How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression

There are several reasons why the holidays aren’t as enjoyable when you have postpartum depression.

In order to get through the holidays with postpartum depression, most women wear a smile for the sake of their families.  After all, celebrating the holidays with our children are some of the happiest memories we’ll ever make.  But it’s also one of the most stressful times, especially for mothers.  They tend to take the lead when it comes to cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating and wrapping gifts. 

If the thought of getting through the holidays with postpartum depression is already stressing you out, check out some of our tips for making it through unharmed. 

How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression

Start Planning in Advance

The holidays have a way of sneaking up on you.  It’s as though you’ve just begun to cope with sending the kids back to school and then suddenly, there are Christmas carols playing on the radio.  Feeling the pressure of time running out can have a big impact on our mental health.  The best way to avoid the added stress of last minute shopping and decorating is to start planning for the holidays well in advance. 

Get your calendar and write out all the important dates.  Mark down family dinners, holiday parties, school or work functions, vacation time and anything else happening over the holidays.  Once you know these dates, you can start planning meals, gifts, outfits, babysitters, etc. Keep your calendar in sight, even if it’s still a month or two away so that you can mentally prepare for what’s coming up.

Start your holiday shopping early.  You always say that you’re going to be one of those people that starts shopping early but end up leaving it until the last minute anyway.  Make a list of everyone you need to shop for and carry it around with you whenever you go out.  You never know when you’ll stumble across something great.   Check out online sales or discount sites like Zulily and sign up for e-mail lists at your favorite stores. 

Having a head start is one way to survive the holidays with postpartum depression.  Making lists and planning in advance can reduce the amount of stress, sleepless nights and anxiety.

12 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Year
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Minimize the Holiday Traditions

Special family traditions around the holidays are what makes this time of the year so memorable.  When you think back to holidays as a kid, what were some things that you remember doing every year?  Was it waiting up for Santa, baking cookies with grandma or watching a favorite movie?  These days, there are so many different traditions that you can start with your kids (especially on Pinterest).

But be careful which traditions you choose to start with your family and don’t try to adopt them all.  If you’re not much of a chef, then skip the holiday baking.  Or if crafting isn’t your thing, maybe buy a special ornament each year instead of trying to make one.  And take it from me, the Elf on the Shelf will use up way too much of your time and energy.  

If you plan to survive the holidays with postpartum depression, it will mean downsizing the festivities a bit until your symptoms are under control.  Having one or two special things that you do together over the holidays is more than enough to make it memorable.  Besides, your children would much rather spend time laughing together as a family, than do a bunch of baking and crafts with a stressed out mom. 

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression
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Set Aside Some “Me” Time

We can’t forget about self care during the holidays.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the spirit of giving that we forget about taking care of ourselves. If you want to make it through the holidays with postpartum depression, you need to take a break every once in a while. 

With all the holiday events coming up, book yourself a salon day and get your hair and nails done. If it’s something you splurge on once a year, now is the time to do it.  If you’re not sure where to start, chat with a professional Esthetician and get a free serum personalized for your specific skin care needs at Beauty by Design.  And don’t forget to put a massage or spa day on your wish list.  Winter is also a great time to try out a thermotherapy spa

With the change in seasons, many mothers with postpartum depression can get hit hard with the winter blues (a.k.a seasonal affective disorder).  This makes self care even more important during these colder, shorter days. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and exposure to sunlight to avoid falling deeper into a depressed state.

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Find a Socializing Buddy

As much as you don’t want to do it, socializing is good for you.  You may be dreading having to answer the annoying questions that everyone asks new moms, like “is the baby sleeping through the night” or “shouldn’t he be walking yet?”  And the thought of having everyone fawning over your baby might be unbearable, even if they are family.  

If you truly want to survive socializing over the holidays with postpartum depression, then what you need is a wing-man (or woman).  Find your person, the one who is going to help you out through all the holiday socializing.  It could be your spouse, sibling, a favorite cousin or friend.  It should be someone that you trust and have a great connection with.  Tell them what you are going through and ask them to help you out at family functions.  If they notice someone annoying you, they can swoop in and save you. 

You should never have to battle postpartum depression alone but that doesn’t mean you need to announce your condition at the dinner table.  Having just one person who understands how hard this is for you can make it so much easier.  And who knows, maybe you’ll even enjoy yourself!

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Don’t Avoid the Fun

Celebrating the holidays with postpartum depression is no fun.  But that doesn’t mean you should hide away or avoid the festivities.  You might think that your presence will just bring everyone down or make others feel awkward and so you decline invitations or leave the party early. 

Even if you don’t think you’re much fun, I assure you that others are glad you’re there.  Your children, especially, are happier when you are there.  So be in the pictures, sit around the fire and join in the dinner conversations, even if you have nothing to say.  It’s hard to remember all the days when our kids are young.  But you’ll remember the holidays, and so will they.


16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone’s Mood

Holidays can be exciting.  But what about when they’re not?

For many people, the holidays can be stressful and offer more to dread than look forward to.  Mothers suffering from a mood disorder can feel an added amount of pressure to make things special when they really don’t feel up to it and anxiety can worsen with all of the extra socializing.  And anyone who has lost a loved one may miss them more than usual around the holidays.

Between the cold weather, long stretches of darkness and the financial strain of the holidays, it’s no wonder that up to 20% of people report suffering from seasonal affective disorder.

If someone you love is feeling down around the holidays, then consider one of these gifts from Etsy that are sure to boost anyone’s mood.
16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

Light Therapy

Warm, soft lighting is a great mood booster.  One thing that often makes us feel down during the winter is the lack of sunshine.  Anything that simulates natural light will help to boost our mood naturally.

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NewMoonBeginnings on Etsy

This lamp from NewMoonBeginnings is made from raw, natural Selenite, which is a crystal used for cleansing negative energy.

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Himalayan salt lamps are also very popular for their healing benefits and soft lighting.  They are great for cleansing and purifying the air in a room and can promote a better night’s sleep. 

The Original Heng Balance Lamp by SevenRiversCrafts on Etsy

This magnetic lamp is a great addition to any modern, minimalist decor with it’s adds soft, LED lighting.  Get it from SevenRiversCrafts.


Inspirational Messages

Quotes and sayings that inspire us have a way of boosting our mood, both directly and subconsciously.  Being surrounded by inspirational messages, whether it’s a framed print in our designated self care sanctuary, or worn on clothing and accessories, is a great way to remind someone of how strong they really are.

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RaincityPrints on Etsy

RaincityPrints does some beautiful work on famous inspirational quotes including everything from Buddha to the Gilmore Girls.  You can have it professionally printed in different sizes, or get it in a digital file and print it yourself (a great last-minute gift idea)!

JessieGirlJewelry on Etsy

These gorgeous minimal cuff bracelets from JessieGirlJewelry have a secret hidden message engraved on the inside of them.  Not only will you look stylish, but you’ll have a little mood boost with you wherever you go.

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TattooMoments on Etsy

Believe it or not, these are temporary tattoos!  This collection from TattooMoments includes 14 tattoos that can last up to 7 days.  This is a great way to show off a motivational message without the commitment of a permanent tattoo.  


Download these 4 FREE 8 x 10 Inspirational Prints in the Running in Triangles Free Resource Library, available exclusively to subscribers of the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide. Click here to subscribe.


The Gift of Comfort

Perhaps it’s our natural instinct to want to hibernate come cold weather, but nothing makes us feel happier than being warm and cozy.  Comfort gifts are a great mood booster, not only because they make us feel good, but also because receiving one is like getting permission to be lazy all day.

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LittleMimis on Etsy

If you’re gonna give a blanket as a gift this year, then you have to go with a weighted blanket.  There are so many benefits of a weighted blanket for someone suffering from depression, anxiety or insomnia.  Even those without a mental health condition will still benefit from the comfort of a weighted blanket.  It’s like being wrapped in a giant hug.  This one from LittleMimis comes in different weights, colors and patterns and can even be custom embroidered.  

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WineALittleGifts on Etsy

These socks are a great way of telling your loved one to put their feet up and relax.  Don’t worry if they’re not a wine drinker because WineALittleGifts sells over 100 different designs, so you’re sure to find the right pair!

LaAquarelle on Etsy

Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on a person’s mood.  Help your loved one get better night’s sleep with this sleep mask set from LaAquarelle.  It comes in a choice of organic fabrics and includes a lavender sachet you can put under your pillow to help you sleep.


Meditation Tools

Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to improve your mood.  Even for a beginner, the practice of meditation can be easily incorporated into anyone’s self-care routine.  While actual “tools” aren’t a necessity for meditation, there are several gift ideas that can help to enhance the experience.

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SenseSation on Etsy

Aromatherapy is an excellent mood booster and supplement to meditation.  There are so many options available but this necklace diffuser set from SenseSation makes a perfect gift.  The necklace features the popular “Tree of Life” design and comes with interchangeable colored pads, as well as six different essential oil blends.

Silent Mind Meditation bowl Tibetan Singing Bowl Set Beaten image 0
SilentMindBowls on Etsy

Tibetan singing bowls have been used in meditation for thousands of years.  The tone they produce is designed to help relax the mind and body and drown out background noise to aid in focus and concentration.  These bowls from SilentMindBowls are not only a stunning art piece, but useful for meditation and relaxation as well.

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GlimpseGlass on Etsy

Indoor plants have so many incredible mood boosting benefits.  Being surrounded by lush greenery indoors while everything lays dead and dormant outdoors is one way to keep spirits up during the winter.  Choose a low maintenance option, such as this set of 12 air plants from AURAMORE.   Air plants are a great way to incorporate greenery without needing to worry about pots and soil.  Instead, you can put them inside one of these glass terrariums from GlimpseGlass for a beautiful combination.


Encourage Creativity

Being bored and cooped up inside the house during winter will put anyone in a bad mood.  For the holidays this year, consider giving the gift of creativity.  If your loved one already has a hobby, then you’re off to a good start.  But here are a few suggestions if they’re looking for something new to keep their mind distracted and to help lift their mood.

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KirstenBurkeDesign on Etsy

The art of calligraphy is so modern and popular right now.  It’s also an art form that isn’t time-consuming, tedious or strenuous and offers a lot of different applications.  With this beginner’s set from KirstenBurkeDesign, anyone can learn this fantastic skill, all while keeping busy to beat the winter blues.

Creative Mind. Happy Soul. Doodle Journal Guided Journal image 0
DOODLELovelyNow on Etsy

Coloring and doodling offers a simple way to turn off the brain and soothe the mind.  Using an array of bright colors can also work as a mood booster on the dark, grey days of December.  This doodle journal from DOODLELovelyNow gives you space to write, doodle, color and more!

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HawthornHandmade on Etsy

There are so many different ways to encourage creativity.  Crafting of any kind can make a person feel proud and accomplished, but it’s also a way to ban boredom during the winter months.  On Etsy, you’ll be able to find so many different DIY crafting kits, such as this weaving wall hanging kit from HawthornHandmade.  Some other popular favorites include a macrame kit, a beaded embroidery kit and paint by number sets.  


Celebrations
Give the Gift of Etsy

If you didn’t see something specific on this list that appealed to you, or if you just couldn’t decide, then consider giving an Etsy gift card instead.  It can be printed or emailed to the recipient so it makes a great last-minute gift.  And with thousands upon thousands of different things to choose from, it’s a gift that will definitely put a smile on someone’s face.


I know, firsthand, how difficult winter can be – no matter how much you love the holidays.  The extreme high of celebrating with family and friends ends so abruptly, that it’s common for people to feel depressed shortly after the holidays are over.  By giving a gift specifically to help boost their mood, you’re encouraging long-term happiness.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood

16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood

The Best Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Holidays can be difficult to celebrate for a woman suffering from postpartum depression. 

What should be a happy time spent making memories, instead reminds her of the pain and shortcomings she’s felt since becoming a mother.  When shopping for a gift for a mother with postpartum depression, look for something that is considerate of her condition.  Not all gifts are appropriate for a woman who feels guilty or unworthy of being a mother and can make her feel worse than she already does.

Here are some ideas for gifts for mothers with postpartum depression.
Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Personalized Jewelry

GracePersonalized on Etsy

Don’t just buy her a generic diamond necklace.  Look for a piece that includes her children and family so that when she wears it, she will be reminded of who she’s fighting for in the first place. 

A beautiful option is this fingerprint necklace from GracePersonalized on Etsy.  Having a necklace that contains her child’s fingerprint, hand or footprints will remind her that she created an entire unique person.  But the kids aren’t the only things keeping her going.  I like this lovebirds necklace from MenuetDesigns on Etsy because it speaks volumes of how important a strong support system is.  Sincerely Silver is another great site to find a unique, personalized piece that’s extra meaningful. 

[For more ways to offer support, read: 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Something That Won’t Die

Teardrop Terrarium DIY Kit image 2
PlanetPlanters on Etsy

Cut flowers wilt and die and there’s nothing she can do about it.  Get her something that she can watch grow and blossom.  Growing something will bring her a sense of pride. 

So instead of a bouquet of flowers, get her a potted plant or a DIY terrarium kit.  Gardening or growing indoor plants is an excellent form of self-care as well and can become something that not only keeps her mind distracted, but brightens up her living area as well.  If she doesn’t have a green-thumb, get her a book about gardening instead. 

[For more information on the benefits of gardening, read: 16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms]


Matching Mommy & Me Outfits

ByMissSally on Etsy

Bonding with baby can be tough for a mother with postpartum depression.  Matching t-shirts, outfits or hats might seem cheesy, but it can make her feel more connected to baby and remind her of the special connection they share.


A Monthly Subscription Box

BumpBoxes

In the category of gifts for a mother with postpartum depression, monthly subscription boxes should be at the top the list!  Chances are, she doesn’t want to go out and shop for herself.  Even some of the basic necessities she needs become less of a priority for her.  Having something delivered to her door is a wonderful surprise that she can look forward to each month.

Here are a few that I would recommend for a mother with postpartum depression:

Bump BoxesIf she’s expecting or just had a baby, then definitely sign her up for a Bump Box!  They’re monthly boxes tailored for each trimester of pregnancy.  You can also order a breastfeeding box, a new mommy to be box and a variety of newborn boxes.

The Mommy Mailbox – a box full of things designed specifically to brighten up a mom’s day!

Blume Formerly known as Ellebox. This is the ultimate self-care subscription box!  Mothers with postpartum depression can dread “that time of the month” especially because they haven’t had to deal with it during their pregnancy (and possibly longer if they were breastfeeding) so it becomes just one more thing they need to handle.  The addition of the mood swings and cramping can become overbearing for someone who’s already suffering so much.  Take the stress out of it with this monthly subscription box that includes organic pads and tampons, specially formulated cramp oil, acne and face washes and more!

InstaCandy – who doesn’t love candy?  Getting a box of candy delivered to your door every month is sure to brighten up the darkest of days.

Like the idea of a delivered box full of goodies but not ready to commit to a monthly subscription?  Check out the Pampered Mommy Box! Their “Best of” Box is full of surprise goodies valued over $100! 


A Customized Photo Book

Mixbook.com

Photos can have a lot of meaning for a woman with postpartum depression.  Looking back at pictures of happier times can be an excellent way to relieve stress and help keep her connected to those memories.  Creating a photo book filled with pictures of baby can also help to connect her to her child and reduce some of the guilt that often comes along with missing out on those first few months.  A photo book is sure to be something she will cherish long after she has recovered from the darkness of postpartum depression.

You can create fully customized photo books and/or prints at Mixbook.com


Self-Care Products

Zulily.com

It goes without saying that self-care is SO important for moms to keep up good mental health.  This category of gifts offers such a wide variety of choices, depending on what’s most important to the mother in your life.  A robe, bath bombs, spa sets, or a massage unit are all great gifts for her to use on a daily basis to make sure that she’s getting in regular self-care.

The best self-care gifts for a mother with postpartum depression are things that she can use regularly, don’t consume too much of her precious time, and can help her relax and take care of herself.

If you want to really want to give her the gift of self-care, then splurge on a spa day!  Click here to purchase a Spa Finder Gift Card  that she can use at thousands of different locations.  It’s available to print or e-mail so it makes a great last-minute gift too!

[Related Reading: Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]


Aromatherapy

Essential oils and aromatherapy can have a big impact on a mother with postpartum depression.  This starter kit from Rocky Mountain Oils has everything a mother needs to incorporate essential oils into her life.   It includes a diffuser and six popular oils.


A Personal Assistant

Amazon.com

You know what mothers with postpartum depression REALLY want?  A personal assistant…

The Amazon Echo smart speaker connects to “Alexa” a voice-based personal assistant.  The best part is that Alexa will respond to anyone’s voice, as long as they call her by name.  So older kids who ask a million questions a day or want to hear their favorite song over and over again – can now ask Alexa instead of Mom.

Alexa can also look things up online, tell jokes, keep notes, make lists and reminders, play music and make phone calls – all completely hands free!  It’s one of the best gifts for a mother with postpartum depression who is suffering from a severe case of foggy brain!


Journaling Equipment

Indigo.ca

Writing about postpartum depression is one of the best therapies available.  It’s a great way to get all those dark feelings out of the brain and onto paper.  A journal is a great gift option for a mother who needs to express her feelings.  Bullet journals are the latest trend right now.  You can eve find printable bullet journal kits on Etsy to create a one of a kind personalized gift.


Coloring Books

Indigo.ca

There’s a huge difference between coloring with the kids, and coloring by yourself.  I, myself, have recently jumped on the adult coloring book train, and it’s an incredible way to release stress and shut off the brain for a few moments.

There are adult coloring books everywhere these days so you’re sure to find one that suits the mom you’re shopping for.  My favorite ones are the patterns or the inspirational quotes, but there are also ones with swears for the moms who really need to let it all out.


Remember: One of the best gifts for mothers with postpartum depression is your love, support and understanding…

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression