Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Moms: Five Tips To Avoiding Post Natal Depression

As a new mom, I want you to know that feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster is perfectly normal. One minute you can feel like you are on the top of the world and the next all you want to do is cry. The reason for the grab bag of emotions is because of all the changes you are going through right now both physically and mentally, not to mention that you are most likely tired and run down. While no mom in the world wants to experience baby blues, I think that all new moms experience these at times to one degree or another.

Knowing that baby blues are common might give you some comfort, but I understand that it is not enough. The truth is that post natal depression is becoming more and more common in modern society and sadly, many women are turning straight to drugs to help them cope. The reality is that there are plenty of cultures around the world where post natal depression is almost non-existent. So have a look at these tips to get a sense of how you might avoid becoming 'stuck' in the baby blues.

Tip 1
My first tip is to keep a daily journal specifically to capture your thoughts on all the things in your life that you are grateful for. While journaling is not a new concept and has been around for hundreds and thousands of years, its power and application in motherhood is often overlooked.

Using a journal to document everything in your life that you are grateful for will help you to tune into the big and small blessings in your life and this will help you keep things in perspective. This can be a little as the fact that you had five minutes to yourself in the bathroom. Read it every time you are feeling sad or overwhelmed. The power of journaling can be tremendous for new moms in avoiding the blues.

Tip 2
Accept the circumstances of your life the way they are and do not spend time wishing for things to be different. The fact is your life is the way it is and in every difficult time there are opportunities for learning. The difficult times of the first few months of being a new mom will pass quickly. Depression occurs when there is a gap between reality and the way you think things should be. Remind yourself of this when you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion.

Tip 3
Be active and get plenty of fresh air. Studies have shown that there is a strong relationship between being active and the absence of depression. If nothing else, try to go for a walk at least once a day, even just for 10 minutes. Exercise moves the bones, ligament and tendons of the spine. When the spine moves it fires off nerve messages up into the brain and one of the benefits of this is reducing depression.

Tip 4
Create a list of 'circuit breakers'. Not the electrical type, there is no need to shock yourself! A circuit breaker is simply something that can do that will help to snap you out of your mood, and get you out of a rut. There are heaps of circuit breakers out there, it is just a matter of tuning into what really inspires or turns you on. This could include things like going for a walk, listening to groovy music, a bubble bath, reading a fun book, cuddling a puppy, painting... the list is endless. Circuit breakers are any actions that you can do that will lift you up to a happier state of being. Make a list of things that make you happy and keep it at hand for when you notice yourself feeling down.

Tip 5
Tip five, take up meditation. This is a simple thing you can do that will really change the way you deal with life. You will become much more grounded, less tense, less stressed, you will find new energy and vitality. Meditation is such a freeing experience, it doesn't require any special equipment and you don't have to join a club. All you need is a space, where you can sit quietly and just be. Be sure to find a teacher that you feel comfortable with.

Remember, avoiding the blues as a new mom is not always easy. When you become a new mom go easy on yourself. Don't compare yourself to others or expect that you will fall into your role as a new mom immediately. Give it time and be patient, because the tough times pass quickly and know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Salena Kulkarni is the creator of the 'Secrets of Extraordinary New Moms' audio program, which helps new moms feel energized, get in shape, eliminate emotional overwhelm, and experience fulfillment in 30 days or less! Visit http://www.thrivingafterchildbirth.com now for more information.

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