Posted on: 22 November 2017
Dealing with postpartum depression is a common condition that affects many women after birth. While it varies in severity, it's effects can be hard on your personal health and your family and work life. You should see your doctor and a mental health professional to help with your recovery and assess your need for medication, but there are some things you can do on a daily basis to help improve your symptoms.
1. Schedule time for something different than parenting.
It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but one of the factors that affects depression is the isolation and demands that come with a new baby. If you have a set time each week to go out with friends, attend a class, or go to a book club, you get interaction and enrichment that can boost your spirits and carry you through tough moments at home. On a daily basis, you could also schedule time out at home. Give the baby to your partner or an older sibling or friend for half an hour so you can read a book or take a bath.
2. Exercise whenever it is possible to do so.
It's hard to get the motivation to exercise when you may not even feel like getting out bed or when making yourself food seems like too much effort. But if you are able to get out of the house for a walk, you will notice some positive effects on your mood. Exercise, even moderate exercise like walking, releases endorphins and also exposes you to new experiences when you're out and about.
If you have limited time or motivation, you might just try 10 minutes of activity each day. Do some yoga or jump rope if you can't leave the house.
3. Get more sleep.
New moms might chuckle at this suggestion, because sleep is hard to come by. You might be tempted to take time when your baby is sleeping to clean up or get other chores done. But when you have postpartum depression, sleep is essential for helping to maintain your mental health. If you can't sleep when the baby sleeps, consider hiring a babysitter a few times a week to care for the baby while you take a nap.
4. Get some counseling.
Group counseling can be very healing for women who have postpartum depression because it allows a forum to share experiences and feelings and to gain strength from the group. If you don't like the idea of group support, individual counseling can help you develop strategies for managing depressive thoughts. Your counselor can help you to learn coping mechanisms that will be an asset during times when you're feeling particularly low. Contact a center, like Associated Psychologists & Counselors, for more help.Share