To say parenting is hard is the understatement of the century. Every parent has found that the struggles never stop coming. By now, raising a human being in the 21st century is no less than studying for a high degree. It is a responsibility undertaken at its finest. A mother is not only fully devoting her mental faculties but also her physical body. We understand it can get intimidating at times. It is in this light that we present to you 10 tips for mothers on how to manage mental health.
1. Take it easy
You are doing just fine. It is highly important to not compete with others or even your own self. Understand that you are learning things as you go. Realizing this, along with allowing time to learn and understand, is critical for a first time mom. The fact is, there is no map and every child’s journey is a unique one. You cannot anticipate their needs each and every time. While you take time to understand their individuality, don’t be harsh on yourself when you don’t.
2. Steady progress
Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Treading at a slow pace may frustrate you at first;however, it leads down to the right path. Remember you are just another human who is trying to lead a normal life. Providing for the child is a difficult feat, to say the least. Somebody could argue that you did sign up for it…this does not mean you received an assisted knowledge pack. As such, remember you are learning and that is more than enough.
3. Confront your emotions
The most common mistake moms often make is not speaking up. Don’t ever bottle yourself up. Express what you are feeling. If you find it difficult (which we know it is), talk about it to someone you feel comfortable with. For those who find social interaction difficult, maintain a journal and write it down.
4. Build your support system
Remember you are not alone. Talk to your partner, for both of you are shouldering the responsibility of parenting. Seeking advice from other experienced parents, finding what works for you, is also ideal. Don’t be eager to cross off family and friends from being a confidante either. If your children are of a certain age, you can make them active participants in the overall process. A few chores around the house is a small recipe for a mighty feast. Not only will this reduce your workload but also make the kids learn how to be responsible. Build your support network to help you throughout, remembering that it does indeed take a village.
5. Have your me-time
It is absolutely essential to unwind and rejuvenate oneself once in a while, especially if you are a new mom. You and your body need all the time and care. Let go of that mom-guilt that holds you back. This is not selfish. In fact, it is a requirement- the better shape you are in, the better you can take care of others. Do not forget all your hobbies now just because you are a “mom”. You can go out and meet your friends over the weekend. On the off chance that your idea of relaxing is curling up in a corner with a cup of coffee and a book, do that.
6. Get proper sleep
However impossible it may seem, get your minimum 8 hours of sleep a day. Not only will this help you feel better but also help you take care of the child better. Proper sleep will make you feel relaxed and functional to get through the next day.
7. Take care of your diet
You can’t expect to raise a healthy kid if you don’t prioritise your health in the first place. Add more proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibre to your diet, and PLEASE cut down on carbohydrates. If you haven’t heard this before…avoid sugar at all costs. Seeing you eat healthy will also encourage your child to naturally adopt a healthy diet.
This is a sure shot way to ease your mental stress. The first step is to work out how you’re going to “work out”. It doesn’t have to be an intense activity. Maybe just take a stroll for a while. Sometimes neglecting your physical health or any doctor’s appointments can unwind all your hard given efforts. Remember, physical health is inversely related with your mental health.
It might seem difficult to set a routine, especially with infants or toddlers around. However, it will go a long way in keeping yourself organised. De-clutter not only the space around you but also your mental space. Even the best computers need defrag. You could work out a plan with your partner to better suit the both of you. This will ensure that both of you spend quality time with the child while also having sufficient time for yourselves.
10. Professional help
There is nothing wrong in seeking professional help. Don’t shy away from consulting a therapist if you feel the need to. For new moms, postpartum depression is an ever-present threat. There is nothing bad about visiting an expert who could help.
Much has been written about the beautiful experience that parenting is. There is little potential for us to bring novelty to this highly fantasized subject. What we can say, however, is to always trust yourself. Let go of your inhibitions, and ride the bandwagon. Never forget to take care of your own self as you raise those little champions.