Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Battling the Blues

So, last week I was a little down. Actually truth be known, I wasn't sure if I was battling post partum depression, or not. Now, I caution you, I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to know anything about treating post-partum depression. I am just going to describe what seems to be working for me at this point in time.

I mentioned last week, that I was reading the book After the Baby's Birth...A Woman's Way to Wellness: A Complete Guide for Postpartum Women. The most helpful part of the book for me was the list I found on page 260 titled: Coping with PPD.
  • Make sure you get enough rest.
  •  Do something for youself each day.
  • Take a good look at your diet.
  • Avoid isolation.
  • Exercise everyday.
  • Relax. Meditate or pray.
  • Let some things go.
  • Seek professional help.
Now this list is paraphrased and I left out all of the explanations. I prayed about this list and asked for heavenly help. I took a good look at my routine and noticed that I put my needs after everyone elses. I shrugged off my needs, but paid the price physically and mentally.

So, I set myself some rules to cope and I am doing much better. I am still struggling, but I am coping as opposed to letting it all continue as it was.

So my rules look something like this:
  1. Get to bed by 10:00 pm! Done deal, no excuses. A new mom needs sleep and getting to bed earlier sure helps.
  2. Do something with my hands everyday! I need to be creative. It relaxes me and gives me a sense of accomplishment to work with my hands. I love to knit or sew!!!
  3. Diet! Arghhhh! I hate that word. We are a grain-free family, so I think a lot about what we eat. Our meals are made from scratch, but I must remember where I live. I live in Canada and have a high need for Vitamin D. I also am celiac and tend to be low on the B vitamins. I am breastfeeding, so I need to get lots of Calcium and Magnesium. And I love to drink coffee with almond milk and sugar. --- So I just started taking vitamins again (I shouldn't have stopped)and asked my dear husband to remind me if I forget. And I now take my coffee (max one a day) without the sugar. What a difference the vitamins make!!!
  4. Avoid isolation. I try to get out more. Last week, I made it out with all of the kids to two homeschool events. The -15 to -20C temps on the weekend kept us in for the most part.
  5. Exercise everyday. --- That one needs work. Doesn't chasing kids count?
  6. Relax. Meditate or pray. --- We started praying the rosary as a family again and I am making more of an effort to pray on my own, daily. It should be a given, but I am not a perfect Catholic, I am a practising one. (emphasis goes on the practising)
  7. Let some things go. --- For me this isn't about not doing the laundry or dishes as the writer suggests. In my case, I need to let go of the hurt and pain of the past. I need to stop bashing myself. This needs a lot of work. My low self-esteem is not the example I want to radiate to a lovely daughter.
  8. Seek professional help.--- I called Catholic family services, but it is so expensive. I am just going to have to try to cope on my own for now. If things get worse, I will talk to the priest or a doctor. That reminds me that I need to find a family doctor.
The road to a healthy lifestyle involves so many things, but it is the exclusion of one thing in particular that can lead your life into a disaster. Disaster happens when you omit God from your daily life, your daily struggles. He is willing to give you the grace you need to carry on. He helps with making the right decisions, surrounding you with support and His love. The Saint Michael prayer has also played a major role in my healing. When I find myself falling, I pray to Saint Michael. The devil wants me to fail, to give up, to be lazy and listless. He wants me to neglect myself and my family. I feel as though the battle is just as spirtual as it is physical. If I can conquer the negative thoughts, I have half a chance at gaining back my health.

I want to thank you for stopping by and reading this post. Please share if you have ever struggled with post partum depression. What helped you? How did you cope?

St. Michael, pray for us.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tina Marie,These are very helpful suggestions. I have heard some of these before but was sure glad for the reminder. My 5th baby was born on Oct. 14, 2012. So, I am newly post partum. Thanks for posting this! I feel like we have the opposite of you.. 1 boy and 4 girls. Do you ever feel bad for your daughter not having a sister. I feel so bad for my son not having a brother. But..I have to remind myself and the kids that God is in control and knows better for ourlives. God Bless you and your lovely family! Lorie from Tempe AZ


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