As the name implies, depression is a time when you feel really down. Feelings of sadness and loneliness take over you and in such a case, you will be affecting your newborn child as well because you will not be able to take proper care of him. So it is important that you are aware of ways which will help you to fight off postnatal depression.
1. Do your best to keep busy:
Sitting around and staring into space will not help you at all. Try to find things to do as the busier you are the less the probability that you will feel depressed. Chores and hobbies will help to distract you and make you feel useful and confident.
When you feel depressed it is better to cry so as to let it all out. Often if you have yourself a good cry you will find that you will feel better afterwards.
3. Do not shut it all up inside:
Accept that you are depressed by being honest with yourself. You need to let it all out and not keep all your feelings and helplessness inside. It will probably help to speak with someone who can understand you. By talking things over with someone that you trust and who can truly understand your feelings, you can come to terms with reality. Besides, the person that you confide in will help you with his/her advice and assistance.
5. Do not stay alone:
Loneliness is a depressed person’s worst friend. Do not shut yourself in your house. Make sure you go out, meet friends, shop around and come up with interesting ways to spend your time with others. The baby does not have to take over your whole day. Your partner can help out by taking care of the child, and you can have some time for yourself, even for just an hour a day.
6. Focus on your willpower:
Postnatal depression will evoke feelings of helplessness. You will feel a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. So what you need to do is to fight this off by believing in yourself. Think positively, and bear in mind that this could be your once in a lifetime experience at being the mother of a newborn. Make the most of this experience.
7. Make some changes to improve:
Try to come up with ways which will help you improve your lifestyle and your attitude to life.
8. Accept yourself:
Because of the depression you may start to pinpoint things about you that you do not like. You will start to think you are not pretty or that some part of your body does not look right. Rather than focusing on these things you need to be aware that it is normal to feel this way when you are depressed. Force yourself to focus on things which make you feel confident and beautiful.
9. Keep an eye on what you eat:
Some food will trigger depression and negative feelings. So you need to make sure that you avoid eating such food. Try to eat more fruit, nuts and fish. Chocolate can help a great deal too.
Any exercise will help to distract you while keeping you in good shape. This will automatically help you to feel better about yourself, and besides you would be using your time well.
Therapy is a good method to fight off depression, especially if you are feeling really sad or contemplating extreme measures. You may find it easier to talk to a professional therapist who would be able to understand you as he/she would have heard several other women who went through this type of depression just like you.
In extreme cases medication may be necessary. Medical help should be sought and it is not something to avoid.
Find ways which will help you relax. Stress and tension will only make your depression more acute. So take a hot bath, consider yoga classes, or take a walk with your husband in the countryside or by the beach. A regular sleeping pattern is also important. Try to get enough sleep.
14. Limit caffeine and alcohol:
Avoid drinking lots of coffee and if possible do not consume any alcohol at all.