I published a post about what it feels like fight depression as a mama. Today, I’m hoping to encourage you a bit with some tips for you, struggling mama. I loved hearing your feedback and her personal stories. And this is exactly what lifts the cloud–sharing the struggle and being honest about where we’re at.
As I started typing out yesterday’s post, the words out started tick, tick, ticking way above what any of us have time to read.
I guess I have a lot to say on the matter.
I guess I have some experience with struggling.
Let’s put one foot in front of the other
I’m ok with talking about the issues.
Going over the how we got to a dark place is healthy.
But more than that, I want to talk about how to move on.
The practical steps that might not erase everything in one fell swoop, but little by little, can get me through the day.
Mostly, we just want to feel the sun on our face again.
Tips to feel the sun on your face
- Have a safe friend. Someone you can call and be honest with. And call. Friends can’t hear a sigh through a text. Call.
- When you have those safe-friend calls, have them give you a plan for your day.For me, when I’ve been in a hard spot, distractions run rampant and I can’t even seem to know what to do next in my day.Tell your friend you need her bossy pants to tell you what to do.Conversations like, “OK. Go change the laundry. Then take everyone outside on the trail for at least an hour. Put the kids in the car and go out for Jimmy John’s and let them eat it at the park. Come home. Send kids to rooms for quiet time. Brew coffee. Switch laundry. Pay bills. Start dinner.”
See how helpful that is when you’re having a hard day?? My mom is the best at this. She’s my go-to bossy pants person.
- While I hate to say that retail therapy is really a thing…retail therapy is really a thing. I’m not saying you should go buy new living room furniture just because you’re a little depressed, but when you go to Target, treat yourself a little something.Grab a picture frame for that photo you love.Pick up flowers for the table or beside your sink.A new shirt from the clearance rack that you might only wear twice.
Lipstick in a new color.
- Be careful of naps. Depression makes us want to sleep. Then you’ll have a harder time sleeping at night. And then a whole vicious cycle happens. Ask me how I know.
More tips we all can handle
5. Sweat. Like, really sweat. Run. If you don’t run, walk as hard as you can until your heart is pumping and your lungs are burning.
I don’t even bring my earbuds because if I listen to podcasts, I’ll most likely be listening to something telling me to do things. I can’t handle doing things when I’m struggling. And music will just distract me from hearing my breaths and connecting with my body that is actually stronger than I think it is.
And I need to know how strong I really am.
Repeat this process often. Especially when you’re struggling.
6. For school, don’t push it. You’ll just feel worse about what you don’t finish. Sit the kids down and do a math lesson.(What is it about math lessons, that if we just finish that, it feels like we’ve accomplished everything?? Who cares. Take it.)
After the math lesson, gather around for read aloud.
Pull out Tinker Crates you haven’t finished.
Have older kids lead in science experiments.
Change the scenery! Go the the library for math lessons. Or go to the coffee shop to play some card games.
A season of lax schooling isn’t going to affect your child in the long run.
But pushing and pushing for more and better, might. Because you’re not in the state of mind for more and better. You need more and better for yourself.
7. Notice the little things and write them down.
Birds on your feeders.
New books coming into the library.
An organized junk drawer.
I wrote a Facebook post about this last Sunday and listed some of the things that were making me happy.
It might not seem like anything, but added up over time, these little things amount to everything.
This won’t last forever.
I’ve gone through several periods of depression in my adult life. Mostly after I had a couple of my babies. Those hormones combined with lack of sleep are a recipe for disaster.
Winter has also always been a time I have to really take care of myself or it is easy for SADDness to sneak in.
Currently though, yes, there’s some issues that need to be changed/fixed/eliminated, but I’m guessing we all have something that could cause the blues.
The question is: how will we let it affect us? And what will we do to keep putting one foot in front of the other?
This morning, the sun is pouring in. Such a welcome thing after days of dark late winter. It’s mornings like this I like to sit in front of the window for a bit longer with my coffee. I’ll journal about the things making me happy right now. And know that this won’t last forever.
Hang in there, mama.