How to Reduce Anxiety and Depression After You Have Your First Baby
Rest As Much As You Can
When you have a baby, your baby will take up so much of your time and energy. Changing diapers, wiping away tears, and feeding will take up a considerable part of your day for a good long while. This can be absolutely exhausting, even more so when you just finished having the baby and are still recovering physically. You are in a period of recuperation and need to rest so that you can heal from the birthing process. Take your moments when you can and let yourself rest. There will always be something to be done. Sometimes it can wait.
Get The Right Vitamins
After childbirth, your body will be drained. Pregnancy is an arduous process, but the hard work doesn’t end after the baby is born. Even breastfeeding will sap the nutrients right out of your body. When our bodies are low on key nutrients, our bodies and minds suffer quite a bit. It is common to feel anxious or depressed from low vitamin levels, including B-Vitamins, Vitamin D, and even iron. Talk with your doctor to find a good multivitamin to keep your body going strong.
Give Yourself A Break
New mothers find themselves juggling the entire life that they had before and a huge range of new tasks. Yes, your baby needs you and will demand a lot of your time. This is unavoidable. Still, it doesn’t mean that you have to overwork yourself, trying to make everything run smoothly. Parenthood is messy and exhausting. If you find that you’re overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, it probably means that you’re burnt out. Give yourself a break when you can. Let the laundry pile up every once in a while and watch some trashy tv. Your body and mind need time to recover.
Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
One way that so many of us increase our anxiety levels is by simply ignoring our feelings. When you are a new mother, it can feel like you simply do not have time to dwell on your emotions. When we ignore our feelings, we fail to help stabilize our mental health because we are not caring for ourselves. You don’t have to like what you’re feeling. It doesn’t have to be productive. Some of your feelings won’t even make sense. Nothing will change the fact that your feelings are valid and worthy of your attention, care, and acknowledgment. Act accordingly.
Remind Yourself What You Have Accomplished
Sometimes when our mental health takes a hit, the best thing that we can do is remind ourselves just how far we have come. If you just had a baby and are suffering from anxiety or depression, try to remember that you just had created and birthed an entire baby. Childbirth is so hard on the body and the mind. Give yourself a little credit for everything that you have endured to bring your beautiful bundle of joy into the world. You are amazing. Remember that.
Focus On Your Gratitude
One of the best ways to combat depression is to focus on gratitude instead. Depression often leaves us stuck, focusing on the wrong things in life. It can make you feel like you are not enough or like your life isn’t the way you hoped it would be. Instead of letting these toxic thoughts run freely, give your mind some backup against the negativity by focusing on what is right in your life. Think about the way that your baby smiles or your favorite pair of cozy socks. It doesn’t have to be something huge, but find what you are grateful for and hold it close.
Stop Guilt-Tripping Yourself
Despite the fact that such a high percentage of women experience some form of postpartum depression, so many find themselves feeling guilt over it. Postpartum depression is a beast that attacks your mental health, and so many women find themselves ashamed when it happens. Instead of asking yourself why you can’t just be happy, focus instead on the reality of the situation. The fact is that postpartum depression is a very real and common occurrence. You’re not wrong for feeling bad. You’re recovering, and sometimes that isn’t easy or pretty.
Lean On Your Support Network
When you find yourself drowning in anxiety or suffering from depression, you should never face it alone. Depression and anxiety do strange things to the human mind, and they can often influence the way that we think and feel, sometimes irrationally. Leaning on your support network can help you to get a good reference point on your thoughts. Sometimes it helps merely to be heard, but other times those close to us can help us to see when we aren’t thinking clearly and help to guide us through it.
Anxiety and depression are two conditions that will fill you up with less than pleasant thoughts. When we hold these things in, we often find ourselves feeling worse. The thoughts can build, worsening our condition, and making us begin to spiral. Journaling is a great therapeutic technique that can help you to get out some of that negativity so you don’t have to keep dwelling on it. Many people who start journaling for therapeutic purposes find themselves enjoying it as a daily practice for other reasons as well.
Create A Sanctuary
Everyone needs a safe place that they can retreat to every once in a while. If you are feeling overwhelmed or as if you can never have any peace, that can trigger a lot of anxiety. Focus on creating a special place for yourself. Whether it is ten minutes of peace while the baby is napping, or you can carve out more time, make time for yourself to step back from the duties of being a mom for just a moment.
Be Honest About Your Feelings
Many people who suffer from anxiety and depression try to cover it up by default. This is because a lot of the time, the things that we feel or think just don’t seem like us. For many people, this can cause even more anxiety, making them wonder if they knew themselves at all. It is important to remember that we all don’t feel like ourselves every once in a while. Don’t pretend that you aren’t feeling something simply because you don’t want to feel it. Share your feelings with those around you, even if they don’t make any sense.
Join A Support Group
Support groups are an invaluable tool when you are suffering from anxiety or depression after childbirth. Sometimes it is a huge help to simply realize just how many women are also going through it. For many, merely learning that you aren’t alone is enough to help you find the courage to keep pushing through. It can really help to connect with other women who are going through something similar. A lot of people struggle when they feel like no one understands them. Support groups are an excellent way to remind yourself that you aren’t alone and that you can get through it.
Consider Working With A Professional
When it comes to mental health, sometimes our problems are simply bigger than us, Working with a professional is a fantastic solution to combatting mental health problems, no matter how big or small. If you are feeling like everything is simply too big for you, a good therapist can help you to feel a lot better a lot faster. These trained professionals know exactly how to help you work through your anxiety and depression. Just like you will see a doctor to check on your physical health, therapists are doctors who specialize in our minds and the way that we think. They have the tools to get you back on track much more quickly.
Having a baby is a rewarding and challenging process that can leave a woman feeling a lot of different ways. As you recover from childbirth, remember to be patient and kind to yourself. Your body is changing, and your entire life is changing at the same time. It is so important to remember that you have already done enough. You don’t need to be feeling 100% to be a great mom. What you do need to do is take care of yourself by whatever means necessary. You are not alone in this, and so many women have come back better and stronger from it. Find something to smile about, allow yourself to cry, and remember that you will get through this.