With May being Maternal Mental Health Month we thought it would be a good time to share some ways you can improve your mental health. Did you know that postpartum depression affects about one out of seven new parents? This could look like alternating emotional highs and lows with frequent crying, irritability, fatigue, feelings of guilt, anxiety, and an inability to care for yourself and your baby. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can appear within a week of delivery or gradually up to a year later. Do not get discouraged if you experience any of these symptoms. There are ways to improve your mental health.
Tips To Improve Your Mental Health Every Day
The path to improving your mental health doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Taking small steps each day to improve your mood can make a big difference. If you are a parent it may be difficult to designate a whole day to work on yourself. However, there are ways to incorporate practices that can help you to feel better.
Take 5 to 10 minutes breaks throughout the day to help relieve stress, depression, or anxiety.
- Walk – even if it is just a walk around the block
- Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance
- Practice some breathing exercises
- Yoga – can help you to relax
- Listen to calm music or relaxing sounds like ocean waves
- Take a shower or a bath
There are more ways to improve your mental health. One popular topic lately is self-care. Give yourself permission to devote time to yourself. Self-care practices can look different for everybody. In addition to the aforementioned tips, you can add in some of the practices if they sound appealing to you.
- Read a book or magazine
- Explore the nature around you
- Sleep in – make an arrangement with your partner, for example, your partner sleeps in on Saturday and you sleep in on Sunday
- Unplug from your electronic devices
- Dance – even if it is in your own living room
- Make time to visit with a friend that makes you laugh or watch a comedy
- Create a vision board
- Start a gratitude journal
- Write a list of things you love about yourself
- Do a puzzle
If you find yourself struggling with what feels like an unhealthy balance of emotions, be sure to share what your feelings are with someone you trust. You are not alone, most new parents have experienced similar feelings. Keep in mind that asking for help is healthy.