Self-Care and Recovery from Postpartum Depression
Today’s Self-Care Month Guest Post is courtesy of Linda Meyer. Linda is a mother of two, a Postpartum Depression survivor and a Missouri Co-Coordinator for Postpartum Support International. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Linda!
The term self-care was not even on my radar as a new mom. You give birth and this becomes your 24 hr/day job until eternity, right? No more lazy mornings, naps, lingering showers, uninterrupted meals, or socializing with friends.
Imagine that you are performing a monotonous mommy routine all day every day without thinking about yourself or your needs; you’re losing yourself. Three months postpartum, motherhood became tremendously more difficult and overwhelming than I ever imagined. In fact, I was not in love with my new role, completely unaware that I was actually suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD). I did eventually seek help (not an easy task!). After receiving a diagnosis, I began working with a healthcare provider and a therapist, and self-care became instrumental in my recovery.
Here are some simple self-care suggestions for the new mom:
- Get out by yourself without your baby (It’s okay to do this, I promise!)
- Shower/get dressed
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise
- Talk with a therapist/counselor (important for emotional distress)
- Stay in touch with supportive friends (or make new friends)
- Sneak in a date night every so often
- Occasionally ask a relative/friend to take your baby overnight (It’s okay to do this, really!)
It doesn’t matter if you choose to do one or several steps listed here. Choose whatever makes you happy, helps you relax and reminds you of the person you were before you became MOM.