What Does Your Existing Postpartum Depression Self Care Routine Consist Of?

8. What does your existing postpartum depression self care routine consist of?

Self Care for Postpartum Depresion Self Care for Postpartum Depresion

I need ample amounts of alone time, especially at the end of the day. As a stay at home mom of three kids, it gets very draining and I feel like if I don’t get in a little me time before bed it’s an endless cycle. My husband knows to give me space after the kids go to bed. I just need to not be “needed” for an hour or two. I also do yoga in the mornings and have incorporated aromatherapy into my home.  – Vanessa

As of the past month my postpartum depression has been getting better because I make self care a priority. I wake up at 6 am so I can make MYSELF ready for the day (hair, makeup, clothes etc), and do my daily devotions and bible reading. I try to not get lost on social media for hours and get jealous of everyone’s “perfect” life. I shower. Every day! I listen to self development books on audible. I just my MYSELF a PRIORITY!! – Anonymous

Trying to grab sleep whenever I can, even if it’s just 30 mins whilst my husband plays with our child in the other room. I might not actually sleep but I can rest. I go to the gym as often as I can as it has an instant effect on my anxiety- it just disappears for a little while. I try to eat properly and not miss meals I give myself permission to cancel anything I feel is too much, e.g. social engagements. I try to avoid reading/watching anything even remotely to do with child deaths and abuse. It triggers me so quickly it’s not worth it. – Alexandra

Routine!!! Wake up healthy breakfast medication, staying organize and busy with work and kids, I take time for myself to paint my nails or to make a certain snack I enjoy or just a movie. – Amber 

Letting someone else take care of my son for a little bit and either playing a video game, taking a long shower, napping or going to Target by myself. – Anonymous

I do keep up with my psychiatrist but I guess I don’t really have a routine right now. – Nicole

Essential oils, breathing, medication, reading and exercise. – Anonymous

Slow wean off of the drugs. CBT. – Brittany

A lot of uplifting and telling myself I’m a good mom and surrounding myself by people that love me. – Jodi

Sleep, an hour a day for a TV show.   – Anonymous

Talking about my feelings and tons of support from friends. – Ashley G.

Make sure I’m sleeping well and continuing to take Citalipram to combat anxiety. – Anonymous

Taking my meds, seeing my counselor, exercising, eating well, and taking time for myself when needed. – Amanda

Private alone time to recharge, controlled breathing, naps. – Anonymous

I just had my second baby two months ago and I was put back on medication to take precaution. I made sure to get plenty of sleep this time around and I did not breastfeed. – Katy 

Staying active in therapy and with medication. Journaling feelings. Good hygiene. – Samantha

I believe in self motivation, it helps a lot. When I feel down I start to point out all the good that I have done that day and I see how happy my babies are and how happy my husband is and for me that is all I need. – Anonymous

Working out and oils. Taking time to better my self. My son will not know I am talking more time to my self when he is 3 months old. I want to be the best mom once he starts remembering. – Melissa

Taking herbal supplements and some anxiety meds, watching my self talk, getting out, getting time to myself.  – Marcella

Therapy, yoga, sleep when I can. – Anonymous

Showers and naps anytime I need. – Emily

Make sure I get enough sleep. Taking time for myself. Self-reflecting. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered 

Taking 50 MG of Zoloft a day. – Chelsea

I am focusing on me more. I realize I can just focus on my husband and baby. I have a few medical conditions, so I am now getting monthly massages, chiropractor visits, not to mention what I do daily to take care of myself. – Kathryn

Still on meds. – Anonymous

Hair and teeth don’t always get brushed, I tend to forget deodorant never get dressed up just wear comfy baggy clothes. – Krista

I’m out of it now. Right now self care is light therapy, exercise and outdoor time, crafts. – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County

I continue to take my meds daily, but am feeling considerably more stable now, with only a few bad days here and there throughout the month. My “self-care” is really more like a set of rules I’ve given myself. I never go more than 48 hours without showering. I force myself to eat when my toddler eats. I signed up for volunteer activities so I am out and about around other adults on a regular basis. I’ve started telling my friends what are triggers for me, so we can work around those without it being an issue (ex. talking on the phone. On my bad days I cannot for the life of me answer the telephone. I have no idea why). And Saturday’s are my day. My husband takes the baby, and I spend the entire day at a coffee shop with my noise-canceling headphones. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me

Taking my meds and vitamins and I get a 2 hour bathroom time for just a hot soaking bubble bath. – Jessica

Clean eating, for starters. I determined that eating sugar or dairy made me have almost immediate anxiety. Tracking my cycle is also a huge part of my self care. Staying abreast of my hormonal changes is key. Daily showers and restful sleep are also important to me—that means a nice hot cup of lavender tea and luxurious pajamas at 10:00 pm. And, of course, I move my body. Every day. I can’t say that I “work out” but I do something to get my heart rate up and follow with a healthy dose of ice water. – Amanda from Mom Like Me

Well I ordered the pills and I’m waiting for them to come in. I try to sleep in when my hubby is home and try to go out by myself without the kids once a week. I work out as many times as I can find a babysitter a week. We don’t live close to family so it’s hard to get support. – Anonymous

Planning, journaling also stamping. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep

Taking my medicine and if that doesn’t help enough I will go to therapy.– Haylie

Nothing really. I never even got to sit down never mind “care” for myself during that time. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula

Making time to keep up with my treatment, being consistent with my medication, finding time for myself everyday .– Anonymous

Medication, sufficient sleep. – Anonymous

Meditating, reminding myself my kids are little and I want to give them the best childhood and not always be irritated when they do natural child behavior like make mess or cry. Having time for myself. Reaching out when I need help. – Anonymous

Routine exercise, time to myself every week, regular appointments with my therapist, healthy eating, plenty of sleep (my husband will watch the baby some nights to give me a full night of sleep). – Anonymous

I have instituted a family schedule giving my husband a defined list of tasks and chores he MUST complete as well as giving me time to shower and get dressed every morning and take the kids off my hands for at least an hour a day every afternoon. I also have a babysitting schedule for my parents and in-laws and force myself to sit down and watch TV instead of doing work or chores during my non-kid time. – Eda

Resting when my body tells me, getting outside a little everyday, essential oils for mood and pain. – Anonymous

I am currently pregnant with my fourth child after remarrying. My youngest is 3 1/2. I have a good support system of moms who have struggled and I can be honest with. I am honest with my doctors and have a doula. I talk to a therapist and I rest when I need it. – Kathleen

I have no self care routine still, when I can I get away to the grocery store etc. – Stephanie

Now I make sure to have time alone. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I look at my son and express gratitude for getting to be in my son’s life and watch him grow. He is so amazing and I have the capacity for more love than I knew possible. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa

Trying to maintain my hygiene. Making the bed every morning. Getting dressed. Opening the blinds. – Beth


Postpartum Depression Triggers Postpartum Depression Triggers

We often underestimate the power of self-care.

For women with postpartum depression, it’s too easy to fall into a “funk” and start ignoring basic tasks like brushing our teeth or making the bed.  We may not see it as a big deal at the time but it truly has an impact on our mental health.  When we neglect ourselves, our brain gets the message that we are not as important.  Over time, our brains reprogram themselves to prioritize our needs less and less and it becomes harder to change that way of thought.  

What can we do to change this?

Stop thinking of self care as being selfish.  Yes, you are a mother now and there are children who depend on you but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect yourself in order to take care of them.  Seek a way to balance how much time you spend taking care of yourself vs. your other responsibilities.  When it comes to self care, there are so many different options and levels of intensity.  Start by getting more sleep or taking a shower regularly.  Eventually you can create a whole list of things you’d like to do for yourself.  Treating ourselves as important will program our minds to believe it. 


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What Things (Triggers) Made Your Postpartum Depression Worse?

Continue reading “What Things (Triggers) Made Your Postpartum Depression Worse?”

Self-Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression

Taking time for themselves is something that all moms need to do but practicing a self-care routine is essential to treating postpartum depression.

Self-care doesn’t always need to consist of spa days or alone time.  While different things appeal to different women and personalities – there are some simple, basic, everyday tasks that can make a huge difference to one’s mood and patience level.

Keeping postpartum depression symptoms under control means having to stay one step ahead of them, otherwise it’s very easy to drown in the shuffle of everyday motherhood.

Here are some self care tips for mothers battling postpartum depression.
Self Care Tips for Moms With Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate 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.
Self Care Tips for Moms With Postpartum Depression

What is self-care?

It’s all the things you need to do to take care of YOU.  It’s not being selfish and only focusing on yourself.  It’s adding your needs to the list, at the same priority level as everything else.

Self-care is a huge topic among parents, especially stay at home moms.  And the biggest question it raises is how the heck are you supposed to take care of yourself AND the tiny humans who demand so much of your attention?

The nature of a mother is to put their children first and therefore, self-care often gets bumped to the bottom of the to-do list.  I’m quite guilty of it myself and sometimes life gets SO busy that I don’t even realize how long it’s been since I showered or blow-dried my hair.


When to do self-care

Trying to fit a self-care routine into an already packed day is impossible, I know.  There are never, nor will there ever be, enough minutes in the day to get everything accomplished.

This means you’re going to have to sacrifice something.  It could be sleep (sleep? what’s that?), it could be that extra time with your kids before bed, it could be the gourmet dinner you cook every night.

Or perhaps there is a way to work your self-care routine into your existing routine with the kids.  There’s no rule that says self-care must equal alone time so feel free to involve your kids or partner.

Whatever you need to do, do it and make time for you.
Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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Why to do self-care

During my own battle with postpartum depression – I could never look at myself in the mirror.  I was embarrassed and ashamed of the pile of muck I had become.

I had a ghastly image of myself in my head and I feared that if I looked at myself in the mirror I would realize it had come true.  The few times I did make eye contact with myself, I immediately broke into tears because I absolutely hated myself and standing in front of the mirror meant coming face to face with my worst enemy.

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But I wasn’t afraid to look at myself when I had a little makeup on.  When I was showered and my hair was done and I was in decent clothes – for a moment, I forgot about that pile of muck.  This was someone else I was looking at, talking to, admiring in the mirror.  That pile of muck was still there but I didn’t have to look at her.  I didn’t have to face her and all the sadness she brought with her.

So while some might consider self-care a type of vanity, I felt that it was the only way for me to escape the rut I was in.

Developing a good self-care routine is extremely important both during your battle with postpartum depression after you’ve started treatments to reduce the chance of a relapse.

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How to Do Self Care

Begin with the bare minimum.  It’s sad that we have to remind ourselves to do these things each day, but over time they become less and less of a priority.  For a new mom, it’s hard to figure out how to take care of two people instead of one.  Or for a mom with a mental illness, these are some things that don’t seem worth the trouble.  But they are worth it – and it is possible to do them, every single day.

Brush your teeth

So simple right?  Not when you’re awoken by the loud screams of children at 6 am.  You rush out of bed to see what’s happening and deal with whatever new fiasco they’ve created.  And then coffee is the first thought on your mind.  You’ll brush after coffee – that makes sense, right?  Then you won’t have coffee breath!  Smart woman!

Except you never, ever, finish that cup of coffee… 

It sits there getting cold.  Maybe you walk by once or twice and stick it in the microwave to heat it up and then forget about it there.  Before you know it the hubby is home from work and for some reason he’s not going in for that smooch…

Take the shower!

There are so many days when this feels like an impossible feat.  It takes more than a few minutes and we all know what kind of trouble kids can get into in that time.  If it means letting them have some extra screen time while you shower, then it’s worth it.  If all else fails – take them in with you!

But putting it off means you’re putting yourself off, and self-care is all about putting yourself FIRST!  So take the shower!

A nice, hot shower before bed is a great way to help you sleep at night, so if you can’t fit one in during the day – try to squeeze it in after the kids are down for the night.  If the thought of taking a shower feels like the last thing you want to do after an extremely long day, then it’s what you need most.  Trust me and just TAKE THE SHOWER!!!

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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Change your clothes

Changing from flannel pajama pants into black leggings counts.  Don’t stay in your pajamas all day even if they’re the comfiest thing on earth and you’re not going anywhere anyway.  I’ve gone so far as to use the excuse that I don’t want to make more laundry for myself.  But even if you wear the same “daytime” clothes for a week – change out of your pajamas. 

The act of changing your clothes – even if they are from one pair of sweatpants to another, is enough to trick your brain into thinking you’ve done something productive.

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Do your hair & makeup

This one is more important to some than others.  I’ve never been a “full face makeup” type of person, but some women absolutely love the process of experimenting with makeup.  I got a chance to try the Marc Jacobs Velvet Primer and Mascara for free and it was like putting on false lashes without the fuss! Join Influenster and you can start getting free products to try, too!

If you have a particular problem area that makes you self-conscious then take care of that so you can feel confident enough to face the world.  It might sound superficial or vain, but it’s amazing how much more confident you feel when you know that you look good.  And keep in mind that the only person you’re trying to impress… is yourself. 

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Give yourself a pep talk

Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, a little “you can do this” under my breath reminds me that I need to stay positive.  It is SO easy to lose that motivation when you are battling postpartum depression because you are in a constant state of darkness.  Find some way to remind yourself to stay in the light.

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.

Take your vitamins

Sufferers of postpartum depression are infamous for their terrible eating habits – either not enough or too much.  And because of that, we often end up with all kinds of vitamin deficiencies which can have a huge effect on our mental health.  So if you’re not able to eat as healthy as you should, you should be taking supplements in order to get your levels back up to where they should be.

  • Magnesium is what worked wonders for me.  Magnesium deficiencies are known to cause symptoms of depression, so make sure that you take a regular magnesium supplement to keep symptoms at bay.
  • Vitamin Dget outside in the sun!  Not only does 20 minutes in the sunshine top up your Vitamin D levels but the fresh air does wonders for your soul.
  • Vitamin B Complex to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition despite your messed up appetite.

Here’s an article on www.livestrong.com that has more details on the best herbal and vitamin supplements to treat postpartum depression.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy and essential oils have huge mood-boosting benefits. An easy way to fit aromatherapy into your postpartum depression self care routine is by using an essential oil diffuser.  Have your favorite, calming, essential oils and blends fill your entire home all day long to make sure that you’re surrounded by positive energy.  (Not sure where to start? Check out the mood collection by Rocky Mountain Oils)

Try Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is a great low-impact exercise that can help to get rid of some of the physical aches and pains associated with postpartum depression.  You don’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment, so it’s very easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.  It also helps you to clear your mind of distractions and intrusive thoughts, which is important if you want to try to remain positive on a daily basis.  Deep breathing can help greatly to reduce stress and it’s something that you can do anytime throughout the day.

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Find ONE thing

And it doesn’t have to be a BIG thing.  A spa day is great but so is binge watching Netflix.  A beach vacation may not be in the budget, but relaxing outside in a hammock or inflatable couch is. [I like the ones from Pouch Couch]

Focus on ONE extra activity that makes you feel happy and relaxed and ONE thing only.  As moms we spend most of our days multi-tasking, and there is so much pressure to become a mom who can bake and sew and do crafts and plan parties (thanks a lot, Pinterest) and it becomes overwhelming and exhausting.

Your self-care routine should consist of something that makes you feel happy and relaxed afterwards.  It doesn’t have to be productive and you don’t need to justify it.  You just need to do it.

It can be difficult to fit in time for self-care, especially as a busy mom.  Check out my post How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a SAHM for more tips plus download a free workbook to help you create a schedule that works!

Write about it

Keeping a journal of your thoughts can be hugely therapeutic for postpartum depression survivors in many different ways.  Not only is the act of writing out your thoughts and feelings a way to release them, but it also helps you keep track of whether they are getting better or worse.

[If you need more reasons, check out this post from Happy Mom Brain: Why You Need to Write About Mental Health]

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Whatever self-care routine you end up carving out for yourself, make sure that you stick to it in order to prevent relapses.  Communicate with your partner about how important these things are for your mental health so that they can support you.  And don’t ever feel guilty about putting yourself first because if mom is happy, then the entire household is happy. 

Click here to download a FREE Self Care Workbook to help you create a routine that works for your busy schedule!

Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression