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As someone that has suffered with both anxiety and depression for many years, I can tell you that there are signs that your loved one is suffering. While not everyone who exhibits these characteristics is having mental health issues, it's quite possible that those who are, exhibit many symptoms as a result of their anxiety and/or depression. Today on the blog, I’m discussing those symptoms and what to look for if you suspect you or your loved one is suffering with anxiety and/or depression. .
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In just about a month...

Thinking back to last month and our stay in that cute little airbnb, it makes me so grateful for the opportunity to blog full-time. Not only do I get to work closely with companies that I love, but occasionally I get the opportunity to take our family on a little, but much needed vacation. It really is the best job I’ve ever had. Today on the blog, I’m continuing my series for bloggers and influencers and discussing what might be the scariest part of this job… pitching companies and applying to campaigns. Head over and check out my suggestions to nail those pitches. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! .
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Thinking back to last month...

Today I had a plan. Wake up early, get the girls ready for their first day of school and then take the perfect first day of school picture to post on Instagram, where I would talk about how bittersweet it is to watch my girls grow up into these incredible young women. 
But things don’t always go as we plan. Instead, Falynn and Iyla woke up at 3:30am, got ready for school and then came downstairs at 5:00am to let us know they were ready. 5:00am... two and a half hours before they actually needed to be at school. I rolled myself out of bed at around 6:50am, Super Dad made me some coffee and I quickly shooed them outside so I could take a picture and realized that Falynn was in a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, jeans and old sneakers. I’m pretty sure her hair wasn’t brushed either. Lucia wasn’t awake yet so it would be the first year without a first day of school picture of all three of them. 😫 Whatever. I was tired. So I quickly took a picture (swipe to see) and got them off to school. Lucia woke up late and I couldn’t take a picture of her because my camera lens kept fogging up. When we walked back into the house, the dog escaped, making her even later. 🤦🏻‍♀️ And my coffee’s cold. Anyway, since I couldn’t get the perfect first day of school picture, I hope you enjoy this shot of the girls and Super Dad in their @swimzip.
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Today I had a plan....

My girls are snackers. When they get home from school, they want to be able to grab a quick snack to take with them on the way to after-school activities, or to enjoy while they do their homework. #ad Peanut Butter is a huge hit in our home, but it can get messy, so when I found out about Windstone Farms Creamy Peanut Butter Portable Packets, I couldn't wait to grab some. Instead of making a huge mess (and forgetting to close the lid) with a regular container of peanut butter, the girls can grab one packet and easily add it to just about anything. Some of our favorites are bananas, apples, pretzels, celery or crackers. They have fun creating new combinations and I love that they come in convenient 1.15oz squeezable packets. So much less mess! They are also perfect for their lunchboxes. The peanut butter is so creamy and delicious! BTW, they are naturally gluten-free! @windstonefarms peanut butter packets are now available at your local @walmart. Make sure to pick some up, and check out our stories for a special offer from Ibotta! What will you put #WindstoneFarmsPB on?
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AD: Back-to-school time is a favorite in our house. I'm excited to get back to the daily peace and quiet, and the girls are excited to get back to their friends! While our excitement lies in very different places, one thing we can always agree on is that it's super fun to shop for back-to-school supplies. Especially when we can do it from the comfort of our own home! After going to multiple stores last year and not being able to find a school approved backpack for Lucia, this year, we made the smart move and got it (and her wireless headphones) on @eBay. They offer a money back gurantee, FREE shipping, save your gas ⛽️ and time ⏰ and do your back-to-school shopping on eBay this year! #eBayBackToSchool #HappeningOnEBay #eBay https://lnk2.io/wytbcWl
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I’m not sure what I...

How I’m Overcoming Anxiety

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Did you know that approximately 3.3 million people suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder?  Did you know that most of those people keep it to themselves?  I was one of those people.  I was ashamed. I felt broken.  I made excuses for why I couldn’t do things. I didn’t leave my house. I didn’t want people to think less of me.  I pretended everything was ok.  And then, one day, I decided I had enough.  I wrote about my anxiety and was shocked to hear how many of my friends and family suffer with similar debilitating anxiety disorders.    It was a step that set me free and since then, I’ve been working hard to overcome anxiety.  For those of you that are suffering in silence, know that you can overcome it too.  Here are some tricks that have helped me in overcoming anxiety.

Behavioral Therapy

After hitting rock bottom, I decided it was time to speak to a professional.  Of everything we spoke about during our visits, the thing that was most reassuring to me, was hearing that I wasn’t crazy.  Knowing that many people go through similar experiences was sad, but comforting.  My therapist worked with me to try to find the root of the anxiety.  She gave me various “homework assignments” to learn to cope and work toward being able to calm myself down if I was about to have a panic attack.  It became a weekly visit I looked forward to.  I was able to talk things out, get recommendations and find ways to accept what was happening to me.

Breathing Exercises

Everyone I spoke with and all of the research I did, always led back to breathing exercises and meditation. At first, I was extremely skeptical.  While I was trying to “breathe through it”, I was telling myself it wasn’t working, ultimately sabotaging myself.  And because I was not really focused on what I was supposed to be doing, it didn’t work.  When I finally gave in, and really let go to the fact that these breathing exercises were calming me down, they started to work. I found that at the height of my panic attacks, I could breathe my fears away. Now, as soon as I feel the panic coming on, I inhale slowly, counting to 5, hold it for 10 seconds and then releasing, slowly.  After a few times, I feel my anxiety level decrease drastically.

Distraction

Distraction is key!  If I’m not thinking about it, anxiety can’t happen.  The majority of my panic attacks were brought on by my constant “what ifs” in my head.  Even before I left my home, I was thinking about all of the bad things that could happen to me.  I was thinking about how far I would be from my safe place, how long it would take to get back… I was ultimately bringing on my own panic attack by worrying about things that were out of my control.  I found that if I was busy in some way, whether it be singing, on my phone or talking to my husband or kids, I wasn’t able to give myself the opportunity to worry and I was ok.  Photography has been a huge distraction for me.  When we are out of the house, traveling or on a local adventure, I am so focused on capturing the moment with my camera, that I forget to worry about “what ifs”. Finding a hobby I love has been a blessing.

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Weighted Blanket

A huge issue for me was my lack of sleep.  For me, lack of rest = anxiety and anxiety = lack of rest.  It’s a vicious cycle.  A good friend of mine, who also suffers from anxiety, purchased a weighted blanket a little over a year ago. At that point, I had never heard of them, but after hearing how positive her experience was with it, I wanted to give it a try.  Weighted blankets provide the body with proprioceptive input which can cause the brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which both have calming effects. Weighted blankets are ideal for individuals with conditions such as sensory integration disorder, Autism, anxiety, ADHD, Rett Syndrome, PTSD and Restless Leg Syndrome. I searched for almost a year until I found KP Designs Shop.  As a pediatric occupational therapist, KP Designs Shop owner Kelly was so knowledgable and easy to work with.  She created a blanket especially for me, based on my size.  I have slept with it since I received it and can honestly say that I have never slept more soundly.  I don’t wake up every hour. I’m not restless.  I fall asleep and stay asleep, which for me, makes all the difference with my anxiety level.  I wake up much less anxious than I used to. It’s been a game changer for me. KP Designs Shop has graciously offered my readers 10% off with code SUPERMOMLIFE.

Exposure

Most recently, I’ve learned that exposing myself to my fears helps me to conquer them.  I step out of my comfort zone as often as I can and when I reach my panic state, I breathe through it and wait for it to pass.  As soon as it does, my brain can relax and I can tell myself that I’m ok.  We recently took a week long road trip to Atlanta, GA, where I found myself anxious more than a few times.  While my fight or flight kicked in, I didn’t give in.  I fought through it and went on each adventure and had the time of my life with my family.  It’s helped since we’ve been back home as well because I tell myself if I can make it to Atlanta, I can drive 30 minutes down the road.  It sounds crazy, but it works.  Just like I was able to talk myself into a panic attack, I can now talk myself into the idea that I will be ok, panic attack or not.  The more I push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone, the easier it gets.

My Family

Honestly, opening up and getting the support of my husband and kids has made all the difference.  They are there to remind me why I want to fight anxiety. They are there to lend a shoulder when I just need to cry.  My husband has never turned his back on me.  He is constantly cheering me on while knowing that sometimes, I may have setbacks.  He steps up and really relieves so much of my anxiety just by being so understanding.  Having the support of others makes a huge difference.

If you are suffering in silence, know that there’s hope.  You don’t have to feel ashamed. You aren’t broken.  You don’t need to make excuses. You can leave your house.  It’s possible.  I’m proof of that. Don’t be afraid to talk about it.  And while anxiety will always be there, in the back of my mind, I’m not afraid to fight it.  I want to give my kids the best childhood they can possibly have.  I won’t be the reason they miss out on adventures.  I will be right there beside them, breathing and fighting through it.

Do you or someone you know suffer from an anxiety disorder? Comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to comment, follow, and share!

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I was gifted a weighted blanket by KP Designs Shop in exchange for promotion, but all opinions are my own.

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76 Comments
  • Amanda | The Glorious Grape
    June 13, 2018

    I suffer from anxiety as well, and only recently learned in the last few years that my lifelong issues with stress, depression and body image are almost certainly borderline personality disorder. Some days are better than others, but learning what works can take time. Yoga, a regular and predictable schedule, some alone time, and specific medication (that took so much trial and error to figure out!) works well for me. I am also extremely lucky to have access to the healthcare that I need, because i know that so many do not.

  • Ada
    June 12, 2018

    Glad you are finding something to help you with your anxiety. I know that for me getting away and being with family and friends is what ultimately helps.

  • Cristina Coroiu
    June 12, 2018

    Congratulations on your progress. It’s hard to deal with anxiety. Both I and my husband have from time to time anxiety attacks. It sucks. I’m glad I haven’t had one in a while. I will want to get myself a blanket like the one you wrote about.

  • Charli Bruce
    June 12, 2018

    So glad you are finding ways to overcome your anxiety, it has taken me years to overcome mine and I still get little wobbles from time to time x

  • Summer Mitch Ryan
    June 11, 2018

    Positive exposure I think really does help. It keeps ones mind away from his anxiety. Keep it up.

  • Acupofassamtea
    June 11, 2018

    Anxiety is harmful. It can be an obstacle to the progression of your life. Overcome anxiety is halfway through the problem in your life. Thank you for the motivational tips.

  • Laurie
    June 11, 2018

    You are so very brave to confront your anxiety and write so eloquently about it. I am a big fan of meditation and use it whenever I am overly stressed, need a mental break or feel anxious. I really do think it makes a difference! I have been thinking about getting a weighted blanket. Are they hot? That’s one of the things that has been holding me back from purchasing one. Thanks!

  • Serena Hale
    June 11, 2018

    Great ways to help your anxiety and being in a field that helps those with anxiety and other things they are great things to share with others and sharing with us is a brave thing to do. I need to share these easy tips with some of our clients.

  • Kamapala Chukwuka
    June 11, 2018

    This is so inspirational. I commend your courage for sharing your personal experiences which will, in turn, change many lives. I love the tips you shared, very helpful and insightful. Fabulous post!

  • Brit Strawbridge
    June 11, 2018

    These are really wonderful tips! I suffer from anxiety sometimes and some of these are definitely essential for me!

  • wanderwithola
    June 11, 2018

    What an awesome list of tips! I love the last one, getting so much support from my husband definitely plays a big role for me to overcome anxiety. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Ellen
    June 11, 2018

    This was really helpful. As a person with anxiety (especially social anxiety), I’m really thinking of going to therapy to get professional help. I’ve never exposed my anxiety before but I may as well try to so I can overcome it.

  • Ophelia T
    June 11, 2018

    These are great information on Anxiety. I learned a lot from your post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ricci
    June 10, 2018

    It sounds like you have found some great coping mechanisms!! I am glad you have found some ways that work for you in overcoming your anxiety!!

  • di
    June 10, 2018

    So glad you are finding things that help with your anxiety! I love that weighted blanket is helping, we use those in yoga.

  • April
    June 10, 2018

    Such an important message in this post! I’m glad you found effective ways to manage your anxiety in a very healthy way (that does not involve drugs). I 100% believe in CBT and recommend it to my patients all the time. I never knew about the weighted blanket but it sounds very intriguing!!

  • brianne
    June 10, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! I know many people that suffer from anxiety and it is a hard thing to control and overcome. I love your tips, they are super helpful!

  • Nancy at Whispered Inspirations
    June 10, 2018

    I am glad you have found a way to overcome it. I am lucky to not have too much anxiety but, I know loved ones that do and I know how hard it can be by seeing them. I like the idea of the blanket!

  • liev cruz
    June 10, 2018

    I hope you’re doing great and getting better feeling good about yourself.

  • Becca Wilson
    June 10, 2018

    Anxiety is something that plagues me so badly. These are some great exercises!

  • Echo
    June 10, 2018

    As someone that lives with severe anxiety and depression, I can really appreciate all of the tips that you have given. I think it is so important, for all of us, to normalize conversations about anxiety and our mental health. We need to be able to have real conversations about the things that affect us daily, so I am glad that more people are beginning to write about their own trials.

  • Anosa Malanga
    June 10, 2018

    Anxiety disorder is somehow serious nowadays. We should be more aware and create awareness regarding this so that we will be able to know on how to deal about this as well. Reading this makes me learn more about it.

  • Nina
    June 10, 2018

    thank you for sharing your personal experience and tips. best of luck with everything 🙂 I do have anxiety too

  • Nessa
    June 10, 2018

    I also feel so much anxiety and it’s really hard to get ride of it ! Fortunately , like you said, family support is the best ! Thank you for sharing !

  • Victor Step
    June 10, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your story and the ways in which you deal with the problem. As someone who used to be anxious a lot of the time, I understand how difficult it can be sometimes.

  • jessy
    June 10, 2018

    Thank you for sharing these tips. Among them, I will remember the breathing exercise and the Weighted Blanket which will complement my round bed very well (http://bit.ly/2Ir3iHK) .
    Frankly, I have never heard of weighted blanket. However, after hearing from you and seeing how baby sleeps, this heavy blanket may work i.e. just like baby, we need something to hold us tight and this heavy blanket may just do the trick.

  • David Allen Elliott
    June 9, 2018

    I know my ex didn’t suffer from an anxiety disorder per say. Although she did have a lot of anxiety about a lot of things. I think the biggest key with any form of mental struggle, knowing you aren’t alone is so very important.

  • Erika Ramona
    June 9, 2018

    Yes. Most of the time, I just keep all my worries to myself. I do not really feel comfortable opening up to my family or friends and sometimes, this causes my migraine attacks. The similar thing I do is also to distract myself with hobbies and travel.

  • Kim
    June 9, 2018

    Yoga and meditation is also great for anxiety and depression. You are very brave to write about this very personal journey.

  • Chubskulit Rose
    June 9, 2018

    I don’t battle with anxiety but when I have to do something out of my norms, that’s when I really get so anxious. I agree with lack of sleep, falling asleep is a hard battle for me.

  • Sondra
    June 9, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was truly heartwarming and inspirational. I’m sure your story will help a lot of people who are dealing with anxiety as well. I found the idea of a weighted blanket interesting and unique. I’ll have to see where I can find one

  • Sara Welch
    June 9, 2018

    I wish you all the strength in the world. Anxiety is a pretty ugly monster.

  • Justice
    June 9, 2018

    I love how you break it down and never miss a detail. I know people I can recommend this article to.

  • Bradley C Finnearty
    June 9, 2018

    Your “face your fears” philosophy is a great one to have. My wife has some anxiety issues also. That is the best way for her to beat them. The other good one you touched on was distraction. That works for her too.

  • Joleene
    June 9, 2018

    I didn’t realize for years that I was affected. It took someone asking me about it before I really it. The breathing exercises help me tremendously.

  • Juli
    June 9, 2018

    I am happy for you that you have found solutions and ways to cope with anxiety.

  • Garf
    June 9, 2018

    These are great tips. Being open with family is key. You are a strong person.

  • Mr. MM2K Make money 2000
    June 9, 2018

    The breathing techniques works fine for me. I also picture images of my loved ones smiling at me- it helps in 99% of cases.

  • Rupinder Kaur
    June 9, 2018

    I always do breathing exercises nd meditation to overcome enxiety.

  • Emily
    June 9, 2018

    I think it is great that there is a lot of coping options to help with anxiety. I have heard that breathing exercises help out a lot and I think it is a great tool to use!

  • Terri
    June 8, 2018

    I don’t know anyone with an anxiety disorder but I worked with several students on overcoming their anxiety about school issues.

  • Marysa
    June 8, 2018

    That’s interesting that a weighted blanket has helped you. I have a friend who has anxiety, and it can be debilitating for her. I feel helpless sometimes and I will pass these tips on to her.

  • Ariana
    June 8, 2018

    this is so great, these are awesome tips for someone that can relate to you. ive read up on the weighted blanket. i would definitely love to try something like that.

  • Jeanette
    June 8, 2018

    These are all great tips! I think we could all use better ways to overcome anxiety, but it can rob us of enjoying all the great things in this life.

  • Jessica
    June 8, 2018

    I suffer from severe anxiety, also. It has been a hard battle. It has done unimaginable things to me. I finally sought help, and it has eased a great deal. However, I still feel it within me often. I am working on trying to figure out why it is so constant in my life, even when I feel like it’s the furthest thing from my mind. I, like you, was so surprised to see how many other’s struggle, too. I totally want to get a weighted blanket. I feel like it would help me tremendously. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Curlywhippedtee
    June 8, 2018

    This is a great topic and something more common then not. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Nina Kasper
    June 8, 2018

    I can totally agree with the distraction point. That is truly when my anxiety gets the worst, when I’m alone and have nothing in-depth to do.

  • Suzanne
    June 8, 2018

    So important to breathe while anxious. Very common to stop breathing properly, I start counting to ten with deep breaths and that usually helps.

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    June 8, 2018

    I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. I have anxiety, but only in certain situations. I know that breathing techniques, and essential oils help me at times.

  • Tasheena
    June 8, 2018

    Thanks for sharing your story and these very helpful tips. I would have never thought of using a weighted blanket.

  • Julie
    June 8, 2018

    I have heard of a weighted blanket before, I had to use something similar for my dog. Speaking of dogs, have you thought about getting a therapy dog??? I think that would be something totally work looking into (assuming you’re not allergic). <3

    • The Super Mom Life
      June 8, 2018

      I have thought of it, but don’t want to rely on anything (if that makes sense).

  • Up Run for Life Healthy Lifestyle Blog
    June 8, 2018

    Anxiety can be so debilitating. I have struggled with it from time to time. Often times, there is no specific trigger for my anxiety. I also suffer from depression and speak to a counselor every few weeks. I also love to diffuse essential oils too.

  • Kathy
    June 8, 2018

    I’m very glad you shared this. I have anxiety at times as well. I’ll have to follow your tips and see if it helps. I’ve always wanted one of those blankets, so I think I may get one.

  • Carol Cassara
    June 8, 2018

    I love that you’re sharing the things that you do to overcome your anxiety because there are people who feel a little lost or don’t know what to do at all especially when the anxiety kicks in. Thanks for all your suggestions and tips!

  • Candy
    June 8, 2018

    Didn’t realize that many people were effected. Continue talking about this and educating people.

  • Melissa Chapman
    June 8, 2018

    I am wellversed in attempts to overcome anxiety which i also suffer from. I have found that exposure therapy can be very helpful and then positive reinforcement can occur.

  • Liz
    June 8, 2018

    I’m very Type A so I tend to get anxious sometimes as well. Glad to hear that you’ve found some things that work for you – a weighted blanket sounds comfortable, as well.

  • Reesa Lewandowski
    June 8, 2018

    Thank you for sharing. I am going to try your tips. I too suffer from horrible anxiety and sometimes it can really be debilitating.

  • HilLesha
    June 8, 2018

    I have had bad anxiety since I was a pre-teen. Taking a long walk is one of the things that seems to help me with my anxiety from time to time. Listening to music also helps me. 🙂

  • Janice
    June 8, 2018

    I suffer from anxiety too. I got better around 10 years ago when I met my hubby. For some reason, he really has a calming effect on me. All he needs to do is hug me and the anxiety eases away. These days, I don’t get anxious often anymore. I’ve learned that distraction also helps. Whenever I get an attack and my hubby is not around, I focus my mind on what my two little ones are doing and I join them.

  • LeeAnah
    June 8, 2018

    I feel like it’s easy for the public to shrug anxiety off. Thanks for sharing your story and ways you cope. It is a real thing that deserves attention and treatment.

  • Trina
    June 8, 2018

    Thank you for sharing! I suffer from horrible anxiety especially social anxiety, I will be using some of these coping methods.

  • ade young
    June 7, 2018

    Continue to be strong in overcoming your anxiety, this is also great tip for those who are undergoing same situation. Thanks for sharing.

  • Joely Smith
    June 7, 2018

    So many great ways to help lower anxiety! I love weighted blankets and yes to distraction! It’s all the thinking and over thinking that brings my anxiety on!

  • LiveLoveAndAdventure
    June 7, 2018

    Thanks for sharing. Anxiety sucks! the first time I had an attack I truly thought I was going to die. I couldn’t even breathe. I find that distraction helps, breathing through the anxiety attack helps. For prevention, I try to do Yoga once or twice a week which I find helps the relaxation process. Good luck to you!

    • The Super Mom Life
      June 7, 2018

      I definitely want to try yoga at some point. Meditation is great, so I imagine yoga will be too!

  • Sarah Gray
    June 7, 2018

    I know where you are coming from, lady. I have spent almost a majority of my life trying to find the right combination of tools to prevent panic attacks and ease the stress that comes from battling anxiety. So much of the time I have to shut myself in and distract myself in my own way. I often end up then making myself feel guilty for not like leaving to “do something about it” but the best way for me to cope, I’ve found, is to write about it and then lose myself in a book.

  • Morgan C
    June 7, 2018

    You are so right on with all of your tips. I have pretty bad anxiety and the weighted blanket is pretty amazing for me!

  • Patricia-Ann Que
    June 7, 2018

    keep it up, you are in the right path! definitely taking breathing exercises and spending time with family is healthy physically, emotionally and mentally!

  • Sarah Bailey
    June 7, 2018

    It sounds like you have some great things going on to help with your anxiety. I have to admit i’ve never been able to fully overcome mine but I might have to try some of these ideas out.

    • The Super Mom Life
      June 7, 2018

      For me, it’s been years of just finding what works. I’ve finally got to the point where I stop worrying about them because that’s what brings them on. You will get there too!

  • mj
    June 7, 2018

    Oh, this brings back memories of when I first started dealing with panic attacks. It sucks! But, you seem to have a fantastic support system and great tools to help you through. I always have a piece of hard candy with me. Something about the quick sugar at the start of a panic attack works to help balance your synapses or something… I just know that it can help. Sometimes.

  • Kayla
    June 7, 2018

    AMAZING!!! That’s all I can say. You are incredibly strong and brave. I have anxiety too and struggle with it. Being open with family is key!

  • Stacie
    June 7, 2018

    Keep up what you’re doing! I can see how a weighted blanket would help anxiety. I would think it feels very safe and secure.

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