Looking after your emotional wellbeing
Top tips for improving your mental wellbeing now you’re a mum, here are some handy tips
There’s no doubt that becoming a parent takes a lot of energy, particularly adjusting to less sleep and having a whole person solely rely on you. As well as the physical affects it can have on you, there’s no doubt your mental health can also be affected. Yet your emotional wellbeing can easily be overlooked with all your focus going into your baby, so we have some tips to help you look after your mental health.
1. Acknowledge how you feel
It can become second nature to say to yourself ‘I’m fine’. Acknowledge that’s it’s OK to admit ‘I’m struggling today’. Once you admit it to yourself you can start to deal with it yourself, by acknowledging that you won’t always feel this way. Be realistic about what you’ll get done in a day. Focus on what you and your baby need and know that being ‘good enough’ is fine.
2. A problem shared…
…is a problem halved. It’s very true. It’s so important you share your feelings with those close to you whether a family member or a friend. Hearing a different take on your concerns can really help you get things in perspective and just talking about it can really make you feel better.
3. Ask for help
It can feel so hard to ask for help, but it is so important. If you need help do ask for help whether from your doctor or a therapist. It’s much better to ask for help than to try and battle on alone. Your healthcare professionals should ask you how you’re feeling. Be honest with them you won’t be judged and they will be able to help you take first steps in getting any help you need.
4. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad
If you are going through a tough time and are struggling to cope the worst thing you can do is give yourself a hard time about. Tell yourself everyone struggles from time to time. You’re adapting to a whole new life as a mum, so it’s natural things may feel tough and you may need a bit of help now and then. At least 20% (1 in 5) new mums experience a mental health problem. So you aren’t alone.
5. You’re not the only one
Remind yourself you’re not alone in this. There are people around you who care and want to help. Remember a lot of people go through similar times and facing up to it can help you deal with it and work towards making you feel better.
Also remember that everyone is different too so there is no ‘one size fits all’ cure. Do some research about the options available so you can discuss these with your healthcare professional. Help is available in a range of different forms including self-help advice, talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medication. Share this information with your partner too so that they can support you to get the help that’s right for you.