Depression is no joke. It doesn’t discriminate and it can and will hit you ant any time- even times when you’re supposed to be your happiest. Take Post-Partem depression. It strikes when a Mom is told she SHOULD be the happiest she’s ever been! Lots of Moms deal with depression, and I’m one of them. I had Post-Partum Depression after the birth of my son and as I was battling cancer that was diagnosed with while pregnant with him. I fought depression again as I helped my daughter battle horrific bullying that led to a suicide attempt, and then her own mental illness. A few years later, I struggled again after the death of my Step -Mom and some estrangement from other family members. I had to fight my way back from depression and while it wasn’t easy, it was a battle won. As a Mom, it took me a lot of soul searching before I made MYSELF a priority and not my family, but just like on an airplane, you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others. My family knew I was struggling, but even more importantly they saw that I was working hard at helping myself. I showed them that depression was like any other illness that needed to be treated, and I started taking care of myself. These are the steps I took:
- I was honest about what I needed. I reached out for help and told others I was not okay, and I needed help and support.
- I took a social media break. It’s too easy to get caught up in stuff, so I checked once a day, then put my phone away.
- I spent more time outside. My doctor told me that I was Vitamin D deficient. I went for daily walks, spent a lot more time on the porch, and used a Vitamin D Spray.
- I learned to meditate. I use apps to help keep me grounded. I learned to meditate and used breathing techniques to help me.
- I volunteered more at our local animal shelter. Cuddling sweet kittens and talking dogs on walks help me a lot. Volunteering got me out of my “only me” mind space. I feel good helping someone else.
- I started taking care of myself. I made sure I got some exercise in, started eating better, taking excellent natural vitamins and supplements to help me become as healthy as I could.
- I started reading again. I loved to read, and it was something that I had let fall to the side while I took care of everyone and everything else. I made a comfy spot just for me, filled up my kindle, and made sure to read ever a little every day.
- I reached out for help and got it. I went to my doctor, where I found out about my vitamin deficiencies and got other things to help. I also used some online support groups that freed me up to talk about what was going on in my life.
Being a Mom means that I often must be strong. But, I think that it was important to my family to show them that I also have weak moments and needed help. I showed them that taking care of yourself is really important,and letting them help me shared how important they were to me and our family.