Part 2 of this Bounce Back Better blog series will talk all about mental health and stress management. If you only read one post in this series I hope it is this one as mental health is SO important, especially for moms.
The process of adding a little one to your family is a monumental journey. You’ve gone through hormone changes, body changes, changes in your relationship with your partner, all while preparing your home to be baby-ready. There are bound to be rough patches, but rough patches should come and go.
PPA and PPD
After having a baby it is very normal to experience feelings of sadness, or ‘baby blues.” These feelings can last a few weeks and should start getting better soon after. During this time, lean into that tribe we talked about in part 1, ask for help and talk openly with your partner about how you’re feeling.
Sometimes this feeling lasts longer than a few weeks. At this point it may be postpartum depression. Postpartum depression and anxiety are relatively common and can happen for about 20% of moms. If feelings of sadness and loneliness persist, it is time to talk with your doctor. Be open and honest about how you are struggling and they’ll partner with you on a plan to get you back on track.
Stress Management for Mom
Not only does managing stress improve your own health, research shows that a parent’s ability to manage stress is a strong predictor of the quality of the relationship with her children and how happy her children are. I’m not saying this to stress you out or make you feel guilty. It’s just good to know that managing stress is important not only for you, but also for your whole family.
If you’re in need of a quick way to de-stress here are some easy ideas to try out that take five minutes or less. Test a few to find what works best.
- Breathe – use slow, deep breaths to lower your heart rate.
- Listen to Music – turn up your favorite song and belt out the lyrics.
- Take a Quick Walk – a quick walk will give you some time to center yourself and also will provide benefits of exercise!
- Find the Sun – sit outside for a few minutes for a fast pick-me-up.
- Count Backward – count backwards from ten while taking slow and deep breaths.
- Stretch – especially if you sit at a desk for work, stand up for a few minutes each hour and stretch it out.
- Close Your Eyes – take a break from a chaotic moment by just closing your eyes. Pair this with deep breathing or counting backward.
- Be Alone – even five minutes of alone time can help you clear your head.
- Cuddle With a Pet
- Laugh – laughter is the best medicine! Watch a funny YouTube video, or think about something that always makes you laugh.
What other ways do you manage stress? Drop it in the comments below!