I was in a situation recently where someone indirectly implied that I had post natal depression (pnd) or at least that's how I interpreted their suggestions. I became really defensive and denied that I was experiencing pnd. I've been through depression before and I've also worked with many clients who have been through depression too. So I know what depression looks like and I didn't feel like I was in that dark place.
However I questioned myself on why I felt so defensive about pnd. Did I feel a sense of shame? Depression and mental health isn't something that is openly discussed or owned in society. Although it is something that we all at some point experience in our lives whether its a fleeting moment of just not wanting to get out of bed to questioning life and our existence. However there is a greater awareness developing especially with initiatives such as last weeks World Mental Health Day.
Being a new mum your mental wellbeing can be questioned whether it is by health professionals or even your friends and family who may just check in on you to see how you are doing. There are many different hormone changes as well as physical changes in the body that it can take some time to adjust, adapt and accept. As well as this nursing and motherhood in general is a selfless task and there are times where you might feel you have lost yourself. As I mentioned in my previous blog it does require some amount of strength to take time out for yourself and for self care which some women may not prioritise after giving birth. Without the practice of self care your time and energy is constantly going out and there is no source of renewal for yourself. So it is only inevitable that you can end up feeling low or depressed.
Every new mum and in fact new dad will experience some sort of pnd. Having a baby is a huge life change and naturally with change come many different emotions. The difference is the intensity of pnd and the coping mechanisms used to work through pnd. Also these moments of 'darkness' are an opportunity to face some inner demons and to clear out old energies. Depression or moments of feeling low are all directing us through an inner spiritual experience. When we move through the experience using various techniques as mentioned below it can strengthen us and guide us into a new positive direction. During my post partum period I have definetely felt a range of emotions. Sheer joy and happiness to feeling overwhelmed and confused. Fortunately I have an extensive background of experience with techniques such as meditation, journaling and mindfulness which all help to support positive mental health. If you are going through pnd or depression here are some tips which may help you through this time; 1. Practice yoga; moving your body even if its just some light stretches can circulate energy making you feel good. 2. Meditate; this can clear our mind and connect us to an inner peace and acceptance. 3. Gratitude; when we appreciate all the things we have in our life it raises our energy levels. 4. Journaling; writing down our inner thoughts and feelings is a great way to release and feel free. 5. Eat well; nourish yourself with the right food to raise your energy and vibration. 6. Spend time with positive people who lift you up and refrain from putting yourself in the company of negative people. I hope these tips help. If you have been through depression and you would like to share your coping mechanisms please do comment below. Sharing your thoughts may just help someone out there who needs a source of inspiration and hope. With love, Jaina x