Research shows that anxiety disorders impact our generation in extraordinarily high levels — affecting about 40 million adult Americans every year. And parents struggle with anxiety in higher numbers than others, typically because parents have more on their plate and less time for stress-relieving activities.
Marilyn Kravitz Gale, PhD, LCSW-C, who works in a private practice, says that modern parenting is riddled with stress due to a number of factors. Most of today’s families consist of both parents working, not to mention that parenting is full of details — carpools, daycare, soccer practice, tutoring and various medical appointments. Many parents are also dealing with marginal finances and the complexity of healthcare, so much so that, "Becoming a parent in this day and age is an act of faith,” Gale says.
While a fair amount of stress is a normal part of life, anxiety can become all-consuming. It can severely impact one’s quality of life and the people around them. If you’re a parent who thinks you may be struggling with anxiety, Gale says it’s crucial to address it. “Families are systems, and when one is hurting, the whole system is affected," she says.
Here are helpful ways to get you started on calming your anxious mind.