Self-Care For Those That Suffer From Depression

When you suffer from depression, it’s not always easy to find things that make you feel good. I really had to dig deep to find things that make me happy. And not just that, but to actually apply it to my daily life. 

As you may know, it can be a real battle to get moving on your hardest day when struggling with depression. However, it’s still so important to practice self-care and I’ve learned that the smallest things can really help my mindset; here are some things that I like to do when I’m in need of some self-care.

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This post contains affiliate links. That means, at no cost to you, I will receive compensation if you purchase something through one of these links. For more information about this, see my disclosure here.

 

Essential oils-

I’ve never been the type to get into the hooplah of essential oils but once I tried them, I’m not really sure why I shyed away from them for so long. I make sure to incorporate essential oils into my daily life- lavender, cedarwood, orange and grapefruit are just a few of my favorites and I use them by rubbing on my temples/wrists or diffusing. 

Check out my favorite brand of essential oils that I purchase through Amazon.

Epsom salt bath-

Whenever I can, I love to soak in a hot bath…accompanied by epsom salts and some lavender oil. It’s extremely relaxing and also a good way to detoxify the body.

I also would recommend these Dr. Teal’s epsom salts because they’re amazing!

Step outside-

It’s just a proven fact that the sunshine & warm weather puts me in a better mood. I love being outdoors so much and I try to get out even for a few minutes a day. In the summer time, I make it a habit to lay outside in my hammock to enjoy the fresh air. 

Move your body-

Even when you don’t feel like it, move your body… a short walk, a jog, anything. I can guarantee you to feel better because of those amazing little endorphines that will put off your “feel good” senses. 

Put the phone down-

It’s not an easy thing to do, especially in today’s modern society, but whenever I’m feeling very overwhelmed and stressed out, I turn off my phone. My phone is such a huge distraction and sometimes social media is a real mood killer. I’ve found that the days when I don’t check facebook, my mind feels better.

Buy yourself flowers-

This is something I recently started to do and for some funny reason, it helps my mood. Once a week, I try to buy some fresh flowers at the local market to put in my kitchen. I always try to pick the brightest colors and for about 2 euro, I have an instant mood booster in my home.

Create a routine-

Once you establish a routine of self-care make sure to stick with it. When we’re not feeling our best, it’s more important than ever to take care of ourselves!

There you have it.

Those are some of the things that I love to do for self-care. 

Let me know which ones you try out and tell me your favorite self-care methods!

 

Mother’s Day: Last Year & Now

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mom readers!

I wrote up something on my facebook last night and I wanted to share it here:

Happy mother’s day to all the hard-working, sometimes under-appreciated, dedicated and loving momma’s.
Our job isn’t easy. We’re grossly under-paid and can never call in sick.
We fight monsters, kiss boo-boos & try our hardest to keep it together when we feel like falling apart.

Happy mother’s day to all the grandmother’s that give themselves so tirelessly for their family.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that lost a child. I hope you can somehow find comfort today.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that hold their baby in their hearts instead of their arms.
Happy mother’s day to the step-mothers that love their step-children like their own.
Happy mother’s day to the dads that play both roles.
Happy mother’s day to the ones that have to get through today without their own momma here on Earth.

I see you all and I appreciate every one of you.💓 Not just today, but every-day!

 

 


Before I became a mom, I never knew the special connection that I would share with not only my children, but with other mothers. I feel that connection even more-so with strong mothers that have/currently are struggling with their own battles. As mothers, or just humans in general, we can be our own worst critic but we truly are doing the best that we can.

Mother’s Day 2017

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I was just shy over 1 month postpartum and feeling so much inside….

i was overwhelmed. we had two kids under two.

i was lonely. i was with my kids all day every day but i felt such an isolating and lonely feeling. like nobody knew what i was going through.

i had extreme feelings of sadness that i urged myself to forget about.

i lost who i was as a women. who i am besides a wife and mom?

i lost all interest in things that made me happy. i only cared about making it through the day.

i had so much guilt. like i wasn’t enjoying my babies 100%.

i just felt like a failure.

On the outside, I may have looked happy and like I had it all, but on the inside I was deeply depressed and I couldn’t hold it together. Ricky snapped this photo of us on our chair and I remember thinking “I probably look like a busted can of biscuits but I know I need a picture to capture this moment because maybe next year…..It will get better.”

it did get better.

Mother’s Day 2018

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To the mommas that are currently fighting in the storm, hold on. A year from now, your life will be so different. So hold on because it’s worth looking back on that picture and seeing the storm behind you.

The Day I Wrote My Suicide Letter

*DISCLAIMER: SUICIDE TRIGGER WARNING

 

It’s been a terrible couple of months and I’m finally ready to do it. I’m finally ready to leave this world behind. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it yet, but all I know is that I’m ready. I don’t even know if I’ll be missed, sure, maybe for a few months. People will probably cry when they find out what I did, cry at my funeral, cry for the first couple of weeks, but then it will stop. Pretty soon, I will become a distant memory. People forget. They can only grieve your loss for so long before they move on. And so they will move on. Eventually, every-one will get over it.

What will I be remembered by? Well, hopefully, people will think that I was a good mother; a mother that loved her boys with every fiber of her being…a mother that gushed love and compassion and was caring. Will I be remembered as a good person? I would hope so. I know that there will be a lot of people that will say otherwise. I would hope that there is someone out there, somewhere, that I have made an impression on. I’m not sure though. I know that I’ve made some friends but I’ve also made some enemies.

Will my husband cry? How will he react? I’m sure he will  be distraught because chances are, he will find me. It will ruin him and he will probably hate me. For a while, at least. I just hope that one day, he can forgive me for what I’ve done and see that my pain was too much to handle. I hope he can realize that this wasn’t some selfish act, but a way to escape from all of the pain…and all the horrible thoughts. I hope he can realize that I loved him so much that I had to do this. I was becoming too much of a burden for him and he deserves to be with someone better. Someone happy. Someone not so depressed. Someone that could love him and treat him the way he deserves. He will continue to be the best father to our boys and hopefully he will keep my memory alive. Will he remarry? I would actually hope that he would. I wouldn’t want him to be alone for the rest of his life; I would want some type of mother-figure in my boy’s lives. They deserve that. I couldn’t give that to them, so hopefully, someone else will.

What will my boys think? They are too young. They won’t even miss me. I’m sure that my oldest will wonder where I am, but after a few weeks, he will forget. He will stop asking for me. He may see my picture and say “momma”, but pretty soon, I’ll become a distant memory for him, too. Just like everyone else, I’ll be a memory. My kids will grow up without a mom and wonder why I did what I did. Will they blame themselves? I’m sure that they will. I would hope that they wouldn’t. Will they struggle? Can they make it without me? Of course they will. They are better off without such a sad, depressed and angry mother; they don’t deserve that. They need a mom that is together and happy and full of life. They deserve that. They will be fine. There are enough pictures of me around for them to know who I was. I hope their dad will always remind them how much I loved them.

Will my mom miss me? Will she blame herself? How will my family react? They will say things like they can’t believe this happened. They never saw the signs. On the outside, I seemed like a happy women; like I had my life together. I had a blessed life. I was a mother, for Christ’s sake! With 2 healthy, handsome little boys! Why would I do this? I’m sure there will be anger. There will be tears. But people will forget. They will move on.

Pretty soon, I’ll just be a memory. My picture will be hung up then taken down. My obituary will be clipped out then shoved into a shoe box. My birthday will come and go. Some people will cry while others will ask why. My clothes will be donated and that dusty picture frame of me with my family will be replaced with a new picture of some different woman with my family. My kids will grow up and my husband will move on. My mom will die with a broken heart of not being able to save her little girl. My friends will question the signs and wonder if they could have done anything. I will soon become another statistic…. a warning to others.

My life will be over before it truly began. People will comment on how young I was and what a shame, but it won’t last. Pretty soon, people will talk about the next person or the next thing and I’ll be an old topic thrown out like yesterday’s newspaper. It won’t last and therefore, I feel okay doing this.

This is what I’m feeling as I’m about to write my last letter on earth; with tears streaming down my face and my hand trembling. I’m not sure how I got here but I just want it to end. This isn’t what I wanted…this isn’t what I envisioned my life to be like. I can’t handle it anymore. The loss. The pain. The remorse. It can all stop. I want to make it stop. So I will.

Except I won’t.

What if I told you that every single one of those thoughts has crossed my mind a time or two. Yes, I have contemplated suicide and even in my darkest days, planned it out…up to the part on making sure I’d do it so my toddler wouldn’t find me. I even thought of what I would write in my suicide letter; that’s pretty heavy stuff, don’t you think? It’s all true. I’m not here to bullshit you or to lie about my life….to paint some oh-so happy and perfect life. I’m here to talk about the UGLY stuff, the HARD stuff. The truth is, I wanted to die. I was so sick and tired of feeling sad, depressed and broken that I just wanted to leave everything behind. I had the feelings of sadness that just felt like they would never go away. It was terrible. And it was lonely.

I literally thought about EVERY SINGLE THING- yeah, people might miss me, but they would get over it; my boys won’t remember me; my husband will remarry and move on…. I thought of that all. But the truth?

My suicide may not affect everyone that knew me, but it would certainly affect those that LOVED me.

My husband. My boys. My family.

They will all miss me. They will all cry and wonder. They will blame themselves and question life. It will happen. They won’t be fine. They will NEVER get over my loss.

I will be pain free but instead I will be bringing so much more pain to those around me. They may never understand why I did it. They will never get over me.

I have lived through this from both sides; I’ve been so broken that the only form of escape seemed like leaving. I’ve also seen the pain that suicide causes. Both are extremely painful. No side has it worse and no side has it better.

If you have lost someone from suicide and you don’t know how to comprehend what they’ve done, I want you to know that they weren’t being selfish; they were literally fighting a daily battle in their mind and it became too much to handle. Suicide is not the easy way out–it’s a scary and lonely road. The thoughts are frightening. A person that is struggling WILL have every thought (they are better off without me) go through the mind. Over and over. Sometimes, a depressed person may feel like their only option is to just leave.

I’m here to tell my story. There’s a reason why I didn’t go through with it and for whatever reason, I’m so very lucky for that. I want to be around for my boys. I want to see them grow up and prosper. I want to stay by my husband’s side…through the good and the bad. I want to continue to live this life. It’s not always easy and at times it can be painful. But I promise you, it is beautiful and so WORTH IT.

LIFE IS WORTH IT and if you are struggling with depression, postpartum depression or any other form of mental illness, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

If you or a someone you know is having a medical or mental health emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Suicide

If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Non-U.S. citizens can visit IASP or Suicide.org to find help in their country.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) or Postpartum Anxiety

If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety, or need some extra support, call womenshealth.gov at 1-800-994-9662. Check out the womenshealth.gov website for more information and resources.

Mental Health Crisis

If you or a loved one is having a mental health crisis, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), or call the NAMI Help Line at 1-800-950-6264.

Why I Will Actually Miss the Toddler Years

Toddlers. Tiny rambunctious humans with way too much energy and too many emotions to contain…full of NOs, questions and curiosity…they can be a handful. You may have heard of the terrible 2s, terrible 3s and so-on….but, what if I told you that I will actually miss this phase?

Just wait a sec and hear me out on this.

My oldest will be 3 in September and he’s now entering a really fun phase. He is potty trained, he can communicate more with us and is saying new words every day, he gets VERY excited about his favorite things and his attention span has lengthened so he stays occupied for longer periods. He is understanding the world around him more…what makes him happy & sad and so on. He is learning just what he is capable of doing…even when he thinks that he can’t, he will try it and be amazed at what he really can do. It’s really quite amazing for me, as a mom, to see him progress and learn as much as he is. It’s also so rewarding….because all the days of talking, repeating what things are and so on seem to be paying off.

It’s amazing and yet so incredibly bittersweet. Of course I want my babies to learn, grow and be independent, but it’s always a battle of wanting them to grow and wanting them to stay little forever.

There’s also the affection that my toddler gives us which may be the BEST type of reward for those long and hard mom days. He will randomly give me kisses or hug my leg. He gives us long hugs and squeezes…and then there’s the pats on the back that come with those hugs. It’s when his little hand reaches out for mine that makes my heart melt or how he stays glued by my side when he meets someone new. It’s when I lay down with him at night and he hands me his train book & declares “read”; one by one he will tell me which color each train is and the excitement on his face is priceless. It’s in that moment when a train in a book is enough to light up my son’s face that I know how precious this age truly is.

And how fast it will fade by.

Pretty soon, faster than I would like, my toddler will be heading off to kindergarten. He’ll be off making friends and he won’t want to hold my hand anymore. When I pick him up from school, he will excitedly tell me about his day and what he learned about, and I will sit back and smile. And as much as I long for the days of a little more time to myself, he will also grow a little more away from me.

Pretty soon, he won’t want the extra cuddles or kisses…and the random squeezes around my leg will become less & less. He will also grow out of his love for certain “kid” things and find the world around him less exciting. He won’t want to chat about the simple things and he will probably think I’m not so cool anymore. He will lose his baby face, grow taller & won’t want to be tucked into bed at night. And then will come the dreaded day when he won’t want me to kiss him in front of his friends (although I still will) & instead of picking flowers for his momma, he’ll be picking flowers for a girl. (although I hope he will still think of me from time to time)

So as hard as it can be parenting a toddler, I desperately try to remember that some-day when I have a moody teenager with a crackling voice, I will want these days back. And so I give my toddler one more squeeze and read him his train book one more time.

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

Motherhood is overwhelming and it can be downright scary when your holding your very own helpless baby for the first time… so for any mama out there that may be going through what I did, here are 5 things I want moms with postpartum depression to know.

When I first became a mother, I had all of the emotions… but I was mainly happy; that little bundle of joy brought me so much happiness I felt like I could explode. It came easy for me(except for breast-feeding)…the late nights that turned into early mornings, the swaddling and the constant demands of motherhood. I had it all together.

And then I had my second son and things felt….different. So different. I didn’t just feel pure happiness this time around. I felt a sadness so deep; I felt more anxious and worrisome. I remember laying up in the hospital bed after he was born and crying because I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to stay right there and continue to let the nurses care for me but mainly….for my baby. You see, I didn’t think that I could do it…take care of a newborn and a toddler…I felt completely overwhelmed. I felt angry. I was depressed. I had postpartum depression.

 

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

 

According to WebMD the early signs of postpartum depression include feeling sad or hopeless. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can feel like yourself again.

The health-care system fails us as mothers due to the fact that after we have our babies, we aren’t given ANY support or therapy towards postpartum depression. It’s not even really talked about. It’s like…..here’s your new baby, good luck! There are so many emotions coursing through our veins and often more times than not, we feel embarrassed or shamed for these feelings.

Here are 5 things that I would like to tell other moms that may be experiencing postpartum depression.

1. Having postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad mom. This was my first  thought in the beginning and I’m telling you right now, you need to dismiss that from your mind pronto. You’re not a bad mom if you don’t want to make a craft with your kid. You’re not a bad mom if all you can manage to do on a daily basis is feed and bathe your child. And you’re not a bad mom if you feel sad and if your baby doesn’t bring you complete joy. You’re not a bad mom.

2. Having postpartum depression doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby. You can have postpartum depression and love your baby, even if right at this moment you feel indifferent. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. I also want to tell you that if you ever have thoughts about harming your baby, that’s not okay so PLEASE seek help if it’s getting to that point.

 

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

 

3. Reach out to someone. I assure you, there is ALWAYS someone out there that understands what your going through so reach out to them whenever you need to; you don’t have to go through this alone. There are also crisis hotlines (listed at the end of this post) that are always available to you.

 

4. It will get worse before it gets better. I won’t sugar coat it…things normally get worse before they get better. I had a pretty low “low” with my PPD where I felt like things were never going to get better and my life would be in a constant fog. I want to tell you that it DOES get better…it won’t happen over night or maybe even a month from now, but there’s hope. There is a rainbow after the storm.

 

5. You have purpose. You were put on this Earth for a reason. Right now, you may feel like you don’t matter but I want to tell you that you do. You’re in the trenches of motherhood and you feel overwhelmed and broken but trust me, you have purpose. You are a warrior, a fighter, a strong and beautiful women! You have purpose, mama. You will be alright.

 

I wanted to share this with any new moms out there that may be at their lowest right now and to be a voice that says: you’re not alone!

 If you or someone you know may have postpartum depression, please know that there are resources out there.

 

Hotline crisis phone numbers:

Suicide

If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Non-U.S. citizens can visit IASP or Suicide.org to find help in their country.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) or Postpartum Anxiety

If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety, or need some extra support, call womenshealth.gov at 1-800-994-9662. Check out the womenshealth.gov website for more information and resources.