While there are several professional treatments for postpartum depression including therapy or counseling, outpatient care, medication, and support groups, some moms choose to use self-care to help overcome postpartum depression.
Here are Some Tips for Overcoming Postpartum Depression on Your Own:
1 – Make Time for Yourself
Find time at least once a week to do an activity you enjoy. You may feel like you don’t have time to do the things you love anymore, but finding balance between your life and motherhood is important for your long-term health and happiness. Ask your partner or a family member babysit for an hour or two so you can go to yoga, meet up with a friend for lunch, go for a quick hike, or do something else you enjoy.
2 – Accept Help
Many new moms have friends or family members offering to babysit, cook, or clean. Remember, this is how people express their love—and if they’ve been parents before, they know how stressful those first several months can be. Accept help whenever you can, even if you don’t feel like you need it right at that moment. Having dinner already prepared or having an hour to take a bath or get some sleep can go a long way in helping ease your stress.
3 – Ask for Help
Only you can know when you need a break, but unless you express that need to a family member or friend, they can’t know how or when to help you (as much as you probably wish they could read your mind). Ask for help when you need it. Ask your partner to take an extra midnight feeding so you can get a little more sleep, ask your friend to watch your baby for an hour so you can hit the grocer story alone, ask your sister to meet up for bagels so you can talk. Being a new mom is hard, even if you’ve done it before. People expectnew moms to need and ask for help, so don’t let your depression or pride convince you that asking for help is in any way a sign of weakness or incompetence.
4 – Eat Well and Eat Regularly
As with any type of depression, you’re better equipped to take care of yourself mentally when you’re also taking care of yourself physically. Make sure you’re eating regular, well-rounded meals and drinking lots of water. Not only can skipping a meal make you irritable, it can also exacerbate mood swings.
5 – to Move Your Body at Least 15 Minutes a Day
While you may not be ready to jump back into your regular fitness routine, exercising for at least 15 minutes a day can release helpful endorphins that can elevate your mood. Even if it’s just taking a walk around the block or following a yoga routine on YouTube, getting moving can be a good step in overcoming postpartum depression on your own.
6 – Make Sure You Have Someone to Talk To
It’s difficult to overcome postpartum depression on your own if you’re keeping all your thoughts and feelings to yourself. Make sure you have someone supportive to talk to who will listen, help keep you grounded, and will remind you of the good things you’re doing when you’re overly-critical of yourself. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a friend or family member, consider meeting regularly with a postpartum depression counselor or mental health specialist. Being able to talk to someone can go a long way in helping you overcome your postpartum challenges.
Why do People Choose Professional Postpartum Depression Treatment Over Self-Care?
If you are going through postpartum depression, there are treatments that can begin helping you feel back to normal more quickly than if you were to try to overcome postpartum depression on your own.
When you receive treatment for postpartum depression, you can start seeing progress much more quickly, allowing you to:
- Better bond with your baby
- Begin feeling back to yourself more quickly
- Feel a more positive relationship with your partner or loved ones
- More quickly find balance and pleasure in your life
- Relieve pressure and strain on yourself
- Strengthen your confidence as a mother
When to Seek Professional Help to Overcome Postpartum Depression
If you are using self-care to overcome postpartum depression but start to feel your symptoms are worsening or not getting any better, it may be time to seek professional help.
If you feel any of the following symptoms, consider contacting a mental health professional to augment your postpartum depression treatment:
- Your symptoms are getting worse
- You feel like you’re “moving backwards”
- You feel unable to complete your daily routine
- You don’t feel like you have anyone to talk to
- You can’t be honest to anyone about what you’re really feeling
- You don’t want to leave the house
- You’re having trouble sleeping (besides normal feedings)
- You find yourself having the same thoughts or questions over and over (ruminating)
- You’re feeling overly-anxious
- You have no appetite
- You feel unable to connect with your child
Seek immediate medical attention if you feel genuinely concerned that you will harm yourself or your baby.
Would you like More Information About Postpartum Depression?
Do you have questions about postpartum depression or aren’t sure whether self-care is right for you? Please feel free to reach out. Our staff will be happy to answer your questions about postpartum depression and recovery. Contact Us.