Since having my first baby, I experienced anxiety for the first time. It’s not fair that so many strong, capable, fun and happy women are crippled with the A-word after having children.
If you’ve experienced anxiety, it comes in many forms: panic attacks, shallow breathing and an inability to make conversation (even with your closest friends). It’s different for everyone but when I get it, it feels similar to guilt — like I’ve just cheated on my husband and regret it. Not that I know what that feels like, Jimmy! It’s a permanent feeling of worry. Worrying about my kids, my husband, my parents, my friends, my family, money — the list goes on.
I experienced anxiety for the first time when I had my son, Austin in 2011. Ironically, my job was to talk on the radio every morning, chatting and making people smile. Nobody could tell, because I’d always put on a happy face, acting like I was completely calm and together. In actual fact, I was suffocating. If you looked deep into my eyes, you might have seen me screaming, “Please help me, make me feel normal again.”
After about 9 months, I was back to myself again and was strong and fierce like Beyonce. Until I had my second bubba, Alfie. Five weeks after having him, that guilty I-just-cheated-on-my-husband feeling started to permeate my lower gut region again.
This time, I got on top of it much faster and I feel like screaming from the top of the Myer Centre to every person who’s had a mild case of anxiety, GET YOURSELF AN ADULT COLOURING-IN BOOK!
The adult colouring-in book is the new Fifty Shades Of Grey. No, it’s not an R-rated colouring in book, it’s a BEST SELLER and I now know why. Think back to when you were a kid and how fun it was colouring in.
While you’re colouring, nothing else matters. You’re concentrating so hard on colour and shade and keeping inside the lines that it clears your head and it stops your brain from entertaining those stupid anxious thoughts. I find that when you’re anxious or stressed, being creative and busy seems to help more than anything else.
Everyone is different and this may not work for you, but I figure when you have anxiety – you’ll try almost anything to make it go away. So, give it a go — get one. You might even surprise yourself and find out you’re the next Emma Hack!