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My Life and Learning How-To Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Anger

July 13, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

(This post contains amazon affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the link.)

(Disclosure: I am not a trained medical professional. Results are not guaranteed and vary from person to person. This blog is based solely on my own personal experiences.)

 

If you read my previous blog How-To Open Up you’ll know that I live a life with ANXIETY. 

But what I learned on this anxiety adventure, is that in my case it’s not solely anxiety.

For me it’s a combination of STRESS, ANXIETY and ANGER. They all play a part on my daily life. There is rarely only one. Sometimes there’s two and other times there’s all three.

About 10 years ago anxiety joined my life after the passing of my younger brother due to CANCER. He was 22 years old at the time. Up until then you could say that I lived a carefree life. I wasn’t worried about whether or not I would fall off a highway or drown while at the beach or if my child would get hurt.

About a year after my brother passed I had my first child, Maianna. People often tell you that your life will never be the same. Boy were they right!

I was in my 2nd year of teaching and that in itself was another adventure.

You could say that I was the typical new mom. Trying to do everything perfect. Trying my best so that she wouldn’t get any scrapes or bumps. Trying to prevent her from touching anything germy. Trying to introduce new solid foods in the order suggested by the doctor.

So at that time I had anxiety about the typical new mom kinda things.

Fast forward to two years later, I was expecting my 2nd child. Again, people often told me, your life will never be the same. It’s totally different when you have two. Again, they were right!

At the time of my 2nd child we had already moved home to Kauai and I was a preschool special education teacher.

Let me tell you something. It’s difficult being a teacher. It’s just as difficult being a special education teacher. It’s even more difficult being a preschool special education teacher.

Although I loved being a preschool teacher these little ones needed love and attention from the start til the end of the school day.  We worked on potty training, sitting nicely, playing nicely, communication, behavior. Every moment in the class was a teaching moment.

I would leave at the end of the day absolutely drained. I would pick up my two little ones and have no energy or patience for them. I would be so tired that I would catch myself yelling and screaming for the littlest things. I found I had no energy to provide them the care and nurture that they needed to develop and grow.

One day I realized that it wasn’t fair to my own children. Although I loved teaching preschool, it just wasn’t the right time. I needed to do what was best for them.

I went on to become a District Special Education Resource Teacher. This meant that I would be working with adults more. Who knew that this job would be by far more stressful than any other job I had. But if I wasn’t teaching little ones then I would have more patience and energy for my own children right? Wrong!

It took me a lot of contemplating till I finally saw a doctor. After speaking with him he prescribed a very low dose of antidepressants.

After about a year I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd. I wasn’t about to chance anything so I stopped taking my medication. I made my husband aware so that he could monitor me.

Not sure why, but I had  a miscarriage. People often say that “it was meant to be”. Till this day I still don’t know what they mean.

I surprised myself and was able to get through it without going back on medication. I’m glad because a coupLe months later I was pregnant again.

This time I had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to my 3rd child.

Fast forward again to a year ago. I now had 4 children, a working husband (5am-1:30pm), same stressful job, and a million and one extracurricular activities. Activities such as hula, dance class, soccer, cub scouts, PTSA committee, relay for life team, etc.

I was losing my temper, yelling, crying, scratching my body, and distant. I was very short with my children and they would sometimes have fearful reactions when I was at my lowest.

My anxiety also sky rocketed. I finally realized I needed to do something when I noticed that I would drive and speed past a bridge on my daily route home just in case the bridge broke and we fell into the water. If there was traffic I would wait at one end till I knew I could cross to the other end very quickly.

Was I crazy? Was I an unfit parent? Maybe I am since this is happening again?

I needed to get a grip on everything immediately.

I wish that I could tell you that I am doing perfectly fine and everything is all good. Well I can’t. But I can tell you what I’ve been doing and what you may want to try to make each day a little bit better for yourself and your family.

    1. Take care of yourself-Easier said than done right?! Well it’s a must! Do something you enjoy. Read a book, take a nap, walk on the beach, spend time with close friends, have date night with your significant other (even if all you do is talk about the children that drive you crazy).
    2. Exercise-I noticed that on days I didn’t squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise I was quite short with my family. If I exercise before picking everyone up in the pm I end up being much more patient. My goal is to exercise at least 3 times a week. Check out my blog on How-To Get a Kick Start to a Healthier Life. Making healthier choices does play a role on stress, anger and anxiety. 
    3. Talk to a doctor-Talking to your doctor can be scary. I have to admit that it was a relief to finally take that first step towards taking care of myself. I’m not saying that you need to ask for medication. All I’m saying is to seek professional help. 
    4. Say no-If you’re anything like me you are totally stressed from taking on more than you can handle. Don’t beat yourself up trying to be the perfect mom, dad, husband, wife, etc. I thought that giving my children the best life meant being involved in any activity and volunteering for everything and anything. Well I was wrong. Because I took on too much it prevented me from being the best mom possible.
    5. Reminder of some sort-A while back I saw an article about a mom who thought of a rubber band idea to try to keep calm and to try to have a positive relationship with her children. If you google “rubber band anger management” there are many different articles that are all quite similar. You start with some kind of visual (rubber band) on one hand. If you lose your temper with one of your kids (or any other loved one) you move that rubber band to your other hand. 5 positive actions must be done in order to move the rubber band back to home base (e.g. compliments, alone time, apologizing, etc.) I loved the idea. But I added my own crafty twist. Simple beaded bracelets or essential oil bracelets added some fashion. Add your favorite essential oil to these bracelets that I love (Lava Bead BraceletMana Vibes BraceletGreen & Lava Rock BraceletRainbow Essential Oil Bracelet).  

 

(This post contains amazon affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the link.)

(Disclosure: I am not a trained medical professional. Results are not guaranteed and vary from person to person. This blog is based solely on my own personal experiences.)

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hanaya602
Guest

Do you feel any better with regards to your stress, anxiety or even anger after writing this? I only ask because I’m also a parents to two teenagers and I know how rough it can get. Sometimes even writing stuff with regard to it or not helps. I truly feel for you but I’m very impressed with how you’re able to carry on about this stuff through your writing. I wish you the best of luck on a daily basis. Good article by the way…keep up the good work.

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