself some deep breathing and relaxation exercises can be extremely effective in handling depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders.

Seek help

If you think self-medication is becoming a problem, consider talking over your stress with a psychologist who may be able to help you resolve issues that may be at the bottom of your anxieties, and teach you some useful tools to better cope.

Photos by carmenn and thirteen of clubs via Flickr

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3 Responses to “Moms feel anxiety, but why wine won’t help”

  1. Karen Summers   August 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I do agree that resorting to wine is definitely not the answer, for any type of anxiety. However, in my own experience, prescription anxiety medications can be helpful in the short term while psychological help has yet to fully take effect. I do not mean abuse of prescription drugs of course.

  2. Dr. Rogers   July 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Great article. I will recommend this to my patients. Thanks for sharing

  3. alarmas para el hogar   July 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Moms feel anxiety, but why wine won’t help | Your Mind Your Body, ¿Puedes aportar más?, me resulta didactico esta post. Saludos.

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