Mental health affects all of us. It’s not an ‘ON/ OFF’ switch and therefore it’s important to be aware that it’s ok to sometimes feel low or anxious or panicky or lethargic or just nothing.
But it’s important if you feel any of these or just don’t feel ‘like you’ that you chat about it. I don’t mean you get all serious about it and straight away run off to your GP or HV. But what I do mean is that you acknowledge how you’re feeling and speak up to your partner, friends or family. Because when we do this we start to feel a little better and we can get perspective on why we feel like this and our loved ones may be able help.
COVID19 has affected us all this year; worries about catching the virus, holidays cancelled, social life pretty much gone, worries about work etc … but if you’re reading this you’ve probably also had a baby in the last 12 months.
For you, you may also have experienced;
- Lack of extended family to help out
- Friends unable to visit
- Opportunities to meet other parents limited or not happening at all
- House-bound/ isolated with a new baby
- Worry about you or baby catching the virus
- Limited or no home visits/ baby clinics from Health Visitors
- Partner working from home – good or bad?
Consider each of these and then think about how they have individually or collectively impacted on your mental health…..
But now think about how you have got through it or are working through the changes that are happening.
Look back, take a moment and really reflect on how amazing you are.
You’ve had a baby in a pandemic and you’ve done it largely on your own. What does that tell you about you and your resilience?
Focus on your unique strengths today.
Think of a day when you did something that made you feel really proud of yourself.
Now think about the strengths, skills and attitude that you used to make that happen.
These are YOU, know that you carry these with you wherever you go. You can deploy them at any time whenever you’re faced with a challenge.
During these tough times it’s very easy to get swept along by what’s happening in the world and endlessly read or watch the news and slip into negative thinking.
But by focussing each day on your strengths as a mummy, partner or friend you can practice remaining calm, gratitude for what you can control and spend time with or talking to the people who nurture and support you.
But also add a bit of fun to your day. Fun activities are great stress relievers. Start by writing down what you love doing – cuddling your baby, going for a run, having your nails done, reading, having a long bath, going for a walk.
Next take a look at the past week and see if you did any of these things? The irony is that when we are under pressure, anxious or overwhelmed we stop doing the very things that we know would make us feel better!
So, I’ve given you some ‘homework’ to do today….
Please let me know in the comments or via whatsapp/ social media what you thought about this blog. And please share with anyone who you think would like to read it.
For Baby and Me is about building a community of positive parents’ who can support, reach out and make friends through the classes, groups and very soon to be launched ‘Join The Club’ Membership.
More information about Mental Health Day can be found at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health