Self Help Techniques
In addition to medication and counseling, there are lots of self-help techniques to help you get through this journey. On some days you may find mindfulness helps, on another day talking and sharing your troubles will help. Here are a list of techniques we suggest to attendees at the group, they may not all appeal to you but there are plenty to choose from:
Talk, share, talk and talk some more
Talking is the most valuable tool you can use to help you recover. Talk openly to friends, family, health visitors, your GP, The SMILE Group, APNI (association of Postnatal Illness), even the Samaritans if you need to. It sounds like a cliché but a problem shared is a problem halved.
Comparing yourself to others can leave you feeling inadequate. Lower your self expectations and you will remove stress immediately. If you can, get help with the daily chores. Keep life as simple as possible and only do the necessary. If certain situations fill you with anxiety avoid them so at least some of the stress disappears. Equally, don’t waste your comfort time doing nothing or watching TV, try some different relaxing activities like reading a good book or magazine, wallow in a hot bath, watch an uplifting film, painting your nails.
It’s important to eat as well as possible and if you can, try to do some form of exercise even if it’s a short walk around the block. Try and keep your head high, look up in to the sky, watch nature mindfully.
Take each hour as it comes
Looking ahead can be scary, anxieties can increase by worrying about the ‘what ifs’. Reduce your life into manageable chunks. The biggest healer of PND is time, some days you will feel better but then you may wake up the next week feeling even lower than a few weeks before. You WILL feel like you again, just a stronger you with a life experience under your belt. It might not seem that way but PND is temporary, in your worst moments, repeat to yourself “This WILL end”.
Mindfulness / Relaxation
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening moment by moment. It will not eliminate your feelings however it can help you respond to them in a calmer manner. Mindfulness has been proved to reduce depression and anxiety and is becoming more and more popular among professionals as an alternative coping strategy.
If you prefer there are some really good relaxation CD’s/MPEGS to download on the internet. Taking 15 minutes out to listen to a relaxation guidance can have a very calming affect for some people.