easing postpartum depression with the outdoors
Talking about postpartum depression can be difficult – I know I never wanted to talk about mine… and have never mentioned it on the blog until today. Postpartum can be such a trying time. All of the focus shifts to the new baby and sometimes mama gets lost in the excitement and hysteria that happens once baby arrives. Make sure to take care of yourself – nourish your depleted body with plenty of vitamins and liquids – and get outside! The sunshine is natural therapy for the tired soul.
When I find myself having a “slow day” as my mom calls it, I go outside. Sunshine is good for the soul and always lifts my spirits. Sunlight increases levels of serotonin, which helps balance your mood and promotes feelings of happiness. God’s natural, free and constant anti-depressant!
With my first child, I had absolutely no idea why I felt the way I did. I was too ashamed to tell anyone that I was feeling depressed, anxious and generally blue. I just had a healthy baby girl – I should be happy, what was wrong with me?! I remember staying indoors more than normal. Not only was I feeling blue, but I was also exhausted. Those first months of parenthood are so draining; the idea of dragging my dark-circled eyes and slow-moving zombie body out into public was ridiculous. However, being outdoors was just what I needed. After this last pregnancy, I forced myself to get outside every day and my PPD quickly dissipated, rather than dragging along for months and months like with my first.
I’m certainly not saying PPD can be cured by sunshine, so always seek medical help, both by your family practitioner and therapist if you can. I’m simply stating that fresh air, the sun and a bit of exercise may be all you need to pull yourself out of the baby blues slump (in addition to medical support). Succumbing to that desire to dig a hole and crawl into it will only make the depression last longer. With my daughter, I felt like I was in a deep fog for 4 months. After the 6 month mark, I started to come out of it. Had I pushed myself to get outside everyday and enjoy nature’s beauty, maybe that time could have been shortened. It all comes down to taking care of yourself.
PPD or not, those first few months are utterly exhausting. Most of us new parents turn into caffeine guzzlers just to get through the day. My body does not handle caffeine well. I typically get jittery just after 3/4 a cup of coffee, so natural energy boosters always perk my ears. healthy mama® brand offers pregnant and nursing moms a complete line of safe solutions for pregnancy-related ailments. From heartburn and nausea to aches and constipation, healthy mama® has us all covered. When you just need a shot of sunshine, grab a Boost It Up! Protein Energy Drink and head out the door.
This hydrating energy drink is packed with protein, B-vitamins, fiber and electrolytes. It gives your body the fuel and pep that it needs to take that short hike to soak up some sun rays. It is totally safe for you and your baby as it contains no caffeine, no artificial anything, no gluten, no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives… only goodness! Plus? delicious. I wish I had these during my last pregnancy as they ease nausea related to morning sickness and replenish your body. Lord knows I had some terrible morning sickness with Gabriel!
Find healthy mama® products at Walmart. I found mine in the vitamin section, next to prenatal vitamins. There are a wide variety of products that are great if you or anyone you know are pregnant – great gift idea!!