5 self-help tips to keep depression away during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a rollercoaster! It is that period in your life when mood swings bounce around from elation to depression (also known as antenatal depression) and you have absolutely no control of the scale. Pregnancy can sometimes bring on crippling loneliness and make you feel like the world is crashing down on you. Irritation, gloominess and low self-esteem are other small side-effects of pregnancy and they suck, but it is important to remember that these emotions are the products of the many new hormones shooting through your body to make that beautiful special miracle called your baby. Bad days are bound to happen, I’ve had my fair share of them during both pregnancies, but they are not permanent. Before you book a trip to the doctor, try out some of these below five self-help tips yourself first to try keep depression away during pregnancy.
Let it all out
The best way to deal with problems is to face them head on. The same goes for depression during pregnancy. If you’re going through any mental issues, the best thing to do is talk it out with someone that you trust, like your partner, a family member or a good friend. It helps to speak to someone who is or has been pregnant because they will understand better the feelings that you are experiencing and they can offer their tried and tested techniques on how to get through the bad days.
Take a walk
Sometimes, all you need is some fresh air when you’re caught up at home or at work and cabin fever is taking its toll. Taking a walk can help you relax your mind, body and soul, as well as get the blood pumping in the brain to release those feel good hormones. This rejuvenation process will help calm your body and release the stress, at the same time, calming your baby too.
Take your mind off the daily troubles and go online
The beauty of the internet is that you can forget your real life for a few minutes and follow someone else’s online. If you are not much of a surfer (or stalker) then there are other ways to spend your time. Believe it or not, playing free games like bingo is said to have various health benefits including energising oneself and calming the mind. It can boost memory power too, which, in turn, will benefit the baby. There are various sites that have a very engaging social community of great bingo patrons that you can also chat to while you’re playing too.
Take care of your diet
Irritation during pregnancy can be down to an improper diet. For example, if you are eating food that is high in sugar, you may experience energy highs and crashes, hence why you may feel energetic and happy at the beginning and low and tired afterwards. It is important to make sure you’re eating from all the food groups in moderation too. Ensure you are ingesting nutritious foods, especially fruits and vegetables which release positive endorphins and drive away depression. Of course, your baby will benefit from the diet too.
Yoga is the master of calm and relaxation. You can Google ‘pregnancy yoga’ and there will be tonnes of YouTube videos and exercises steps that are easy to follow, so you can practice yoga in the privacy of your own home. Yoga makes you concentrate on your breathing, which relaxes your mind and body. You also get a good stretching workout at the same time too!
If all else fails and you’re still feeling low, make an appointment with your GP and explain your symptoms. Your depression may also be down to a number of other contributing factors, like previous mental health issues or a chemical imbalance in the brain and will be treated by your GP with either psychological treatments (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or medication (antidepressants). You will be able to find a behavioural therapist in your area using the British Psychological Society website here.
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