If you’re a newbie mother who is feeling stressed and exhausted here are the best ways for new moms to strengthen their mental health.
New mothers often face unique challenges when it comes to their mental health and well-being.
In addition to hormonal changes, a woman’s body also undergoes numerous other adjustments such as weight gain, acne during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and more.
These changes can all affect the mental health of new mothers, which may be connected to what healthcare specialists call as postnatal depression.
As you might know, I’m the author of the bestselling book Happy Habits. Inside my book I share a range of habits which boost happiness.
In my research, I learned about which habits most predict greater happiness. With this in mind, here are the best ways for new moms to strengthen their mental health.
Postnatal depression is a condition that affect many new parents, almost 1 in 10 parents—especially new mums and some fathers—after having their child. Symptoms associated with this condition include fatigue, anxiety, trouble concentrating, inability to sleep, constant thoughts about crying, irritability, and more.
The demands on the time of new mums are immense and may compound postnatal depression as they’re often juggling roles throughout their pregnancy and looking after their newborns during the early weeks and months following birth. These often prove highly challenging, both physically and mentally for expectant and new mums, causing untold amounts of stress, anxiety, and, in some cases, depression.
Fortunately, there are many new mums self care tips available today. If you’re a new mother and are struggling with your mental health, here are some ways you can improve your emotional and mental wellbeing.
As a new mom, it might be challenging to find time to get enough sleep when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night. But having time to sleep and rest is critical in maintaining good mental health. Take some time to relax and take a little time out to enjoy your alone time. Sometimes all you need is to take time to decompress.
Ask someone to look after your baby, even for a couple of hours. Find the time to rest from your chores or from taking care of the baby. Spending time away from home will help you strengthen your mental health. When you’re not at home, you can try to connect with others and do things with your friends like watch a movie or catch up over coffee.
Aside from that, the quality of your sleep can affect the chemical balance of your brain. When you go to bed at night, the serotonin levels in your brain drop dramatically. Serotonin is responsible for regulating mood and anxiety, as well as for our memory and muscle tension.
Ensuring that you get adequate sleep each night may help you bounce back from your mental health challenges at an optimal level. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body can become depleted of serotonin, leading to mood and anxiety disorders. On the other hand, getting enough sleep can improve your mood and general well-being.
The importance of proper nutrition for mental health shouldn’t be underestimated. Adequate nutrition is key to keeping the mental faculties healthy and strong. Aside from that, the food you eat can also affect your mental health as some foods trick the brain into releasing chemicals that can affect your mood.
Eating too much unhealthy food high in fat or oil content may make you feel sluggish. You need to eat foods that may boost your energy like vegetables, grains, and fatty fish. It’s okay to eat comfort foods like chocolates, but make sure you’re consuming them in moderation.
You might think you’re too busy or too tired to do some workouts, but doing light exercises provides tons of benefits, not only for your physical healthy but your mental health as well. Experts say exercise releases neuropeptides and peptides, which are very important for relieving stress and anxiety, and mental health. Exercise also releases hormones called endorphins, which give you a feeling of euphoria and joy.
Also, make sure that the exercise you’re engaging in provides you with a good challenge. The more that you challenge yourself, the better your mental health will be.
Postpartum depression is a topic not discussed by many mothers because some people diminish or invalidate their feelings. New mothers need to receive a healthy amount of support and feedback from friends and family. They also need to be in touch with their emotions and talk to their doctors when they feel something is wrong.
In addition to talking with friends and family members, new mums should always discuss any issues they may have with their doctor. It’s always wise to start early with depression screening and education. The earlier that depression is detected, the more likely it can be treated.
Taking care of a newborn is challenging; that’s why new mothers need to take care of themselves to ensure their mental and physical health are at optimum levels. If you’re a new mum, you should take some time to rest and get some sleep when you can to ensure your functioning well throughout the day. It’s also best to have healthy habits by eating the right foods and doing light exercises.
New moms also need emotional support from their family and friends. Talking about experiences with friends and family can help prevent feelings of isolation and escalate anxiety. It’s also essential for new mothers to talk to their doctors about any concerns they may have about their mental and physical well-being.