5 Post Natal Depression Busters For New Mothers
By: Salena Kulkarni
The joys of having a new baby can sometimes be overshadowed by post natal or post partum depression. Post natal depression is commonly known as "the baby blues." It is said to be triggered by hormonal changes after a baby is born. Its symptoms include depression, tearfulness, low self esteem, low self confidence, guilt feelings, insomnia, low appetite, low sex drive and in extreme cases, self destruction.
While serious bouts of depression may require appropriate medication under the guidance of a doctor, it is best to deal with post natal depression the natural way. The following are stress busting tips that you, too, could use to battle the baby blues:
Start and maintain a gratitude journal.
When you’re feeling blue, all you’ll want is to be by yourself. This may be the best time to pull out a nice clean notebook and to start a journal. Maintaining a journal is a time-tested practice that yields wondrous results for the author. While you may use your journal for letting all your negative emotions out on writing, do make a conscious effort to cite the things that are positive in your life. Happy thoughts can uplift your mood.
Be thankful for the big or small things that make you happy. They remind you that your current situation is just a small event in your life that will inevitably pass. For every bad feeling that starts to creep in, battle it with a happy thought over something that you are thankful for.
Face your situation knowing that you shall be over the hump soon.
The strain you are experiencing now is a result of major adjustments that must be made before things achieve a normal and stable state. Mothers eventually get more hours of sleep as their babies learn to sleep through the night. You, too, will gradually find more and more packets of free time to do some leisurely reading or catching up with old hobbies that you may have left behind.
As your baby grows older, you will experience more joy in being able to play or talk with your baby. Things will lighten up slowly at home after your adjustment period. Life may never be the same again for us mothers, but we do get our lives back on track in time.
Move your body.
Moderate amounts of exercise are known to lift one’s mood. When the body is set in motion, feel-good chemicals called "endorphins" are released into your system. This is the reason why children who run around appear to be "hyper" or excited. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises are common ways to release endorphins and adrenaline. Adrenaline is what makes your body feel energized. A ten-minute routine can produce immediate effects.
Try brisk-walking or hip-hop dancing. Alternatively, there is the low-impact activity of stretching. A few minutes of comfortable stretching from your shoulders to your feet contribute to a feeling of general well-being.
Develop some circuit breakers
Circuit breakers are typically known as mechanical systems for damage control. The same principle can be applied in a human situation. Notice how bad luck may seem to come in a series of events? The same holds true for stress. A bad start in the morning somehow sets the trend for the rest of the day. Sometimes, being tired and feeling low prevent you from doing things right.
If you feel that nothing seems to go your way today, stop right there and put on your circuit breaker. Break a seemingly bad cycle by downshifting or dropping some errands in the meantime.
Your set of circuit breakers should include easy things like stepping out to get some sunshine, reading a few pages of a good book, having a leisurely chat on the phone with a supportive friend, listening to your favorite music or having a bubble bath. Everyone has her own set of circuit breakers. Make a list of what works for you. The short activities that you resort to once in a while may spell the difference between having a bad day and a good day.
Meditation was originally practiced as a way of understanding the mystic forces of life. Its earlier concepts were related to philosophy and even religion. The states of bliss attained by its earlier proponents paved the way for the application of meditation as a stress-reduction technique.
Nowadays, one does not have to be a yogi to practice meditation. Anyone can meditate anywhere. You can learn it under the guidance of a trained instructor or simply follow an instructional video at home.
While not all mothers may experience post natal depression, getting the baby blues is not a sign of weakness nor should it be taken against you. Post natal depression happens to the best of us. Instead of wallowing in self pity and depression, deal with the blues by recognizing it when it strikes.
If you follow the five self help measures regularly, you’ll get past this phase even before you realize it. Until then, hang in there and remind yourself constantly that as in all life changing events, this, too, shall pass.
Salena Kulkarni is the creator of the 'Secrets of Extraordinary New Moms' program, which helps new moms feel energized, get back in shape, eliminate emotional overwhelm, and experience fulfillment in 30 days or less! Visit www.NewMommyMentor.com to get your FREE audio now.
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