How I Beat Postpartum Depression (Without Medication)
After I had Madi, I can honestly say I loved her so much that it hurt! I have always had some issues with anxiety, but nothing compared to what it was like postpartum, after having my baby. I was constantly worried about doing things wrong, and always trying to find a way to do things better. And of course never giving myself a break because I was the only person in this world I trusted to care for my baby. And although I knew that there wasn’t a book out there that gives you all the answers about parenting, I was trying to find it. My anxiety was so overwhelming it sent me into a depression, and I didn’t know how I was going to fix it. When my doctor asked me if I had any symptoms of postpartum depression, I was hesitant to say anything because I was so worried that someone might think that because I was depressed, I wasn’t ready, or I regretted having a baby… which was the farthest thing from the truth! Nonetheless, I was scared to say anything. But I did! She thought it was best to try medication. So I tried it, and soon thereafter realized how sick it was making me, and it wasn’t even improving the anxiety. Since I wasn’t fond of taking medication, I developed a system that SAVED me. I honestly don’t know what my life would be like if I hadn’t have implemented this routine into my life. So here it is!
–The most important thing I did to improve my postpartum depression was to exercise every day. This seriously changed my whole life. Exercise is the perfect anti-depressant! It releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, and reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression. Exercising helps you have more energy throughout your day, and it makes you feel so good about yourself. A lot of mothers have issues with their self image, which worsens depression, so exercise will help with that too!
–Another thing I did that drastically improved my depression was to make sure I was getting out of the house at least once a day. Whether it be the gym, or the store, or even just for a drive! I preferred leaving the house in the morning, so that when I got back home I could do everything that needed to be done. If I didn’t leave the house at all, I wouldn’t accomplish anything. I would lay around all day and watch tv. But if I forced myself out of the house in the mornings, I gave myself a to do list for when I got home. Before I had the chance to sit down, I hurried and started getting everything done that needed to be, once I was done I would allow myself some t.v. or a nap with Madi. Getting out of the house is SO important to someone feeling depressed, it sets the pace for your whole day!
–Have a close friend who can be there when you need them. My sister-in-law was a life saver! She always invited me to lunch, or came over just to say hi, which was so nice! It’s very important to have adult interaction everyday, or else you’ll start to go crazy. It was also nice having her around so much because she was able to see exactly what treatment Madi gets, so she is one of the very few people I entrust to babysit for us when we need a date night, because she knows how high my standards are.
–Lastly, I made sure to have hobbies to keep me busy. I love to read, so I read a lot! I also enjoy crafting, so I would do that pretty often. Having a new baby made finding projects easy, because there was so many things I wanted to do and try. One thing I started that helped me stay busy was a bullet journal. It helped keep me organized, and accountable. I kept track of my goals, meals, exercise, schedule, and much more! The best thing you can do is to get on Pinterest and find yourself some projects or hobbies you are excited about, and you can even set dates to do them on to keep yourself accountable!
Remember– Postpartum depression and anxiety are serious, if you are experiencing any symptoms you should consult your doctor. It’s okay to not be okay.