In our culture, when we talk about mental health for moms, it often conjures up images from the news and stories of desperate women doing unspeakable things. This stereotype keeps many mothers from getting the support they need to take care of themselves throughout their motherhood journey.
The truth is, mental health and wellness isn’t just about postpartum psychosis and other scary conditions. Mental health care and support for moms is about providing a foundation of wellness, confidence and security for mothers to build on in order to live happy lives filled with joyful experiences with their families. This is just part of the Peachie Moms mission.
While the rates of postpartum depression and other disorders to be treated individually by a professional are on the rise, we see yet another issue among us. We mothers are often left feeling unsatisfied, overwhelmed, stressed and resentful of our children, our partners and our lives overall. We feel this way because we’re not given the tools to really take care of ourselves. We’re tired and stretched too thin. Motherhood isn’t quite what we thought it was going to be and we wonder what happened to who we used to be…
In addition, rarely do we feel completely understood and validated in our feelings. We might attempt to complain to our partner or own mother about how we’re feeling and just how hard this motherhood thing really is, but they never know just the right thing to say to let us know they get it, we’re not wrong, and they’re going to help.
We created Peachie Moms to address both of these concerns when it comes to the issue of mental health for moms.
To start: we’re all about self-care. Not just “eat healthy food” and “paint your nails every once in while,” but real, intuitive, top to bottom self-care to support mental health physical wellness for moms. Want to get started right now? Good! So do we…
In the Peachie Moms Academy, you’ll find structures classes and activities to provide you with the tools and insight into the very best way to take care of yourself. Today, we’re giving you a sneak peak at a couple of our favorite strategies to uncover what you need to best take care of YOU!
Plan a brief walk through your neighborhood, around the block, even around your yard if you’re unable to leave the house. Ensure that you won’t be interrupted during this time. This means turning off the alerts on your phone and having someone else taking care of your children (alternatively, grab the stroller and wait till the baby falls asleep before you start OR put the kids to bed and head out to your backyard with the monitor if you have to – we’ve done it!).
As you get ready to head out the door, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Stand tall and feel your shoulders move down and back. Notice any tension you’re holding in your body and mind and breathe with your focus there for a moment.
Start your walk and notice your surroundings with each of your senses. Acknowledge something beautiful you see, hear, smell, touch and taste (if appropriate). When your mind starts to wander and you begin to think of other things, bring yourself back to the feeling of your shoulders melting down your back and focus on your senses once again.
As you are beginning to come to the end of your walk, allow the thoughts that were interrupting before to come to your attention. Is there something there you need to address? Something bothering you? Something that you’d like to change in your life? Breathe deeply with focus on this thought that really wants your time and attention.
When you come home, if you’d like, write a note to yourself in your journal about the sensations you experienced during your walk and the thoughts you had that you’d like to address later.
Thank yourself for taking this short time to nurture your body, mind and soul and promise you’ll do it again soon.
In addition to exercises like this one that bring you closer to feeling like you again (but even better!), Peachie Moms has created a blog, Facebook page and an exclusive community of moms that get it. These are the resources that let you know you’re not wrong to feel the way you feel and that you’re not alone on this epic (and sometimes awful) adventure.
Ultimately, mental health for moms isn’t as scary as one would think. So we’re tackling it. And you can too.
Mental Health Resources
National Alliance on Mental Illness
1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or firstname.lastname@example.org
The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET.
Support Helpline: 800.944.4PPD (4773)
This is not a 24-7 hotline but someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline.