Anxiety Management for A Super Dada
“Super Mumma is aimed toward empowering and inspiring all parents reminding them to stop, breathe, and focus when times get tough. We need to care and nurture our mental health, especially when life gets a little overwhelming.”
Anxiety management is something we are passionate about at Super Mumma. We designed our clothing with mental health care in the front of our minds, each item we offer features the Super Mumma patch. A small detail, that can make a big difference. Now we also have a Super Dada patch, because dads are super too. Today we would love to share with you some great ways to use this patch as an anxiety management tool, along with some other coping techniques for getting through days of anxiety or moments during a panic attack.
Square breathing- This is a breathing technique that is done in four simple steps, and repeated as long as necessary to effectively calm your mind, heart rate, and body. You can do this to a count of 1..2..3..4 or just let your breath span be the count.
1- Inhale slowly through the nose
2- hold this air for a moment
3- exhale slowly through the mouth
4- rest at the end of your exhale, pausing before beginning the cycle again
Try to match your inhale, hold, exhale, and rest, to the same time frame in each step, but not rigidly. The point is to relax in the pattern of it, not to get caught up in the numbers or perfecting the timing.
Super Dada patch tip- as you follow this breath cycle, trace your patch square around the edges, matching the step you are on edge for edge, feeling the shape of the square and taking comfort in the familiar pattern syncing between your breath and your touch. Trace your fingers along the side of your square while you inhale, along the top edge as you hold, down the other side as you exhale, and along the bottom as you rest.
Grounding- There are two ways to ground yourself during a moment of stress. The first, is to name five things. These can be emotions, items in front of you, people you love. They may be items related to your five senses, what do you see/hear/smell/touch/taste? Naming things can help ground you to reality, and pull you out of your panic into your rational mind space.
The second method of grounding is literally connecting yourself to the ground. Notice where the ground is, what it is made of, how solid it is, what it feels like underneath you. You may stand, sit, or lie on the ground- feeling it through your hands, your feet, or your body. Inviting someone to sit with you, to get down on ground leval with you can help also.
Super Mumma/Dada patch tip- Notice where the patch is. Feel it against your skin. Place your palm over the patch with one hand, and hold it against yourself. Place your other hand on the ground, and feel gravity holding you to the earth. Secure, real, here, now. Let the security of the ground solidify your body and mind.
Mantras- Mantra's or sayings are a great way to give yourself affirmations, and just like something you can name or touch or see, the words can be real and solid mental objects that are familiar to you and bring you to a safe space in the mind. Your Mantra could be a combat to oppose your most common fears or self-criticisms. It could be a verse, quote, or a line from a song. It can be just one word that gives you a good feeling.
Say your mantra, and let the sound of the word, the feel of it on your tongue, wrap around you like a warm blanket.
Super Mumma/Dada patch tip- Super Mumma/Dada is a great mantra in itself. Remind yourself of who you are. You are good, you are strong, you are capable of hard things and big emotions, In your beautiful humanity and in your parenthood, you are capable of holding and expressing multitudes. You are a Super Dada. Rub your patch, trace and think or say the words, Super Dada, Super Dada, Super Dada. Shout them, whisper them, embrace them and let them embrace you.
Even if you are not a mum or dad, you are capable of nurturing and mothering or fathering yourself, your dreams, your future. You can honor yourself, and give yourself the space to be held, be your own Super Mumma or Dada during this moment. Or rub this patch and imagine your own mantra etched into it and let it center you.
Visualization- There are so many great options for this one, visualization is such a powerful tool for anyone, but is especially helpful in moments of anxiety. You can do meditations, breathing, or any number of visualizations. Here are my top 3 favorites:
- Visualize your happy place. Create a scene in your head, of a place that brings you peace and joy. Imagine yourself walking into this scene, do you go through a door? An archway? Are you walking, swimming, running, being held? Are you holding hands, or on your own? Imagine what it feels like, smells like, sounds like, tastes like, and looks like. Stay in this place until you feel calm, then slowly bring yourself back to your present reality, using the five senses to again bring you back one sense at a time.
- This one is great for repetitive, obsessive, or scary thoughts. Imagine your mind as a computer screen, pretty easy to do. Information is processed, communication comes and goes. When an unwanted thought pops into your space, recognize it for what it is. It is not a part of you. You do not have to claim it as your own or be overwhelmed by it being there. Think of it as a pop up add, annoying, but without consequence. All you have to do, is give yourself permission to close this add. Hit the X in the corner, and let it go. Close it as many times as it pops up. Thoughts come into our head, but they don’t own us and they don’t have to stay, just close your own pop up adds and go on with your day when they are gone.
- After a long day that has just felt like a little too much for you, imagine taking every hard moment, every tension and worry- and pull them right out of your head with your hand, like pulling a tissue from a tissue box. Once you have the tissues in your hand, roll them up into a ball and imagine them turning into a ball of yarn. Hold the end of the string, and throw the ball Away from you, watch it slowly unroll and get farther and farther away, it rolls and rolls down a hill or off a cliff, and eventually builds up momentum. Let go of the string in your hand, and all of the things that were bothering you, every item that was too much is gone. Breathe in, and fill yourself with quiet and peace and gratitude for just being you.
Super Dada patch tip- Hold your patch while doing your visualizations, and imagine it as an anchor, soft and constant, but heavy enough to keep you grounded to reality while you let your mind go where it needs to be.
Sensory Aide Many people who struggle with anxiety also struggle with, or have unique sensory needs. Some people benefit from being held, or using a weighted blanket, or several quilts to put pressure on their nervous system. Others prefer to not be touched, and can benefit from having a simple clutter free sensory space in their home.
A great way to prevent anxiety, is to surround yourself with sensory objects and textures that make you feel happy and calm. For me, I love the feeling of denim, cotton, and bamboo, so I make sure my closet and home are full of these feelings. I also use many plants around my home, to soak up the negative energies emitted from electronics, and to bring clean air and good vibes to my space.
Water can also be a great sensory tool for anxiety. Let yourself play with water in the sink, cups and tools. Or take a long bath/shower. Imagine the water rinsing away your stress. If you have pool or ocean access, let yourself float and feel weightless.
Super Dada patch tip- Use the great feeling of rubbing this patch, giving it a squeeze, to feel good and remind yourself how amazing you are. Squeeze it and breathe deep. Rub it and feel peace.
It is so important to give yourself the space to slow down and breathe, to practice methods of coping like these even if you're not in the middle of an attack. Give yourself space to feel your emotions, to rest in a safe space within your mind, and give yourself space to be forgiving and gentle with yourself. Make time for self-care. We know you are all doing the best you can do, and your heart and mental health matters dearly to us. If the Super Dada patch has helped you in anyway, we’d love to hear about it.