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5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care from a Postpartum Depression Survivor

Hey there, incredible moms and parental pals on this wild ride we call parenthood!  We're diving into the world of postpartum adventures, self-care for sanity, and the magical quest of rediscovering yourself post-baby. It may seem like a lot, and that is because it is, but you got this! Hang tight because we're about to walk the path of self-care bliss and rediscovery—no frills, just real talk.

Motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions, and the postpartum phase can feel like navigating without Google Maps. It's a mix of joy, exhaustion, and a chance to find yourself again after your little one arrives. So, grab a drink (be it coffee, tea, or even a cheeky something else), and let's unravel the importance of self-care, the ups, downs, and in-betweens of the postpartum period, and how to build a supportive tribe for your journey. Ready for this adventure? Let's roll!

The Link Between Self-Care and Rediscovering Your Identity as a Mother

Let's talk about self-care and rediscovering your identity as a mom- spoiler alert- they go hand in hand.. Picture this: you're the captain of your own ship, navigating the seas of postpartum life. Sometimes it can feel calm and mellow, sometimes you’re in the middle of a wild storm. Self-care isn't just about face masks and bubble baths (though they're bomb); it's about reconnecting with your mind, body, and soul. Merging the old you and the new you…dare we say better you? 

In the whirlwind of baby giggles and diaper changes, it's easy to lose a (really big) piece of yourself. You are tired, your clothes don’t fit (and you hate them anyway) and do you even remember the last shower you took? That is normal and more importantly that's where self-care comes in, swooping in like your sidekick to help you rediscover the awesome human you are. From Netflix binges to quick moments Facetiming a bestie, self-care isn't just a luxury—it's a lifeline habit helping you stay afloat in the sea of motherhood. And like your little one, you can take it in small baby steps. Start with a thirty-minute coffee date and soon it will be a girl’s weekend in wine country in a teeny weenie bikini.

Now, why does self-care rock? It's not just about prioritizing solo moments; it's about sparking growth and renewal post-motherhood madness.  By treating yourself to self-care, you're not just pampering but powering up your resilience tank for the daily parenting adventures ahead. Think about how many hours of your day you are spending caring for your little one and then think of how many hours, or let’s be real, minutes you are spending taking care of yourself. You deserve and need a little more than just a toothbrush or quick trip to the loo.

But we're not just talking the talk; we're walking the walk! Here are some self-care ideas tailor-made for moms in the postpartum phase: 

5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care

  1. Meet a friend for coffee, a treat or even just a hang on your couch. You are not alone on this adventure and time with people who will cheer you on is way valuable. Friends who have kids will love to trade war stories and friends without kids will be dazzled by how much you are capable of. 

  2. Exercise. A SoulCycle class may seem like a lot so start small. Sneaking off to restore yoga for gentle stretching in-between feeding sessions or streaming a beginner level pilates class in your living room can have you feeling brand new. Even just a short walk with a podcast in your air pods to get your body moving can feel invigorating. Get those endorphins flowing through your veins and high five yourself for the mental and physical benefits you’re reaping from moving that hot new mom bod. 

  3. Pamper yourself, because you deserve it! An hour at the local nail salon or a fresh hair blow out can do wonders for your mental health. Not ready to leave the house? Services like Priv and Glamsquad will come to you. Not in the budget? Ask a gal pal to come over for an at home spa experience. 

  4. Eat something delicious. How often do you realize all you’ve had is cold coffee and a stale piece of toast? Order your favorite meal on DoorDash or ask a loved one to cook it for you. Don’t forget, nourishing yourself nourishes your baby too!

  5. Rot in bed for a bit. Seriously, get horizontal.  You are doing so much for your little bundle of joy, you need to rest and recharge your battery. An hour in bed being still with your favorite TV show or just some mindless scrolling can do more for you than folding all that laundry piling up or ordering more groceries. 

  6. Ok, a bonus one, because we all need a little extra inspiration: be a little woo woo. Light a candle. Manifest a vision of your future with your sweet angel. Meditate or listen to sound bath music on Spotify and read some positive affirmations from Pinterest. 

Navigating the Challenges of the Postpartum Period

Ah, the real talk time—the postpartum period and its whirlwind of changes. It's like finding your feet on an ever-turning carousel, trying to figure out who you are as a mom. It may even feel like once you feel like you’re starting to get the hang of things or make routines POOF these little babies change. Being in uncharted waters is normal, but it's equally important to lean into the challenges, seek support, and ride the waves as they come.

We see you, brave mamas, and it's vital to acknowledge these struggles. Feeling lost in the new "mama" identity? You're not alone. Remember, it's okay to feel adrift; just know that there's a lighthouse of support waiting to guide you through the storm. Big changes take big adjustments. 

Now, a spotlight on a sneaky sea monster called postpartum depression. This shadowy menace can throw even the bravest of mamas off course, affecting their well-being and renewal efforts. But fear not, there are a host of solutions if the darkness starts to creep in. It has been reported that 1 in 7 moms experience various forms of postpartum depression. That is why it is important to learn more about it.

Signs of PPD can be but are not limited to: anger, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or panic attacks. You may feel whole body fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, or restlessness. Spontaneous bursts of tears are not uncommon as well. Remember, seeking help isn't a sign of weakness; it's a mark of strength and self-care. If this feels familiar, call your OB-GYN or midwife immediately, they will guide you through your options in conquering this- because you will conquer this! 

Building a Supportive Environment for Your Self-Exploration Journey

Now, time for the cavalry! Building a support network is like assembling a dream team for your superhero saga—they're your backup, your cheerleaders, and your go-to for a pep talk when the going gets tough. A 2 a.m. text about your baby's poop color? No problem, this squad has your back. 

How do you cultivate these support networks? It can feel overwhelming but don’t worry,  you have options. How about a walk and coffee with fellow mamas via your local Mom Walk chapter? What about seeking wisdom from seasoned parents like older siblings, relatives or even your own parents? Are you a digital leaning girlie? Consider joining local groups via Facebook or Instagram where you can share your journey and grow alongside others. Literally type in your city + ‘moms,’ or ‘parents’ on social media and see all these other people in the same boat magically appear on your phone or computer screen. The public library or your local church may provide organized activities as well, we suggest searching for story time or Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). 

When navigating these new groups try your best to be patient, they might not be a perfect fit at first but you will find your tribe (and it doesn't have to be a big tribe, we see you, introverts). Remember, it truly takes a village to weather the storm and celebrate the sunshine of motherhood. 

In conclusion, sweet mamas and future parenting pros, self-discovery after becoming a parent is a journey worth embracing. It's about finding an incredible new version of yourself amidst the beautiful chaos of raising a little one, practicing self-care, and leaning on your support system. Be kind to yourself along the way and be mindful that it takes time to build the momentum toward this new set of circumstances. So, embrace the joy, navigate the challenges, and remember that you are incredible, capable, and loved. Keep shining, amazing parents.

Written by Allie Greenberg, mom of 3, Postpartum depression survivor (only with my 3rd kid, so crazy, right?) devout hot yogi and all around silly goose.


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