I could feel it creeping up slowly from the depths of me.

A sense of dread. Powerful. Overwhelming.

My instant reaction is to play detective and search for the culprit that’s causing this feeling. Why do I want to find out? Because I want to label it – categorise it. Put it into a box (with a very tight lid) and slide it under my bed where not even Marie Kondo can find it.

So my brain does what it does best – it quick fires me options.

Hungry? Tired? Sick? – Yes, must be sick!! Tummy bug! What if it’s worse than a tummy bug?

By this stage adrenaline has kicked into first gear. It’s pumping around every inch of my body like a million little ants on a mission. My stomach is in knots (confirming to me that I really must be sick). I feel hot and my palms are clammy. My head feels light.

Suddenly, I hear my Teddy squeal with delight as he bangs two blocks together.

I have a choice.

I can stay in my head and keep listening to the chatter

OR

I could join Teddy on the floor and stack blocks.

I know, I know, it’s not that easy. The stains of anxiety don’t just wash away in an instant.

I started to ground myself.

I deliberately started talking outloud to Teddy. Engaging with him. “Oooh, what should Mama build?”

I took notice of the way the blocks felt in my hand. I noticed the smell of sunblock floating through the air. I listened intently to the babbles of my wee boy.

As I kept doing this, I was paying so much attention (was forcing myself at first but then it just became natural) to what was actually happening. Being fully in the moment. Being mindful of what was required of me as a Mama right now.

In this moment, I chose to be mindful. I chose to not listen to the negative chatter that was filling me up.

I know I can keep choosing again and again. I am not in fantasyland I know full well that  some times will be harder than others but each time I choose to say no to my anxiety I say yes to my inner strength.

You can do it too. Yes you, the one doubting yourself and your abilities. Look how far you have come! If you don’t believe me, write a list of every time you have done something scary and come out the other side. If you ever doubt your strength take a look at that list.

You have got this!!