As part of her Guest Edit, Ellie Goulding writes about motherhood, managing anxiety and what she's learned about life and herself so far
Motherhood changes everything
I never believed people when they said “motherhood really changes you”. I thought I’d be a bit tired, have different priorities, but no. It really has changed everything about my life. There have been so many chemical hormonal changes that I still can’t even compute. My brain is like a different brain and I’m still trying to figure that out. While I’ve been trying to figure out the changes to my mind and body, I have been spending a lot of time by myself to reconnect and rebalance.
I’m opening up about my anxiety
I’ve suffered with extreme anxiety in the past. At times it’s been so physical that its taken over. I couldn’t function. I had really extreme symptoms. I would get dizzy, feel like I was going to faint, my heart would be doing backflips. It was after becoming a mother that I learnt to reset and recalibrate.
I’m just not as fearless as I used to be
I’m preoccupied with being a mother and I’m preoccupied with trying to get back to normal. I want to get back to that fearless place I was before. I can’t remember the last time I had a decent night’s sleep. I used to be really rigid with my exercise routine, but now I have to really force myself. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself though. I’d really love to get to a point where I’m nearly back there but it may take time.
It’s OK to prioritise reconnecting with yourself
Since becoming a mother I’ve been a bit of a loner. I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself, really getting to grips with being a mother and the changes to my body and mind. I know that my friends are there for me when I need them, but I think they have appreciated that I have wanted to take this time for myself. It’s been really valuable for me.
You need to listen to your body
I’ve had to listen to my body more than ever this year. I really try and listen to what’s going on inside, not in a panicky or judging way, but in a curious way – it’s that classic therapy thing. I’m trying to be much more curious about the way my body has changed and the way my brain has changed – and to be more forgiving of myself. I’m trying to be much kinder and think about what I’m really grateful for.
Staying informed will help you feel less overwhelmed
When I’m overwhelmed by what’s going in the world, I want to retreat, but the best thing for me personally is to be informed, especially when it comes to anxiety around climate change. To always be up to date on things and to try and understand the science. To understand that there are so many things that we can all do individually, to realise your power and to take back control.
Moving your body always improves your day
When I wake up sometimes I have no motivation and I know that simply moving my body will make such a big difference to my day. Even if it’s just walking, running, yoga or stretching for 10 or 20 minutes. I know from past experience that when I feel like shit, I can exercise a bit and feel at least 40% better. And that might not make your day perfect necessarily but it’s certainly going to positively impact it.
It’s important to surround yourself with the right people
I realise more now than ever the importance of the people you surround yourself with. I’ve really had to navigate this journey of motherhood with supportive people around me. People who understand that I’m not going to be calling or texting every five seconds, and who understand that I might go off the radar without judging me. It really does take the people around you – your friends and your family – to bring out the best in you. My friends light a fire in me and my husband is so supportive of me and everything that I do. It’s definitely worth thinking about if there are people around you that don’t encourage you in your productivity and your passions, and reviewing that from time to time.
My son has become my daily motivation
There are a lot of things right now for me to take on and it’s become much harder to be a natural activist since I’ve had my son. But I know deep down that what I care about most is my child and young people having a decent future, and right now it’s not looking that way.
Read Ellie Goulding’s full Guest Edit @MarieClaireUK.