Welcoming a child into your life comes with challenges, no matter how much you love your baby. Having the ‘baby blues’ right after you give birth is relatively normal, but if your blues get worse and last more than a couple weeks, you may have postpartum depression. This depression and anxiety can cause you to think and feel negatively about yourself and your child. Luckily there are ways that you can overcome these negative thoughts and emotions, while also creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself that will help you to overcome this condition.
Method 1 – Creating a Happier Lifestyle for Yourself
- Don’t try to be supermom. Remind yourself that you are only human—you cannot do everything, all the time.
- Eat a balanced diet. After you have given birth to your baby, it is important that you eat a balanced diet, as you may be lacking some nutrients.
- Try to exercise at least three times a week. It is important to slowly work your way back into exercising, rather than jumping right back into training for a marathon.
- Practice breathing exercises if you start feeling anxious. Whenever you feel panic or anxiety creeping in, get some water, sit down, and focus on your breathing.
- Get rest when you can. When you are suffering from postpartum anxiety and depression, you may find it challenging to sleep, particularly if you baby wakes up throughout the night.
- Spend some time in the sunlight. When your vitamin D levels drop below normal levels, you can become depressed and feel anxious more easily, so it is important to get the vitamin D that you need each day.
Method 2 – Handling Negative Emotions
- Express your emotions to someone you trust. Keeping your emotions bottled up can make your condition worse, rather than making them simply go away.
- Keep an emotion journal. Keeping an emotion journal can help you to see that your emotions are fleeting, rather than permanent.
- Join a support group. Sometimes being around women who are experiencing the same things as you can be an eye opening experience that can give you insights into your own condition.
- Take time to do the things that you enjoy and make you happy. Taking some ‘me’ time to focus on activities that you enjoy can provide a much needed break from your negative thoughts or feelings.
- Try not to isolate yourself. Keeping yourself from your baby, partner, friends, and family may seem like all you want to do, but you must overcome these feelings.
- Try to recognize that you are a great mother. While your depression and anxiety might make you feel like you are not the best mother, you have to overcome these thoughts.
Method 3 – Analyzing Your Negative Thoughts
- Recognize your negative thoughts. At the heart of postpartum depression and anxiety are negative thoughts. When you think unhealthy thoughts frequently enough, they can become automatic and even comfortable.
- Make a list of the negative thoughts that you have. Doing this will allow you to look at your negative thoughts in a more objective way.
- Look at evidence that proves your negative thought is wrong. Sometimes, we can’t see something that is right in front of us because we are too focused on something in our heads.
- Talk to yourself in the compassionate way you would talk to a friend. Instead of putting yourself down in a harsh, condemning way, talk to yourself in the same way that you would talk to a friend.
- Consider other factors that could be leading to the situation that has caused you to have a negative thought. Instead of automatically blaming yourself for problems, consider all the other factors that can affect a situation.
Method 4 – Seeking Therapy and Medical Advice
- Talk to a professional about what you are going through. In some cases, talking to friends and family, keeping emotion and thought journals, and changing your lifestyle isn’t enough.
- Discuss hormone therapy with your doctor. When you give birth, your hormones get completely thrown out of whack. Sometimes hormone therapy can help to balance out your hormone levels, particularly those involving estrogen.
- Take antidepressants if your depression and anxiety has gotten severe. If you find that you are unable to take care of yourself or your child, it is of the utmost importance that you seek medical help.
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