15+ Self Care Ideas To Keep You Warm in the Winter

It can be tough to find the motivation for self care in the winter.

It’s in our nature to want to hibernate under the covers all winter long and avoid leaving the house.  But staying isolated and failing to take proper care of ourselves during the winter months can lead to bouts of seasonal depression.  Self care is important year round, so despite the miserable weather, we should always try to make time for it.

Here are a few ideas for self care in the winter that are sure to keep you feeling warm and cozy. 
Self Care Ideas in the Winter
*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.

1. Light a Fire in the Fireplace

There’s no better way to warm up in the winter than sitting by the fireplace.  You can read, write, listen to music, watch your favorite movie or even just sit quietly and enjoy the crackling sound of the flames.  Flickering light is said to have a meditative effect on the mind which helps to reduce stress.  In some parts of the world, firelight is essential to the practice of hygge during the winter.

2. Relax by Candlelight

In the same way, dancing candlelight can help you relax as well.  Stock up on candles over the winter and light them whenever you get the chance.  Light a few in the kitchen while you’re cooking or dine by candlelight.  Keep one on your bedside table while you relax in bed or beside the tub while you soak.  Just remember not to fall asleep while they’re lit or leave them unattended, of course. 

Hygge Lifestyle
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3. Curl Up With a Cozy Blanket

Self care in the winter is all about wrapping yourself in warm, cozy blankets.  You may have several blankets in every room that you use, or maybe you have a favorite one that you practically live in.  The soft touch of a blanket wrapped around us helps us to feel safe and secure.  Being warm is also better for our blood circulation and improves our overall mood. 

4. Take a Hot Bath or Shower

Soaking in a hot bath or standing under a hot shower is a great way to warm up in the winter.  Try adding Epsom salts to the bath water for an added dose of magnesium.  Or throw in a few shower steamers filled with essential oils.  If you find that you prefer hot showers more frequently in the winter, make sure to use all natural products that will keep your hair and skin soft and moisturized without overloading on chemicals. 

5. Visit a Thermal Spa

If you haven’t already, check out a thermal spa in your area.  They are great places to visit in the colder months because you can access the full range of hot and cold.  Natural, mineral hot springs have healing waters that not only warm you up, but can provide relief from muscle and joint pains. 

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
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6. Get a Hot Stone Massage

Obviously any kind of massage therapy is a great way to practice self care in the winter.  But if you’re not a fan of deep tissue massage, try opting for a hot stone massage instead.  The warm volcanic rocks strategically placed on your body can loosen up tight muscles and reduce inflammation, stress and tension.  P.S. don’t forget to put SpaFinder gift cards on your wish list to use for this! 

7. Warm Up Your Feet

You can warm up your entire body simply by starting with the feet.  Warm feet will help you sleep better but if you’re not comfortable wearing socks to bed, try plugging in a heated mattress pad or blanket just at the foot of your bed.  Invest in a pair of ultra cozy socks or slippers to wear in the winter.  For added benefits, roll some essential oil blends onto the soles of your feet before slipping them into socks to absorb all the goodness.  

8. Sip Some Herbal Tea

Don’t forget to keep warm from the inside too!  Sipping on herbal tea is a great self care activity to do daily.   There are many health benefits of drinking green tea or just plain hot water with lemon.  But you can find herbal teas for almost any ailment these days.  There’s a reason why it’s such an integral part of any ancient culture. 

Warning Signs Your Body is Screaming for a Detox
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9. Visit a Steam Room

Many gyms or indoor pools give you access to a steam room so definitely take advantage of them in the winter.  Steam is a great way to detoxify the body, clean out the pores and help boost our immune systems.  It’s especially helpful to loosen things up when you’re suffering from a stuffy nose or chest congestion.  Just make sure to have a good shower and don’t forget to exfoliate and moisturize afterwards to get rid of all the toxins you’ve just sweat out. 

10. Go for a Run

Staying active is one of the most important self care practices in the winter.  It’s all too easy to neglect our bodies when they’re always covered up.  So bundle up and go for a run around the neighborhood.  You might start off feeling cold, but the longer you go, the warmer you’ll get.  Or run indoors on a treadmill.  It’s important to get your heart rate up at least once a day, which will improve your blood circulation to keep you warm all over. 

11. Do Some Yoga Stretches

Meditative yoga is another great form of self care in the winter.  Despite it’s slow and concentrated movements, you will work up quite a sweat holding those positions.  Stretching daily will help our bones and muscles from getting weak over the winter months, when we might not as be as active.  

Thermea Finlandia Sauna
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12. Spend Time in a Sauna

Similar to steam rooms, saunas can be found at most gyms, indoor pool areas or spas.  The dry heat of a sauna focuses directly on helping you sweat out toxins in your body.  You can even find places that offer hot yoga, which is a yoga class done entirely in a sauna for added benefits.  Search SpaFinder to see locations near you that offer these specific type of services.  

13. Bake Something Warm and Delicious

Baking is a great winter activity, especially around the holidays.  But don’t do it out of necessity or you’ll just stress yourself out.  Bake just for the fun of it.  Having a warm oven on will heat up the whole house and the delicious smells coming from it are an entirely different form of aromatherapy.  And then go ahead and indulge.  Use the real chocolate and the full fat cream and don’t skimp on the sprinkles.

14. Make a Pot of Soup

Nothing warms you up faster in the winter than a delicious bowl of hot soup.  Soup days are perfect and easy for those dreary days when you’re stuck in the house.  Or have a pot ready to go for when you get in from being outside in the cold all day.  Try making a bone broth from scratch or get the kids to help you make an easy veggie soup.  Soup is a winter time staple but also light and healthy. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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15. Knit a Scarf

The winter months are a great time to start a new project.  With all the extra time spent indoors, you’ll need something to keep you occupied or you’ll end up with a bad case of cabin fever.  Knitting a scarf, hat or mittens for yourself, your kids or a loved one is a great place to start.  Or work on some other form of art therapy.  Creating something will give you a sense of pride and boost your confidence.  Depending on how good your skills are, you can even give some away as handmade Christmas presents. 

16. Cuddle With Someone You Love

Finally, the best way to stay warm this winter is to spend lots of time cuddled up with the ones you love.  Whether you’re suffering from a mental illness like postpartum depression or just a case of the winter blues, nothing heals better than a hug.  You’ll stay warm simply by sharing body heat, and you’ll get a mood boost from spending time with others.  So this winter, if you plan to hibernate indoors, make sure you’ve got someone to spend it with and find ways to take care of yourself while still keeping warm.


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.

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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.  (But if you must follow through on this one, here are some adorable ideas using your home security camera!)

Consider sending virtual Christmas cards this year.  Buying cards, signing them all and mailing them out can be time consuming and not something a mother with postpartum depression wants to do.  But sending a paperless card is both easy and good for the environment.  Paperless Post has a huge selection of beautiful holiday cards and invitations, plus you can store all your contact’s e-mail addresses for next year! 

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.


Two Mental Health Warriors Share What It Means To Be Fragile

Do you consider yourself to be fragile?

I recently collaborated with Katya and Cait, the founders of The Fragile Club.  One thing we have in common is our shared passion for raising mental health awareness.  We recognize that in order to do that, we need to encourage the conversation around mental illness.  The more people who are brave enough to speak up about what they are battling, the less stigmatized it will be.  

On both our sites, those suffering from mental illness are invited to speak up and share their stories, no matter how scary it might be.  The Fragile Club also offers a line of merchandise, with profits going towards mental health organizations around the world.  These simple pieces, including clothing, hats and even an adorable fanny pack, are branded with a single word “fragile.”  

I took the opportunity to interview these two incredible women and find out more about what it means to be part of The Fragile Club.
The Fragile Club
*This is a collaborative post and contains opinions from a third party. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

1. What is the Fragile Club?

Katya: The Fragile Club, first of all, is a community. The place where we share our stories and support each other.

Cait: The Fragile Club is a socially conscious brand created to bring awareness to mental health. For every item sold we donate the profits to one of our partnered Mental Health Organizations. We know that everyone has their own powerful story that can impact individuals and we encourage sharing as a core way to empower and support.

2. In what ways does the Fragile Club help raise awareness for mental health?

Katya: We are building a network of people with social influence (celebrities and social media influencers) who share their experiences dealing with mental health-related problems in order to show that it is okay to be open and talk about it. Also, we donate part of the profit from sold products to Mental Health organizations around the world.

Cait: Through our ambassadors, collaborators, partners and community we aim to bring mental health into normal conversation. And it’s through sharing our individual stories that we can raise impactful awareness.

The Fragile Club
Click here to purchase The Fragile Club Sweatshirt

3. How do you two know each other?

Katya: We both work remotely in the area of digital marketing and advertising.  We met not too long ago through friends in common during our travels in South-East Asia and stayed in touch since then. We have a lot in common – modelling, that we both do, remote work, travel, etc. Cait helped me with the content for a few projects and during one of the brainstorming sessions, the idea of The Fragile Club was born.

Cait: As Katya explains, we both have lots of experience working remotely and we met via mutual friends during our travels in South-East Asia and have stayed in touch since then. The first time we worked together I was creating content for some of Katya’s projects and we really enjoyed working together.

4. Aside from the Fragile Club, what kinds of things are you interested in?

Katya: As a full-time job, I do digital marketing and advertising and I’m absolutely loving it! Besides that, I’m interested in fitness, art and travels.

Cait: Both Katya and myself have been in the modeling industry. I love fitness, health, personal growth and content creation.

The Fragile Club
Katya and Cait – The Founders of The Fragile Club

5. What inspired you to start the Fragile Club?

Katya: As an entrepreneur, I always wanted to create something that would bring some value to society. As I personally have experience with depression and anxiety, I want to support people who deal with mental health-related problems.

Cait: Katya and I both are very passionate about creating positive change and our biggest conversation has been around mental health. We wanted to create something in the mental health space and the Fragile Club fell into place.

6. Tell us more about your personal experiences with mental illness.

Katya: I had depression, hypochondria and anxiety. After my first thought that suicide isn’t a really bad idea, I went to the psychiatrist on the same day. Had to go through the therapy and course of antidepressants to get to the point where I am now. I lived with it over 3 years without understanding what’s wrong with me (most of the time I was thinking that I have some kind of disease and I’m dying). I’m happy it’s over.

Cait: My sister’s story has had a huge impact on me and is a big reason why I care so much about Fragile. She grew up a middle child of 4 girls and always felt like the underdog in our religious family. Along with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this lead to her drinking and getting into drugs by the age of 12, pregnant by the time she was 16, and leaving home at 17. Years later, when she was 22, my family learned that she had become addicted to heroin two years earlier. This was devastating to my whole family. My mom has been amazing in helping her rehabilitate and she’s been safely on methadone for the past few years.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried over my little sister and how much I just want her to know she is loved and she doesn’t have to feel so alone and outcasted. I want anyone who’s felt the way she has to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and for the people around them to know how to help the people they love.

Personally, I’ve been through periods of depression, anxiety, self-hatred and multiple mental breakdowns. I’ve had anemia and endometriosis which both has fed periods of depression. And I know what it feels like to feel like no one supports you and you don’t know what to do.

The Fragile Club
Click here to purchase The Fragile Club Fanny Pack

7. What does being “fragile” mean to you?

Being fragile means that you are human. We want to highlight that everyone around us has gone through situations that we can’t understand, much less judge. Being fragile means that you accept your pain and become stronger by owning it. It also means that we need to remember that the person next to you has struggles and pain of their own, no matter who they are.

8. What do you feel is the biggest barrier to proper mental health care?

There are many barriers, but the biggest we believe is the stigma surrounding mental illness. This is why we care so much about our mission to raise awareness and funds for mental health. We need both community and government to support each other as well as the funds to bring about proper treatment and research.

9. What do you hope to achieve in the future with the Fragile Club?

We want to bring this important issue to the forefront of conversation in society and culture. That is our biggest hope and dream.

The Fragile Club
Click here to purchase The Fragile Club Beanie

10. How can others become involved in your mission?

Simply by making a single purchase donates funds to mental health organizations we’ve vetted and believe in their work. By someone wearing Fragile it helps to bring mental health to conversation in their daily life.

11. Anything else you’d like to add?

By removing judgement, we have room support and encourage each other to be the best versions of ourselves, and that includes understanding and supporting each other in our darkest moments.


For more information about The Fragile Club, to share your story on their site or to make a purchase and support mental health initiatives around the world, please visit http://fragileclub.com.

The Fragile Club The Fragile Club

This is Why I Write About Postpartum Depression

Ever wonder how I came to write about postpartum depression and act as an advocate for maternal mental health?

For the past couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with women suffering from all kinds of mental health issues after giving birth.  It’s for those women that I write about postpartum depression.  I spend my days creating resources, infographics and researching, all the while wishing I had access to this same information when I was heavily battling postpartum depression.

Recently, someone asked me how and why I decided to write about postpartum depression.  It got me thinking about my journey to becoming a maternal mental health blogger and advocate. 

And so, in keeping with the Running in Triangles tradition, here is my story.
Why I Write About 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.

I always wanted to be a writer.

From a young age, I knew that writing was one of my strengths.  Not only did it come naturally to me, but I loved doing it.  Having the ability to tell an entire story just from words felt like a superpower.  The English language gets a lot of criticism for it’s wide array of spellings, meanings, synonyms and slang words.  But I think having so many different words to express a single emotion is one thing that makes it great.

Throughout my life, I struggled to find the right path for my writing.  Books, journals, diaries, poems, short stories… all started and forgotten about.  I knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t know what I wanted to say.

My first mom blog.

In my late teens and early 20’s I took to the internet to showcase my writing on sites such as My Space (and other infamous ones that no longer exist).   I enjoyed having a space to write knowing that someone else other than myself might actually read it.  

I started my first, real, mom blog in 2013.  At the time, I was in the thick of postpartum depression and needed an outlet for my emotions.  But I didn’t write about postpartum depression.  I wrote about recipes and crafts and funny things my kids did because that’s what all the other mom bloggers were doing.
10 Mothers Who Lost the Battle to Postpartum Depression

The story that changed my life.

A few months after starting my fluffy mom blog, a news story from my hometown hit headlines – two young children found drowned in a bathtub and the mother had gone missing.  They suspected postpartum depression (or psychosis).  I became obsessed with the story and constantly checked for updates to see if she had been found.  The online comments were filled with things like “I hope she’s dead” or “what kind of monster does that” and “she doesn’t deserve to be a mother.”

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t think about anything else other than poor Lisa Gibson and her two babies.  I still cry at the mere thought of it.  Yes, it’s tragic and heartbreaking, but that’s not the only reason I cry. I cry because it could have been me.  At 4 months postpartum, I was fighting suicidal thoughts on a regular basis and imagining drowning my colicky baby in the bathtub.  But I was not a terrible mother, I was just sick.

Two days later, Lisa Gibson’s body was found floating in the river.  It was a tragic ending but I felt relieved for her.  She was finally free of the mental anguish she was likely consumed by.  Would she have even wanted to live after finding out what happened?  The story tormented me for weeks, and the public reaction was even worse.  No matter what I did, I could not silence the voice in my head that kept saying, “do something about this.”

Postpartum Depression Resources in Canada 1
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The first time I spoke up.

I couldn’t just sit by and spectate anymore.  I knew why people said the things they did… they didn’t understand it.  I couldn’t be mad at the online commentators because postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders are NEVER talked about.  And unfortunately, Lisa Gibson would never get the chance to tell her side of the story.

But I could tell mine.

And that’s what I did.  I sat down at my computer and just wrote.  Tears streamed down my face as I choked on the giant lump in my throat.  I would write something truthful and then immediately delete it.  What would people think of me?  What would others say?  Would they take my kids away if they read this?  I would imagine Lisa Gibson floating in the river and I would write it all over again.

Nearly every single sentence had me second guessing the decision to share my story.  And every time, I would picture Lisa Gibson or repeat the hateful online comments and push onward.  Finally, it was finished but I was struggling to publish it.  Once I hit that button – everyone will know.  Will people treat me differently?  Will I get hateful comments too?  I felt sick to my stomach as I hit the “publish” button, but it was done.  There was no going back now.

Prenatal & Postpartum Depression - Vanessa's Story
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The reaction to my story.

Once my story went live, I thought I would feel better.  But it was the opposite.  I was consumed by anxiety.  I couldn’t sleep.  Was this a mistake?  Is it too late to take it down?  I waited for the mean comments, for the misunderstandings and the judgement.

I got nothing but love.

Those who knew me reached out with complete empathy and the sincerest praise.  Friends that I saw in person told me how moved they were by my story.  I started to get comments and emails from women who experienced something similar.  They all said one in thing in common… “me too.”

Fast forward 5 years later.

After sharing my story, I finally felt fulfilled and stopped writing for a while.  I couldn’t go back to blogging about nothing when I had just said so much.  I decided to take control of my postpartum depression and began treatment.  I even had another baby without experiencing a postpartum depression relapse

Five years after hitting the publish button on my postpartum depression story, I found myself as a stay at home mom looking for a side hustle.  Mom blogs had not disappeared, in fact they seemed to be taking over the internet.  Moms were replacing their full time jobs running their own blogs from home.  Could a blog be a way for me to turn my writing into a full time career?  I had to give it a try.

How to Start Blogging About Postpartum Depression
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The Early Days of Running in Triangles

Running in Triangles was initially targeted towards moms of three kids (hence the name).  I had learned that, in order to be a successful mom blog, I should write posts that were helpful.  So I started by sharing my best advice for sleep training and breastfeeding.  They quickly became popular and are still some of my top articles. 

I desperately wanted to write more about postpartum depression, but I was still afraid to say exactly what I wanted to.  Out of that fear came the post, 9 Reasons Why Moms Don’t Speak Up About Postpartum Depression.  It was the blog post that changed the entire direction of Running in Triangles.

Since the blog was now seeing a steady amount of traffic worldwide, I was able to reach a lot more moms with postpartum depression.  They started emailing me and commenting about how they related 100% to what I wrote in that post.  They said they wanted to speak up about postpartum depression but were too afraid and didn’t know how to begin.  So I launched The Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series, making it possible for moms from any background to share their stories in a safe place.  The following year, I featured 10 Questions About Postpartum Depression in order to allow even more women to open up about their experience.

Mothers Answer 10 Questions About Postpartum Depression
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The Reason Why I Write About Postpartum Depression

Throughout this journey, I have finally discovered the true path for my writing.  I write about postpartum depression to help educate others on what it’s like living with this mental illness.  I write for all those mothers who are unable to find the words to say it themselves. I write for those who can’t tell their stories anymore, like Lisa Gibson and countless other women who lost the battle to postpartum depression

I write about postpartum depression because not enough people do.  It needs to be talked about more, to be included in regular conversation.  It’s not a bad word or something to be ashamed of.  I write for future generations, in the hopes that they will take the time to learn about it and put an end to the stigma of it. 

I write about postpartum depression in order to empower women.  New mothers should be able to access facts and information, find resources and support groups and know their treatment options.  But too often, the medical system fails them.  There’s not much I can do to change that, but I can give mothers the tools they need to take their mental health into their own hands. 

And at the end of the day, if I’ve saved even one mother from drowning in the river, then it’s completely worth it.
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To The Husbands of the Women With Postpartum Depression

It’s not easy to love a woman with postpartum depression.

We know that it’s tough on the husbands of women with postpartum depression.  The same goes for all of the boyfriends, fiances, significant others and baby daddies.  Not only are they thrust into this new role of caring for a child, but they’ve had to watch the woman they love suffer,  possibly for 9 long months followed by intense labor.  And then postpartum depression on top of all of that?

It’s common for new fathers to feel completely helpless when it comes to pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding .  If they could carry some of the burden for us, we know they would. 

Here are some things that we wish we could say to the husbands of the women with postpartum depression. 
To The Husbands of the Women 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.
To The Husbands of the Women with Postpartum Depression

Thank you.

We say it all the time, nearly everyday, in every possible situation.  But this time, we truly mean it.  Thank you from the depths of our soul.  Thank you for giving us this incredible gift of motherhood, even if we’d like a refund some days.  Thank you for noticing that something wasn’t right.  Thank you for cancelling those dinner plans when you knew we didn’t want to go.  Thank you for being in our corner. Thank you for completely understanding, without understanding at all. 

We need you.

We act like we don’t need you, like we can do everything ourselves and say that we’d be better off on our own.  But it’s not true.  That’s the postpartum depression talking.  We need you now more than you will ever know.  

13 Things About Postpartum Depression All New Moms Need to Know
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It’s okay if you don’t get it.

How could we ever expect you to understand what it’s like?  We know you don’t get it, but we love that you support us anyway.  You don’t need to say anything clever or important.  Even though it might go against your nature as a man, you don’t need to fix us.  It’s okay that you can’t make it better or make it go away.  We don’t think any less of you for feeling helpless.

Your role is important too.

Dads simply don’t get enough credit when it comes to parenting.  Moms are normally at the forefront of the physical, emotional and mental battle that comes with bringing up children.  But we want our husbands to know that their role as fathers are just as important as our roles as mothers. 

You may not be able to breastfeed the baby, but supporting us in doing it (or deciding not to do it)  helps more than you realize.  The way you play with the children when you get home from work makes us feel a little less guilty about ignoring them all day.  Your ability to pick up the slack and not make us feel bad about it takes a huge weight off our shoulders.   The truth is, we couldn’t do any of this without you.
10 Mothers Who Lost the Battle to Postpartum Depression

We’re sorry for yelling at you.

Sometimes you’re just an innocent bystander and sometimes you’ve done something to deserve it, but we get angry a lot these days.  It’s harder to control our emotions and it doesn’t take much to make us frustrated, angry, irritated or annoyed.  Our crowded, heavy minds don’t even realize how irrational we sound most of the time.  We only take it out on you because we trust you.  We know that you can handle it and hope you don’t take it personally. 

You are our safe place.

All day long we have to be strong and put on a fake smile.  And when we finally see you, we let it all out because you are where we feel the safest.  We are not afraid to be vulnerable around you because we know how much you love us.  It may sound like we’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but really, it’s just emotional vomit.  We need to get it all out to feel better, and thankfully you’re there to hold back our hair. 

14 Ways to Help A Mother with Postpartum Depression
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We are trying to save you.

We feel like we’re drowning and we don’t want to drag you down with us.  We push you away, not because we don’t love you, but because we love you too much to see you suffer.   There is no point in both of us being miserable, so instead we keep you at a distance.  We are trying to push you further and further away from the dark cloud that follows us.

We really need that self care time.

It doesn’t seem fair because we know everyone enjoys alone time.  After a long day of work, we’re sure you need some alone time too.  It’s not that we don’t understand that.  It’s that working a job and raising kids are two different types of work for you.  But for us, it’s the same job over and over and over again, without escape. So being away from the constant chatter of our world is like taking a breath of fresh air after holding it in all day long.  Having that time away to do what we need to do makes such a huge difference for us.

Postpartum Depression Self Care
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None of this is fair.

Why me?  Why us?  None of this is fair and we both deserve better.  Our dream of having a family was so much brighter than this.  If we could reverse time and re-do it, would it turn out any different?  We don’t know why or how we got postpartum depression.  And it wasn’t anything you or I did wrong. But here we are.  These are the cards we’ve been dealt.

Please don’t let go.

Somewhere along the path to parenthood we got lost.  We will eventually find our way back but it will be so much easier if we do it together.  We don’t want you to feel sorry for us, and we don’t want you to treat us any differently.  We’re still somewhere inside of here and with a little help, we can be us again.  We just need you to hold our hands and never let it go no matter what we do.  Because we may do some pretty horrible things that we will come to regret (and please don’t remind us of or punish us for those things once we’re better.)  Just stay and be here and listen and love us.

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression
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To all the husbands of the women with postpartum depression…

You are our heroes but we don’t treat you like one.  We say demeaning things in fits of rage.  We confess shocking intrusive thoughts and threaten to do things completely out of character.  Perhaps you have a suicide hotline on speed dial or keep a closer eye on us these days.   Yes, we are struggling hard to cope with our mental illness and yet, you remain our rock and our beacon of light.  We love you for that.  We love that you have our backs and that we will never be alone, no matter how lonely we feel.  You are important to us, even if we don’t say or show it. 


A Look Into the Science-Backed Benefits of Doulas

Ever considered using a doula to help you through labor and delivery?

There are so many benefits of doulas, and it’s not just for moral support.  Science has proven that having the support of a doula through labor, delivery and in the postpartum period can lead to better health for mom and baby.  For most women, the process of giving birth can be extremely frightening and stressful and a doula can ease some of that stress.  Having someone in your corner that will put your needs first is something all moms can benefit from. 

Neve from WeTheParents was gracious enough to share some of her research about the science backed benefits of doulas, as well as a handy infographic (don’t forget to PIN it!)You can check out the full post here.

Benefits of Doulas
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may be in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Let’s be truthful here, giving birth is no easy task. It’s called labor for a reason. First-time mothers experience it on even another level due to the fear of the unknown. To the dismay of many moms-to-be, the medical community took a natural process and made it into a sterile procedure to be feared. The birthing mom was isolated in a stark, cold room to give birth in an unnatural position, separated from loved ones, and without support. Fortunately, the medical community has finally begun to come around to what works for a new mom and her baby.

The scientific community began to realize that perhaps the ways of modern medicine did not work well for the most natural process on our planet, and that is giving birth. After many compelling studies, scientists discovered that stress-free labor had many benefits to both the mother and infant. They found that doulas played a significant role in providing a stress-free environment, aiding in an uncomplicated birth.

Postpartum Doula
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Mothers who received doula support during labor and the birthing process experienced less pain as well as a shorter labor duration. This was a result of the confidence they felt in their abilities, knowing that they had the full emotional and physical support of a doula by their side. In addition to this, they also had fewer incidents of cesareans, epidurals, and the use of invasive birthing instruments.

A mother who experiences stress-free labor without invasive intervention due to the support of a doula will also have a stronger bonding connection with her newborn. Both mother and child come together in the world for the first time in a positive atmosphere. Studies have not only shown that this type of birth increases positive mother-infant interaction but also boosts early breastfeeding scores.

Scientific studies have forced the medical community to realize that there are so many benefits of doulas for a laboring mother that it can no longer be ignored.

Here are 17 evidence-based benefits, including infants with higher Apgar scores, reduced postpartum depression, and fewer birth complications.

Doula Infographic
wetheparents.org

Author Bio:

Neve is a pragmatic and encouraging natural birth advocate. She loves science and hates dogma, and she tries hard to empower women with information while steering clear of criticism and judgment. A mother of three, Neve is also chief researcher and editor at WeTheParents. You can catch her on Twitter and Facebook.


While it’s great that science is able to prove the benefits of doulas, it’s also just plain common sense.  Even if you have a supportive spouse or friend with you, it doesn’t often compare to the experience of a trained doula.  Having someone who is completely devoted to your care and well being during one of the most intense moments of your life is a luxury that all mothers should have access to.

Have you used a doula for your labor and delivery?  We’d love to hear more about your experience.  Feel free to contact us or leave a comment! 

7 Days of Self Care: How to Feel Better in a Week

It can be simple to incorporate self care each day of the week, as long as you have a plan.

As a parent, the days are long and filled with taking care of the needs of everyone else but ourselves.  We hear all this talk about self care but it sounds overwhelming, time consuming and impossible.  It’s easy to start but hard to keep it up.  

So try to set a simple self care goal each day of the week.  Here’s a sample plan for self care that will help you take care of your body’s physical and mental needs, without requiring a lot of commitment.

Try these 7 days of self care this week, plus download a printable tracker so that you can keep up with it!
7 Days of Self Care
*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.
7 Days of Self Care

Monday: Move Your Body

No one likes Mondays.  The weekend is over, everyone is groggy and the boring, mundane tasks begin all over again.  You’re going to need to pump up your energy levels in order to make it through the rest of the week.  Coffee can only do so much.

So today, make an effort to move your body in some way.

Clear a spot on the living room floor and do some simple stretches.  Yoga is an excellent way to move your body, and there are so many different benefits of yoga! Dance to at least one entire song.  Plank for 30 seconds.  Do some crunches or lunges or jumping jacks.  Go for a walk around the block or ride your bike.  

It doesn’t have to be a full workout, just move your body!  Exercise is a great form of self care and will boost your mood for the rest of the day, if not the week.  

amazing benefits of yoga for postpartum depression
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Tuesday: Take an Epic Shower

You’ll probably need to shower several times throughout the week and if you’re a busy mom like me then they’re probably really quick and you’re listening for a kid the entire time.  But hey, that’s motherhood, what can you do?

Reserve some time today to take one, epic, glorious shower.

Pick a time when someone else is watching the kids (TV shows and iPads count) even if it means you need to get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later.  Crank up the hot water and USE ALL THE PRODUCTS!  Mask your face, deep condition your hair, exfoliate, moisturize and shave your entire leg and not just the bottom 1/4 that shows when you’re not wearing socks.

The rest of the week may go by in a blur and you won’t have this chance again, so make it count.  A hot shower and some pampering can do wonders for your mood, mental health and skin! 

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Wednesday: Clean out ONE closet

…or drawer, or cupboard or room.  But be careful not to get carried away with this one.  I don’t know about you but I have several closets and drawers filled with all kinds of junk.  And I know that moving junk from one closet means I’ll throw it into another closet full of junk and then feel obligated to clean that one out too.

You only get to do ONE.

Next week, you can tackle on another one.  Start small, like that junk drawer in the kitchen or the cupboard underneath your bathroom sink.  You can make a list of all the areas you want to tackle and scratch one off each week.

You might not think of this one as self care but I promise you will find mental clarity and a sense of peace once it’s done.  These areas are always at the back of our minds, and the longer we procrastinate them, the more unproductive and lazy we feel.  This sense of unaccomplishment can affect our self image and confidence.  It’s amazing how proud we can feel just by cleaning out ONE closet.  

Thursday: Get Creative

Tapping into your inner creativity is a great way to boost your mood and help keep your mind sharp.  If you don’t think of yourself as a creative person, then maybe you just haven’t found your strength yet.  Creativity comes in so many different forms.

Today, use your skills to create something.

You can do some type of craft, paint, color or draw a picture.  Try starting a longer term project like a paint by numbers kit. Make something out of salt-dough or paper.  Knit, sew, crochet or string some beads into jewelry.  Bake something delicious or try a new recipe. 

Kids love to be involved in these kinds of activities, but moms are often busy cleaning up spills and helping with supplies.  This time, make sure that you sit down, embrace the mess and get your hands dirty.  Week after week, you’ll find that your skills will improve, and your mind will be beaming with possibilities.

Art Therapy
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Friday: Socialize

Fridays aren’t the same as they used to be before kids.  Friday nights were something to look forward to, and we’d be checking in with all our friends to find out where the party was at.  They’re not nearly as exciting anymore but that doesn’t mean we have to stop socializing.

Make it a point to socialize with a friend in some way today.

Get dressed up, do your hair and makeup and head out for a girl’s night, or date night.  Invite a fellow mom over for a play date, or have a sweat pants and taco night in with your bestie.  If that all sounds too exhausting then just call up a friend and chat.  You can still socialize without having to leave the house if you need to. 

Our social connection needs to be expanded beyond Facebook and Instagram.  Our mental health suffers when we keep ourselves locked away from the outside world.  We need to see other people and have real, human connections.  It’s good for our mood to hear another person’s voice and feel their touch.  Laughing with friends is like group self-care! 

100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
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Saturday: Go Outdoors

Finally the weekend is here!  What better day than a Saturday afternoon to spend some time outdoors?  Weekends tend to be busy for young families, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some fresh air time.

At some point today, do an outdoor activity.

This could be as simple as sipping your morning coffee on the patio.  Or you could plan this day in advance and head out on a camping trip or hike.  Be spontaneous and take the kids for a picnic at the park.  Yard work and gardening are great ways to be productive outdoors.  Even if the weather is cold, bundle yourself up and spend at least 10 – 15 minutes outdoors in the fresh air.  

Being outdoors is considered ecotherapy and it has amazing mood boosting benefits for everyone.  There are even several health benefits of being outdoors.  You should try to spend some time outside every single day.  And we’re talking about self care, so relax while you’re out there.  Don’t feel obligated to do something strenuous or physical.  Napping outdoors is amazing, just make sure you’re in the shade. 

25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
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Sunday: Sleep

At the end of a long and busy week (or beginning of one, depending on how you look at it) there is one thing that is essential to mental health and self care.  You need to get some proper sleep.  Sleep deprivation is one of the most dangerous factors when it comes to mental health, so don’t ever underestimate it.

Make sure to get in some extra sleep today.

You can sleep in, take an afternoon nap or go to bed early.  Try your best to work your sleep schedule around whatever else you have going on today, but make it a priority.  If you’re struggling with insomnia, there are things you can do to help you sleep better.  Use a weighted blanket or try diffusing some essential oils while you sleep.

You’re going to need to keep your strength up to get through another week of motherhood and if you’re running on fumes, you won’t do any good.  Sleep is so incredibly important for maintaining our mental health, especially for moms suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety.  Sleeping in is not a luxury or reserved only for Mother’s Day – it’s a necessity!

Self Care Tracker
Click here to download a free printable PDF version of this self care tracker!

Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: What Is The Connection?

There seems to be a significant connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression.

Many women who have been diagnosed with postpartum depression also report trouble breastfeeding.  Their struggles include latching problems, not producing enough breast milk, or an overall aversion to breastfeeding in general.  With this being such a common concern, it seems there must be a connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression.

A connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression is not an easy one to decipher, however.  It’s likely caused by a number of different factors, both physical and psychological.  And the fact that postpartum depression also affects women who have no issues breastfeeding makes it even more complicated to figure out. 

Let’s dig deeper into the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression.

Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression - What is the Connection?

Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression - What is the Connection?

The “Unnaturalness” of Breastfeeding

The only thing that’s natural about breastfeeding is that it feels so completely unnatural. It may have been natural hundreds of years ago, when people lived more closely among animals and watched them raise their young.  In the days when daily life consisted of fetching well water and hunting for food, breastfeeding was the norm.  But modern civilization has taken the “naturalness” out of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression Infographic
Pin it!

Breastfeeding exposes a woman, making her feel vulnerable and embarrassed.  Most women have never walked around bare-breasted before.  And now, suddenly, other people are inspecting and staring at her breasts, even grabbing them like hamburgers.  Plus, there’s the added feature of getting used to another human being sucking away on them in a completely asexual way.

But instead of admitting that breastfeeding feels unnatural, the message mothers are given about breastfeeding is that it’s what’s best for her baby, that it’s completely natural and instinctual, and that if she’s doing it right, it shouldn’t hurt.  Perhaps the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression stems from the gross misinformation that new mothers are given.

some truths about breastfeeding:

It’s painful.  Yes, even when you’ve got a proper latch, it can still hurt.

It doesn’t happen instinctively.  Babies will root around, looking for a nipple, but the majority of them don’t know what the heck they’re doing.

It’s embarrassing. And others will make you feel guilty for being embarrassed and say insensitive things like “we’ve seen it all before.”

It’s annoying.  Newborns eat often and can suck for a long time.  Having to feed a baby on demand means you barely have time to do anything else, let’s not even talk about pumping.

It gets easier? Yeah, sure, once you get the latch figured out, it might seem like things are going smoothly.  Until you have a 6 month old who likes to shove their feet in your mouth, pull your hair and scratch your chest while they nurse.

How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression
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The Guilt of Not Breastfeeding

Despite all of this, the majority of mothers will attempt to breastfeed their child because “breast is best” and what kind of mother would they be if they didn’t at least try to give their child the best?  This overwhelming pressure on mothers most definitely plays a part in the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression.

Contrary to (un)popular belief, mothers don’t just give up breastfeeding because it’s too hard.  They usually seek help from a professional, try supplements to increase their supply, pump day and night and do everything else in their power, which often causes a severe amount of stress, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness.  

A mother who is unable to breastfeed, regardless of the reason, will feel guilty for not doing it, despite the fact that it is not her fault.  She may even be embarrassed to admit to other mothers that she is not breastfeeding for fear of being judged.

Connection Between Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression
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Stress Inhibits Breastfeeding

All of these misconceptions about breastfeeding can set a new mother up for failure. Instead of experiencing something she hoped would be beautiful and natural, she feels frustrated and stressed out.  Stress then inhibits breast milk production, and not producing enough breast milk stresses a mother out even more.  So it becomes nothing but a vicious cycle.

We know that stress can cause all kinds of symptoms in our bodies, both mentally and physically.  Stress leads to anxiety, insomnia, poor eating habits, weight gain or loss, neck and back pain, headaches, depression and more.  So it’s no wonder that stress is the primary culprit in the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression.

How to Ensure Successful breastfeeding with postpartum depression
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Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in public may be legal, but that doesn’t make it any less awkward for a new mother who is already feeling exposed and vulnerable.  We’ve all heard the horror stories of women being shamed for breastfeeding in public.  While we applaud those who do stand up for themselves, that level of courage is not in all of us.

Even if we are never actually confronted about public breastfeeding, we often take additional measures to prevent it from making those around us uncomfortable.  This comes at the cost of our own comfort, and that of our baby, usually resulting in an unsuccessful public breastfeeding experience.  Therefore, the mere thought of having to breastfeed a screaming, hungry baby in a public place can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. 

A new mother struggling to breastfeed may avoid spending time outside of the house for this reason.  Eventually, this feeling of being trapped in the house can have an effect on a mother’s mental health and the longer it persists, the more dangerous it becomes.

5 Things New Moms Fear about Breastfeeding
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Breastfeeding with D-MER

If you’re not familiar with the breastfeeding condition known as D-MER (Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex) you can read about in this post.  D-MER can cause a mother to have an overall aversion to breastfeeding and develop negative thoughts and feelings towards it.  While D-MER is a physiological response as opposed to a psychological one, I believe that it can play a part in the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression.

For a mother with undiagnosed D-MER, she may associate extremely negative thoughts and feelings towards breastfeeding, which could transfer over into negative thoughts towards herself or her baby.  This constant weight of negativity creates an environment where mental illness thrives.

It’s important for mothers who have negative feelings while breastfeeding to speak up about them and seek help.  It could be D-MER or it could be postpartum depression.  Either way, help and information are available.

D-MER: When Breastfeeding Makes You Feel Sad
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Ultimately, a lot of different things can affect a breastfeeding mother and prevent her from being successful at it. If breastfeeding is causing you to feel stressed, anxious, vulnerable, embarrassed, ashamed or creating a negative experience altogether, then it’s worth weighing the risks and benefits.  While there are so many wonderful benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers, forcing yourself to breastfeed at the cost of your mental health is not worth it.


Why All Moms Need To Spend A Day At Thermëa

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a Scandinavian-style spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Focused around the concept of “thermotherapy,” Thermëa is a secluded getaway located in the heart of the city of Winnipeg.  Like many other spas, you can get massages, facials and other body treatments performed by licensed professionals.  But there is one thing that sets Thermëa apart from your average day spa.  It’s called The Thermal Experience.

Jess and I got the opportunity to check out Thermëa for ourselves and explore the unique benefits of this outdoor spa.  Janis, Thermëa’s marketing director, gave us an exclusive tour of The Thermal Experience, as a crowd gathered outside waiting for the spa doors to open.  Despite the spa being at maximum capacity that day, it wasn’t crowded and the mystical steam rising up over the outdoor pools provided a sense of separation from the other guests.

Read more about all the benefits of thermotherapy, and why it’s an awesome form of self care for moms.
Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea
*This is a sponsored post meaning free passes were exchanged for an honest review. Please note that while this post does contain health and wellness information, 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.

Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea


What is Thermotherapy?

Thermotherapy is a type of physical and psychological therapy powered by temperature.  Heat therapy is known to have many benefits, and has been used by medical professionals, physical therapists and athletes for decades.  The process of alternating heat and cold is known to speed up recovery in cases of muscle injury.  A rapid change in body temperature can also eliminate toxins from the body, increase blood circulation, relieve stress and strengthen the immune system

Thermëa offers a unique way to experience the benefits of thermotherapy. The outdoor spa is a beautiful maze of pools, saunas, steam rooms and various indoor and outdoor rest areas – all available for use with one daily pass.  The Scandinavian style of the spa, with it’s minimalist wood and stone elements, fit perfectly against the backdrop of Winnipeg’s ever-changing weather.  The bare trees and snow covered ground made it feel like a mountain-top retreat away from the noise of everyday life.

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature

As breath-taking as the grounds of Thermëa are, they’re not just for show.  The layout is actually designed to encourage guests to follow the 3 Step Thermal Cycle.

Hot.

The first step in the thermal cycle is to heat things up. Exposing the body to heat helps to open up the pores and causes you to sweat out all the bad toxins in your body.  There are two dry saunas and two steam rooms to choose from for the heat cycle. 

The popular Finlandia dry sauna holds Aufguss rituals every hour, during which a staff member infuses the stones with ice and essential oils and then uses towels to circulate the hot air and steam around the room.  These sessions do get crowded, so make sure you get there early to choose a spot.  And keep in mind that the higher up you sit, the hotter it gets and the faster you’ll sweat it out.

Thermea Finlandia Sauna
Finlandia Sauna

The two steam rooms are located in the Vaporo building, one infused with eucalyptus, the other with orange essential oils.  The steam in the rooms is incredibly dense and as soon as you walk in the door you can feel it take over your entire body.  After a cycle in the steam room, there are scented exfoliating salts available to scrub all over your body and a shower to rinse them off.  This helps to get rid of dry skin and wash away the layer of gunk that you’ve just sweat out. 

Most importantly, remember to drink lots of water, especially after a hot cycle!  You will need to replace a lot of the fluid you’ll be sweating out.  Throughout Thermëa you will find delicious flavor infused waters, and you are encouraged to bring your own plastic refillable water bottle.  (Jess and I thought we were drinking enough water, but we didn’t, and ended up with headaches at the end of the day – so drink twice as much as you think you need!)

Thermea Infused Water
Pineapple Rosemary + Cucumber Mint Infused Water Station

Cold.

Once you’ve completed a hot cycle, you now need to expose your body to a cold temperature. This will improve your blood circulation, close up your pores, speed up your heart rate and boost your adrenaline levels.  If you’re brave enough, plunge through the Polarbër pool which is extremely cold and works really fast.  Or you can stand underneath the Icebër waterfall for a few seconds.

Thermea Polarber
Polarbër Cold Plunge

As shocking as the icy water might feel, try your best not to scream.  The main areas of Thermëa are silent, and if you missed one of the hundreds of signs that say “whisper” a staff member will gently remind you (Jess took the liberty of testing that theory out for herself).

If you’re not a fan of submerging yourself into icy cold water, the Tempër pool is comfortable but still cool.  If it’s a colder day outside, you can simply walk around or sit by one of the many fire pits instead.  The cold cycle only needs a few seconds to work, but you can literally feel your heart start pumping and the adrenaline rushing through your veins.

Thermea Temper Pool
Tempër Pool

Rest.

And finally, our favorite part of the thermal cycle – the rest cycle. Resting after exposure to heat and then cold will turn all that adrenaline into endorphins.  Increasing our endorphin levels can help relieve stress, improve our mental health and create an overall sense of calm and happiness.

Thermea Flam Outdoor Cottage
Fläm Outdoor Rest Area

The Gëser hot tub was, by far, the most popular resting spot on this cool spring day.  There are also several outdoor areas, including Fläm, a little wooden cottage with a fire pit in the middle surrounded by Adirondack chairs and cozy blankets.  One of the most unique features to relax in were the heated hammocks.  You can zip yourself right into them and take a nap or just swing and relax in complete bliss. (In fact, some people were zipped up so snugly that it was hard to tell if there was anyone in there at all – the best way to tell is to look for empty flip flops on the ground!)

Thermea Heated Hammocks
Heated Hammocks

The Relaxa relaxation chalet consisted of two different areas.  One had comfortable heated benches with tons of natural sunlight and was perfect for reading.  It even had ropes to help you get comfortable in the seats without too much effort.  The Tellura section was warm, dimly lit and stocked with heated mattresses, perfect for meditating or napping (which we totally did)! Just outside the room, you can help yourself to a variety of organic teas – supplied locally by Cornelia Bean

Thermea Rellaxa
Relaxa Heated Benches

The Restö on-site restaurant was another great place to relax while enjoying a gourmet meal made from locally sourced ingredients.  If you’re visiting with friends, it’s one of the few places where you don’t need to whisper.  There were several different places to sit but all the areas are heated and closed to the public so fine dining in a bathrobe was the ultimate luxury.

Thermea Resto
Restö Upper Level

We choose to have our lunch in the newer lounge area and enjoyed the view through the floor to ceiling windows.  These window panels actually open all the way up during the warmer months to provide a unique indoor/outdoor dining experience.  Make sure to load up some money on your electronic bracelet when you check in so that you can dine at the restaurant wallet-free. (I highly recommend ordering a pitcher of the White Sangria!)

Thermea Resto Lounge
Restö Lounge

Repeat.

After you’ve had a sufficient rest period, you can begin the thermal cycle all over again.  By completing the cycle three or more times, you can enjoy the maximum benefits of thermotherapy, as well as explore all the different features that Thermëa has to offer.

The facility is open from 9 am until 10 pm and guests are welcome to stay for the entire day.  Interestingly enough, the atmosphere seemed to change constantly throughout the day.  The early morning sunrise brought a sense of peace and serenity.  By the early afternoon, it felt warm, sunny and uplifting.  We ended our visit around 4 pm but would have loved to stay longer and see how beautiful the place is when it’s lit up at night.

Thermea Herbal Tea by Cornelia Bean
Herbal Tea Selection by Cornelia Bean

There are no time limits, schedules or restrictions, which was a welcome change to our normally busy lives. You’re welcome to take a 2 hour nap in your favorite spot or hang out in the hot tub all day long if you want to.  Everything is self-serve and you can wander throughout the grounds as you wish.  It was clear that the staff worked hard to maintain the environment of peace and relaxation.  They were constantly restocking, discreetly cleaning, tending to the fires and gently reminding everyone to keep their voices down.

Thermea Tellura
Tellura Meditation + Nap Room

Why is This So Good for Moms?

Thermëa is an amazing place for all adults, regardless of age, gender or physical limitations.  But moms in particular can benefit greatly from using thermotherapy on a regular basis. 

Both pregnant and postpartum moms can get relief from muscle aches and pains (obviously, check with your doctor first).

It tones the skin and increases elasticity, which will help restore post-pregnancy skin.

Encourages better sleep and helps ward off fatigue and exhaustion.

Reduces stress, anxiety and tension.

Increases mental clarity, concentration and memory.

Detoxifies the body which boosts the immune system.  This is especially important for moms with school age kids who bring home all kinds of germs.

A spa day is the ultimate luxurious self care option for moms and a visit to Thermëa or one of Groupe Nordik’s other thermotherapy spas should be on every mom’s bucket list.  After spending the day at Thermëa, including a hearty lunch and an afternoon nap, I felt completely renewed and refreshed.  And as we drove away, I was simply counting down the days until I could return again.

Thermea Front Desk
Get A Thermal Experience for less than $60 CAD.

For less than $60 CAD, you can spend an entire day enjoying The Thermal Experience, but make sure to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays!  To learn more about Thermëa, including accommodation packages and to purchase online gift certificates, visit their website https://www.thermea.ca/