Put yourself first

Put yourself first 

It is no secret that motherhood is hard. Unfortunately, many people forget to mention how motherhood can also affect your mental health. The lack of self-care and the pressure of society create a perfect storm for a mother's depression and anxiety. In this blog, we will talk about how to stay mentally well after becoming a mother. Communication, mindfulness, and exercise are the main healthy habits with which we can do so.

 Motherhood oftentimes demands so much of your time and energy. It can be easy to neglect yourself as you focus on caring for your children, taking care of the home, and/or your work. By the end of the day, you are left drained and all you want to do is put your feet up and turn on the TV.

 However, you must remember that you're not just a mother, you are also an individual with innate needs that must be met. According to Maslow, an American Psychologist, each individual has needs that must be met in order to live a more satisfying life. Failure to have these needs met can lead to mental health issues. If you are constantly putting yourself last, it means that your needs are not being met. 

 Prioritizing your self-care will help you meet your individual needs. Contrary to popular belief your mental state is just as important as feeding your newborn. Becoming a mother does not mean that your personal life and self-development stop. Your mental health has to be put first. And in order to do this effectively, you must create and maintain healthy habits that promote positivity and wellness.

Communication

Communicating your feelings and emotions is crucial. Find someone who you can talk to about what you're going through without judgment. This person can be your partner, a friend, and/or a family member. Besides leaning to trusted adults, keep a journal where you write down your sincere thoughts and daily struggles. Writing them down will help you keep track of any symptoms of depression and anything that causes you anxiety. Journaling gives you an opportunity to practice positive self-talk/thinking and helps you identify negative thinking. Writing down your thoughts will help you rationalize them.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment. The present moment is the only place where you can make true changes. Allow yourself to be in the here and now. You can start this practice with guided mindfulness meditations that can be found on YouTube. Slow down! Mindfulness is crucial during these moments of motherhood because it forces us to take a step back and evaluate what is actually happening vs. how we perceive it to be.

Exercise

Exercise is essential for your well-being. Exercising will help you combat motherhood blues, boost your mood, release endorphins and it’ll also make you more productive. Which in turn will give you more energy to play with your children and take care of your home tasks more effectively. Believe it or not, you can exercise at home using Youtube.

Some other benefits include;

  • Improve your memory and brain function. 
  • Protect against many chronic diseases.
  • Aid in weight management.
  • Lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
  • Improve your quality of sleep.
  • Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

If you neglect yourself, it can affect your mental health in a number of ways. You're less likely to be happy with motherhood because instead of feeling like you have control over this role, motherhood feels too hard for you to handle. It is important that you are able to grow and develop as a woman in order to provide for your child the best way possible. This can only happen when you take care of yourself first. You deserve time for yourself, so do it! The baby will benefit from this also because they have an invested mother who can function better.

In today's society, mothers are expected to be perfect. The pressure of this expectation can lead to a lack of self-care and ultimately mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can stay mentally well after becoming a mother through communication with your spouse or other loved ones, practicing mindfulness throughout the day; and exercising regularly. Remember these healthy habits for yourself so that you may help your children live healthier lives too!

The takeaway from this post:

  • Self-care is just as important as feeding your baby.
  • Get help from your partner, trusted adults, and friends.
  • Start a journaling routine.
  • Practice Mindfulness. 
  • Get exercise even if it is 5-10 minutes a day. 


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