After all the stress and pain of giving birth, being hospitalized, and maybe even having had a c section, it’s common for new mommies to slip into a depressed state of mind. Oddly enough, the baby blues tends to strike especially as you start to feel you’re over the hump and you’ve finally had a chance to catch your breath after all the stress. That’s when your body is coming off the cocktail of stress hormones it’s been on lately to overcome the challenges of birth, and that in turn makes you feel the blues in full force. It’s not uncommon for new mothers to develop symptoms of depression during this critical time. Read on for some tips that have been true lifesavers for me!
Take time for yourself
Spend time with your family and friends. If you make it clear to your partner how important that is to you. Once you tell them how important this is to your long-term health and energy levels, they will gladly take care of baby on their own for an hour or two. Do things that make you happy! Go out and just take a walk in the sunshine! Once baby is bigger and you have a babysitter you trust, go on short vacation trips. Take a timeout from those busy and stressful days. If you don’t take time to recharge and relax on a regular basis, it will wear you out, and then you won’t have the energy to take care of anybody! So take care of yourself.
Suffer from depression? Accept help!
Don’t be shy to ask for help when you need it. You are still the best mommy in the world. The more you allow people to help you, the less stressed out you will be, and everyone around you will benefit! Grandparents love looking after their grandchildren. Ask them to look after your kids, while you have a relaxing day at the spa. Don’t feel guilty, see it as a long-term investment in your well being, and from that everyone around you will benefit!
Stop being the multitasking mommy!
Stop wanting to do everything perfectly. Forget about wanting to be the perfect “multitasking mommy”. You can either try to be perfect, or be happy, but not both! Trying to be Mrs. Perfect can cause you to experience burnout. Take a step back every now and then and have an enjoyable time with your kids. Just play, just let them be kids, stop trying to control everything. As long as you keep them clothed, warm and fed, you’re doing a good job as a parent! Don’t overwork yourself to be super mommy. Your kids love you because you are already perfect in their eyes.
Plan an anti stress day!
It’s very important to plan your days in advance. Having a plan will help you to have an easy and stress free day. Especially plan your naps. Align them with baby’s natural nap times.
To reduce your stress, plan baby’s (and your other kids!) meals for the whole day in the morning already. If mealtime rolls around and you have to decide what to prepare on an empty stomach, you are going to have a bad time!
When visiting family, friends or even when you have a doctor’s appointment, plan what time you will be leaving the house, create a checklist of things you will be taking with and how long you are planning to stay. You will feel more organised, happy, and in control.
Healthy Eating and exercise habits
Eating a healthy, balanced meal is not only good for you, but its keeps you mentally fit and prepared for the day. Take regular walks in the park with your baby. Go jogging on your own for 15 to 30 minutes. Drink plenty of water – it keeps your body clean and detoxed!
Do you show these signs of mommy burnout (aka postpartum depression)?
You are forgetting things more than usual
Pregnancy forgetfulness is temporary. During your pregnancy you tend to forget things. That’s normal. After having a c section you will probably feel overwhelmed with baby being finally there. You will feel painful and exhausted. Forgetting things after having a cesarean section is normal and temporary. But if that persists over longer periods of time, try to seek help. Make a doctor’s appointment just to clear things up. After all you might just be lacking in some vitamins or minerals, but it’s best to consult your doctor.
You are fighting more with your partner and kids
Shouting and snapping at your kids is never ever a good idea. Kids are there to make mistakes, break things and to be naughty. They are kids so allow them to have fun and learn. Getting angry too quickly for small meaningless things will not help them develop. Studies have shown that verbally abusing children puts them at a bigger risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and burnout later in life. Similarly, snapping at your partner will only drive him away from you. They are there to help us and they help happily.
When you notice that you are driving your partner away and snapping too quickly, it might be a sign of mommy burnout!
You are always tired of doing things you used to do
- Are you too tired to get out of bed in the morning?
- Too tired to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with your family?
- No energy for exercise?
- Are you too tired to put on make up?
- Too exhausted to dress you nicely?
- Too tired to take a walk?
- Too busy to take time for yourself?
Then stop what you are doing and make a doctor’s appointment!
Burnout syndrome, depression and mommy burnout all develop in different stages, and the sooner you get diagnosed and helped by your healthcare professional, you will be your old happy self again.
So make that doctor’s appointment today.