Small Ways to Improve Your Mental Health on Your Motherhood Journey
Mental health is incredibly important for women trying to conceive, and expecting or new mothers. Post-partum depression is a serious disorder and is incredibly common, but not always fully understood. Fortunately, any of these small ways to improve your mental health will help. You’ll feel happy and revitalized, which is good for you and your baby.
Give Yourself Positivity
When you wake up in the morning, or every time you see yourself in the mirror, tell yourself words of encouragement. Whether it’s a personal mantra or just some personal characteristics you’re proud of, one of the best ways to improve your mental health is to add positivity. Everyone deserves to feel good and boost their levels of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones.
You will feel silly at first, whisper it if you have to, but be consistent and it will feel natural in a few days. My personal favorite is, “I am confident, I am capable, I am patient.”
Eat a Well-Balanced Meal
A well-balanced meal can help your mental health tremendously. Not only does it nourish your body, but it also nourishes your brain. Protein-rich foods are known to increase your dopamine and alert hormones, while complex, slow-digesting carbohydrates increase serotonin.
Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply essential nutrients to keep the body and brain focused and full of mood-balancing chemicals. Even healthy fats, like Omega 3s, enhance cognitive function and improve brain performance.
Don’t overthink this one. A simple bowl of yogurt and fresh fruit will do the trick!
Talk to Someone
It’s always a good idea to open up to someone, such as a friend, family member, or therapist. One of the most significant contributions to poor mental health is holding issues in. Letting these issues out through healthy coping mechanisms, such as talking to a trusted person, will significantly improve your state of mind. These people can offer positive advice and help you see other perspectives, boosting you out of that emotional slump.
Whenever you exercise, your body releases endorphins that reduce stress and improve your mood. Naturally, this makes it one of the most efficient methods to improve your mental health. It’s common knowledge that exercise decreases stress, anxiety, and depression, so it’s beneficial to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in daily.
This can be from cycling, weightlifting, yoga, jogging, or any other physical activity you enjoy. The key here is to move in a way that makes you feel good, not as punishment, and not in a way that drains you. I like to get outside for a walk when I’m feeling anxious or just blah.
Lastly, many people don’t realize that a good night’s sleep is your body and brain’s way to cope with external stressors. Sleep deprivation will significantly decrease your mood no matter how you might feel.
Read This: 4 Steps to Create a Better Bedtime Routine
To get a better night’s sleep, turn off all electronics an hour before you plan to sleep. This allows your brain to disconnect from any artificial stimuli and start to naturally wind down. Also, sleep at a regular time each night. This will adjust your circadian rhythm to perform regularly and provide you with the quality, deep sleep you need to function.
If you’re a new mom, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now! I get it, sleep in the early weeks and months are never ideal. But, make it a priority so you get as much as you can, even if it’s not as much as you’d actually like.