The holidays kind of bug me a lot. Between the commercialization of it, the need to please others, the weather changing, and serotonin levels dropping, it’s easy for me to get stuck in a rut during the Winter time. The truth is, I suffer through this part of life called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Every year I try to raise awareness on this true mental illness and shine light to what it actually is and this year is no exception. Being pregnant has drastically changed my hormones and has really made a lot of things worse in the aspect of keeping my mental state worse. So here is a short reminder: mama, take a moment for yourself.
Let’s Get Real About Seasonal Depression is a piece I wrote a little over a year ago that I look back on from time to time and try to share with people often. It gives a little bit of information on what S.A.D actually is. But this year I wanted to talk about how it affects me personally and some things you can do when you step back, take a breath, and take a moment for yourself. It’s so important to me that I try to do my best to change my mentality to be more positive, and especially around this time of year, it’s a struggle for me.
Why It’s Important to Take A Step Back
It Helps to Clear Your Head
Sometimes in life I get a bit overwhelmed. Your mind is capable of holding so much information but not processing it simultaneously and sometimes it feels like I need a mental wipe down. It is so important to slow your mind down for a moment to let yourself cool off and process everything around you without adding new things to try to process on top of it.
You Will Learn New Things About Yourself
We think all the time. Like literally all the time. It’s easy to do it because our minds are always running. But we don’t often stop to look at our thoughts from the outside looking in. The thoughts in your head vs you as a person are two completely different things – and we’re so often caught up in our thoughts that we lack to differentiate the two.
15 Things Expectant Mamas Can Do To Take A Moment
- Start a journal. I know this is commonly said but it can be so essential. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, find some time to sit down and write about what’s going on, what you’re aiming for, or try a journaling prompt.
- Go for a walk. Staying active is so important
- Do a breathing exercise. I like doing this when I feel like I don’t have a bunch of time to take for myself. Breathing exercises can be very beneficial for anxiety.
- Visualize Your Goals. This weekend, I’ve been working on my 2020 vision board and it’s so relaxing and helps me remember what I’m striving for in my life and in my pregnancy.
- Cook yourself a meal. Don’t forget you need extra vitamins and protein to help grow your baby!
- Drink some hot tea. I like all kinds of hot teas, but during the winter I recommend a Peppermint.
- Meditate. I’ve never really tried this before, but I’ve always wanted to.
- Picture how your life will be once your baby gets here.
- Look at your ultrasound pictures. This is one of my favorite things to do in my spare minutes because it reminds me why I push harder to make better choices.
- Go on a date with yourself. No seriously. I do this once in a blue moon and I always feel better just to have some alone time with me, myself, and I. That’s what taking a moment for yourself is all about! (I recommend taking yourself to the movies or window shopping.)
- Dance. Dance in your living room or on top of your bed. Do it in your jammies or in your underwear. Trust me, it’s worth it.
- Work on a small hobby. In my spare time, I like to read and crochet. Try doing a small hobby — if you don’t have one, try a new one!
- Make a gratitude list. It can be one thing or a hundred things – just make a list of some of the things or people in your life that you appreciate. Especially during a season when I’m down, I like to remind myself why I push on and make the choices that I make.
- Do a face mask or eye mask.
- Listen to some peaceful music.
From the Heart to the Screen
Taking time for yourself is hard. My body is dedicated toward the creation of a new life and it feels like I can’t take time for myself. But I can! And it’s so important to do so, especially now. I try to find little ways every day to take a moment for myself – even if it’s just for a few minutes – and everything on this list I do myself.
So remember, as your taking care of your little person(s), take care of yourself, too! If you don’t take care of your physical and mental health, it’ll change the way you treat the people around you. It’s okay to be down! It’s okay to have a bad day! And it’s okay to feel your emotions. Just remember to take a step back once in a while.
As the holidays come and pass, just remember you don’t need to please everyone! Thanks for reading.