This Isn't What I Expected

Notes on healing postpartum depression

Your Gift to Yourself on Mothers Day

Let it be about you.

Mother’s Day is approaching. Moms who are struggling with depression or anxiety should prepare themselves for this day. It may not easy for moms to indulge by paying attention to what they need or want, but it’s essential. Here are some ideas that are certain to renew the spirit:

1. Spend time outside.  Walk barefoot. Treat yourself to some new flowering plants. Dig a new bed. Prune some shrubs. Pull some weeds. Get your clothes dirty. Feel the earth.

2. Take a leisurely walk. Don’t aim for exercise. Leave your music at home. Become aware of the world around you. Listen to the sounds: the birds chatting, cars rushing, dogs barking, children playing, the airplanes above, your shoes on the street below. Breathe, smell, gaze. Be mindful of the vibrant colors, the perfection of nature. Feel the wind. Stand up tall. Smile.

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3. Call an old friend. Think about someone who you have lost touch with from high school or college or a previous neighborhood. Reconnect by phone. Forget facebook, email, texting, tweeting. Call someone. Enjoy the feeling that no time has passed between you. Recall fun stories. Laugh together.

4. Eat guilt-free. Pay no attention to body image angst. Let the taste triumph. Savor it.

5. Let partners know how much you love them. Write it. Say it. Show it. Let them know how important and appreciated they are. There is no better way to get what you need from a relationship, than by offering it first.

6. Self-Compassion. Release yourself from self-criticism. No judgment. No deprecation. For today, pretend you are exactly who you want to be.

7. Connect with the Universe. Do whatever that means to you. Pray.Meditate. Sing. Sit quietly. If it isn’t a challenge, you aren’t doing it right. Or long enough. Make the time. Share your energy with the space around you. Practice positive thinking, even if it’s hard or feels futile. Radiate the message that you are grateful and are prepared to feel good.

8. Give yourself permission not to worry. You can worry again tomorrow. Just today. All is good. Nothing ahead of you, nothing behind. Just now. Enjoy.

 

pic credit

 

Karen Kleiman      The Postpartum Stress Center, LLC      postpartumstress.com

Karen Kleiman is founder and director of The Postpartum Stress Center, a treatment and training center for prenatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. more...

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