By Anna Fasolo
Having a baby is a beautiful experience, but it can also be scary, stressful, exhausting and isolating. Plus, if you’ve become a new mama during this cray coronavirus pandemic, some of these feelings are no doubt compounded. But it is important to know that you are not alone and these feelings will pass.
Here are some ways to keep yourself feeling in control of your mental health and wellbeing, and to help you start to work through the baby blues. You got this mama!
1 // Take long, deep breaths
This may seem obvious, but your breath is the most effective way for you to regulate your nervous system. Make your exhale breath longer than your inhale breath. This will give the body a message that you are safe right now.
2 // Practice gratitude
When you express or receive gratitude, your brain starts to releases dopamine and serotonin, the two key neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions. They make us feel ‘good’. Gratitude is like a natural anti-depressant! You might even like to start a gratitude journal.
3 // Be kind to yourself
If you are feeling like motherhood isn’t quite going the way you hoped and are now feeling shame or guilt about that, just know that you are not alone. There are millions of other women feeling the same way as you. Remind yourself to move slowly, gently and at your own pace. And remember – this too shall pass.
4 // Name your experience
Naming your experience out loud can be a helpful exercise in working through difficult emotions. You could say, “I feel overwhelmed/sad/not good enough/disappointed/depressed right now” and notice how that feels in your body.
5 // Move your body
Move it in any way that feels good for you! Some great ways to get the body moving are through stretching, tai chi, swimming, walking, dancing and yoga.
Anna Fasolo is one of Australia’s leading psychotherapists, mum and co-owner/founder of The Peninsula Nest, a brand-new hub and wellness centre for mums on the Mornington Peninsula.