It has taken many years to learn how to take care of me; always putting other’s first while I drained the energy out of myself. Learning self-care began while battling postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety 21 years ago.
PPD was out of my control, but I could seek help from others. This was very difficult for someone who had never done it before. I gave my family and friends specific direction on how they could help me; i.e. I need an hour to myself, time to go for a walk, sit and talk with me, etc. On many occasions, I asked family and friends to watch my daughter while I attended doctor visits and counseling sessions.
Doctor visits were necessary and counseling sessions were invaluable; I learned tips on relieving anxiety and that my needs were important. I attended support groups for women with PPD. I limited my conversations to those that were good listeners and supportive. I stayed away from anxiety provoking situations.
I have learned that while self-care is important, sometimes you may need an extension of self-care. That’s when professional healthcare, professional counseling and support from others can help you to heal.
Linda Meyer is the Executive Director of Mother to Mother in St. Louis, MO. Mother to Mother provides free telephone support, group support and resources to women experiencing emotional difficulties during pregnancy and postpartum. www.mothertomothersupport.org
Mother to Mother will be participating in the St. Louis Walk for Mental Health on Saturday, August 20 www.thewalk.org