We recently caught up with Mind Coach and TV Presenter Anna Williamson to talk about her new book Breaking Mum & Dad. Anna first found fame with big hitting children’s television shows, however, behind closed doors, she suffered from a battle with generalised anxiety disorder. On speaking out about her experiences, she realised there was a huge stigma attached to mental health issues and to help fight these stigmas, she joined mental health charity Mind as an official ambassador. Since 2009, she also studied and qualified as a counsellor, life coach and Master NLP practitioner.
Anna now runs her own private coaching practice offering those in need 1 to 1 coaching sessions, alongside being the resident agony aunt and psychology expert for This Morning, Good Morning Britain (ITV), Inside Out (BBC One), Big Brother’s Bit on the Side (C5) and celebrity dating show Single AF (MTV).
Anna is also author of leading book Breaking Mad which was #1 on Amazon, sharing her own experiences of being diagnosed with anxiety and challenging the myths around this. Written in collaboration with a psychologist, Dr Reetta Newell, it was a national bestseller and Anna is soon to launch her follow up book ‘Breaking Mum and Dad’, aimed at parents coping with all that a new baby can bring, focussing on mental health and anxiety and offering practical advice.
Written in her clear, comforting, accessible and honest tone, this promises to do so much good in an area of mental health that is often overlooked or brushed under the carpet. ‘Breaking Mum and Dad‘ is sure to go straight into the bestseller listings once again.
Talking to Anna it is clear that absolutely adores her son, but that she also appreciates how difficult parenting can be. There is no Nanny on the scene and despite being a TV star, Anna has the same everyday struggles as other parents; whilst on the phone to me Anna was also entertaining her young son at the park and dealing with the everyday tantrums that come with parenting a toddler. Anna is very much a doting, caring mum who loves her son dearly.
Ahead of her new book Breaking Mum & Dad, Anna has given us her 5 Top Tips For Stressed Parents:
Talk about how you feeling:
The old adage is true a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking to someone else can really help to take the pressure off and help to de-stress you.
Ask for help:
Very often in today’s society we run along juggling everything and trying to be all things to all people. If you are stressed, stopped and ask for help. You will be surprised how willing most people are to help; they are just waiting to be asked. Whether its help with household chores that you need or just someone to do a couple of things off of your ever mounting to do list – just ask.
Take 15-30 minutes EVERY DAY for yourself:
It is important to take time for yourself; whether you take 15 to 30 minutes while your child naps/sleeps or you ask someone you trust to look after them for half and hour so that you can do something for yourself – do it! Either read or listen to some music or a podcast, take some time out for yourself to relax.
Don’t Feel Guilty:
You are doing the best you can. As long as your baby/child is fed, warm and clothed you’re doing a great job. Don’t let comparison syndrome fool you into thinking otherwise.
Don’t Try and Impress Anyone:
You don’t need to look a new glowing Mum to prove you are doing great in your new role.
I loved these tips, especially number 3 – I think it is really important to take time out for yourself everyday. I asked Anna how she likes to relax and she turns all devices off every night so that she can just chill. She enjoys having massages and books them regularly and makes sure that in addition to her 30 minutes everyday she gets out and does something just for herself once a week; whether that’s a massage or Pilates class or meeting with friends.
What have learnt most from these tips? What will you put into practise? For me, it is the 30 minutes everyday to myself – I can’t wait to schedule in 30 minutes everyday to just curl up with a cuppa and a good book.