Postpartum depression seems to be a difficult topic for moms to talk about. The mom guilt kicks in and many times we think something is wrong with us.
We should be over the moon about our new bundle of joy, right? Parenting is a blessing and magical and bliss….and why am I crying every day?
Postpartum can hit you like a ton of bricks and test your will to not give up.
I’ve been there, in the pit of postpartum unable to claw my way out. Despiting having no health insurance at the time and no money to talk to a psychologist, I am grateful to say I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I still get cases of the blues like anyone living in this chaotic, modern day society but I have since pulled myself out of the deepest depths of that pit. And there’s a good chance you can too if you stick to these three steps.
#1 Observe your situation from an outside perspective
While it’s easy to pawn off heavy emotion during this postpartum period as hormones, it is important to take an unbiased look into your life. Your blues may be an imbalance that has nothing to do with your life. They also can come from a place of loneliness and sadness when our needs aren’t being met. What or who could be causing you chronic stress? Are their boundaries you can set or situations you can distance yourself from that are causing you to stay down in the dumps? If so, you may want to try changing your environment before reaching for the antidepressants.
#2 Connect with women who have and currently are going through it
Misery loves company, right? Communicating and connecting with fellow women having similar experiences can be refreshingly therapeutic. There’s something about speaking out loud to an empathetic ear that allows us to let go of what may be dragging us down. Talking with women who have experienced postpartum depression and come back from it can be informative as well as inspiring. A reoccurring statement I hear from moms who have dealt with postpartum depression is it is temporary. This feeling will pass.
#3 Get active
Exercise is a no brainer when it comes to any form of depression or anxiety. It releases pent-up energy as well as endorphins that will have you feeling good again in no time. This was, by far, the biggest antidote for my postpartum depression. Go for a run, take a dance or boxing class, do some yoga; just MOVE. I signed up for a gym membership once I saw they had childcare services and it has been a game changer for me. It has to be one of the best moves I made for myself and my daughter. She socializes with other kids and mommy keeps her sanity. I’m also losing fat and gaining muscle. I feel strong and powerful. I’m more energized, even with a little sleep deprivation. I feel more grounded in my body and my life. I’m less overwhelmed or anxious about situations that are out of my control. I have better control of my emotions and no longer feel like I’m going to burst into tears any second.
#4 Eat right
I think we all know by now, what you put into your body matters. The occasional pizza binge is understandable, just know you will feel like shit in the morning and you have no one to blame but yourself. The internet is an amazing place full of informative topics like this article
that I may or may not have written about some of the best mood-lifting foods. I also plan to start posting recipes in the health and fitness category. Turmeric and ginger sweet potato scramble, anyone?
To be clear, I have nothing against seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants if that is what you need to have a healthy mindset. Doing what you need to do to balance your mind does not make you any less of a person or mother. But keep in mind that with the benefits of prescription medication, come an equally long–if not longer–list of side effects.
I want you to know that isn’t your only option. These 3 steps pulled me out of a postpartum pit when I couldn’t afford a psychologist. If this post impacts just one woman going through a similar struggle, I’ve accomplished my goal.
Please, please, please reach out if you are in a pit and unsuccessfully clawing your way out.
I am here for you.
The hardest part is reaching out and accepting help.
You can do this.
You are doing a kickass job as a mother.
I am so fucking proud of you.