Mommy Mental Health Checklist

 

mommy mental health

I’m very excited for this weekend.  I get to visit back home and spend time with some of my best friends.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had girl time and my mind, body and spirit need it.  I can tell that I’m running on a short fuse. It could be that I’m approaching the last three months of pregnancy, the endless to-do list of things I need to get done before the baby arrives or lack of alone time.  Honestly, it’s probably a combination of them all.

I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety my whole life.  It got really bad after I had my son.  Ever since I’ve been very adamant about keeping my mental health in check.  Not only am I doing it for myself, but I’m also doing it for my children.  When I’m feeling depression/anxious it definitely affects our quality of life.

I’m very familiar with what it’s like having a depressed parent.  My mother also struggled with depression, and it was very difficult growing up when she was going through a bout of depression.  I don’t want my kids going through that experience.

I’m a bit better at hiding my depression than my mother was.  My husband didn’t even know that I had postpartum depression/anxiety until I confessed to him after I had successfully conquered it.  That’s honestly not a good thing.  I’m currently working on this, because I now realize it doesn’t help me if I keep it bottled inside.  Here are some ways my body let’s me know that my mental health is being compromised.

Signs Of Decreasing Mental Health

Easily agitated 

Lack of patience with children

Increasing anger over small situations

Defensiveness

Feelings of resentment toward family

Does not find joy in daily life

Views doing fun activities with kids as a burden

Increasing anxiety 


These are a fews signs that my mind and body give me before I completely submerge into depression/anxiety.  I’m sure there are more that can be added to this list. Please add more in the comments, if you feel I left out something.   This will help us create a mommy mental health checklist that is comprehensive and helpful.


Once I began to recognize this particular pattern I start to take action ASAP!

Here is a checklist of things I do to ensure that my mental health is at it’s best.

Getting enough sleep.

Here’s how I make sure I get an adequate amount of sleep

  • Set a specific bedtime (for me it’s 9pm).  Somedays this time is more realistic than other days but I try.
  • Turn off all electronics at 8:30 pm to give myself a cool down time.
  • Make sure my kids are in bed 15 minutes before my cool down time.
  • Have a sleep routine in place.  Right now my routine is drink tea, shower, bed.

Getting Enough Physical Activity

For me this is very important.  I personally believe for myself the act of working out helps release my anxiety.  My preferred exercise is heavy lifting but right now it’s kind of tough to do that (I’m 6 months pregnant).  So I opt for walks and swimming.

Be Selfish

Yes I said it.  Us mother’s give, give, and give some more until we are empty.  I know I can’t be the only one guilty of this.  I used to think this a great thing, until I realized that once I gave everyone else the best of me, I had nothing left for myself.  So now I do something selfish for myself.  Right now my “selfish” act is buying myself something nice at least once a week or every other week.  Also, I am going to hang out with my friends.  Technically these aren’t selfish acts, but it sure can feel that way when you are a mother.

Getting It Out

Sometimes I don’t know the issues that are really bugging me.  I just feel the emotions (I hope that makes sense).  Then when I sit down and really think about it, I can pin point the cause of my depression and anxiety.  Like right now, it’s keeping my kids  busy, prepping for the baby, and wondering how the heck I’m going to care for three kids while my husband is at work!  Yea, it’s really taking a toll on me.

I usually write down my thoughts and qualms, then I try to write out solutions to them as well.  I have a very long list of things I’m slowly checking off and it feels good.

Nutrition

I notice when my diet sucks, so does my mood.  I usually function at my best when I consume nutritionally dense food.  It’s especially important since I am carrying a baby,  I must provide both of us with proper nourishment.

Know Your Limits

One reason why my depression comes, is because I feel like I should be able to do it all.  Perfectionism has been one of my biggest downfalls.  I get into a mode where I feel I need to be all things at all times, but I CAN’T and that’s okay.  When I start to realize my limits, it becomes apparent that that’s the source of some of my anxiety and depression.

Stay Away From Situations that Induce Anxiety

This one is tough.  It’s kind of hard for me to ignore the what’s happening in the world, but it’s one thing that I have to do.  I don’t watch the news because all of the bad news, which leads to depressing thoughts.  I don’t like to discuss politics often because it makes me feel anxious. When I’m in a vulnerable mental state, I stay away from anything that adds anxiety or depression.  Once I feel like I have everything under control, then I can ease back into those things.  Everyone has a trigger, and this just happens to be one of mine.

Mommy


The Importance of Mental Health Maintenance For Mother.

Let’s all make a vow today to start looking after our mental health.  We must make it priority in order to live our best lives.  So many of us struggle in silence (including myself).  The Stay At Home Yogi wrote a very insightful post on What Depression Feels Like.  Those feelings were so familiar to me.  My hope is by talking about it, that they will become less and less familiar. And I hope they become less and less familiar to whom ever else experiences those feelings.

1

Mommy Mental Health Checklist

 

25 Comments

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing this. When I went to college and homeschooled my children I suffered with depression. Some semesters were good while others all I did was cry. I never took it out on my kiddo. What helped me was to be realistic and remind myself that I did not need the best grade ever. Also, dancing and being silly really helped me get out of my funk. I also had a great support system : my sisters who I was able to share all I was thinking or was going through. I’m no longer going to college because of the anxiety I get when I did go to college.
    Homegrown Adventures recently posted…Grown Healthy: SmoothiesMy Profile

  2. Wonderful post and a very important one. I too suffer from depression and anxiety for almost my entire adulthood. I had postpartum depression after having both of my children yet it was completely different each time. I love how you listed the signs of depression because I’ve often thought I wasn’t depressed because I wasn’t crying all of the time. But the increase in anxiety and lack of interest in doing things I used to love are big signs for me. Best wishes to you throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
    Emily recently posted…Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Series Part II: A Family Schedule is KeyMy Profile

  3. I don’t know that I struggle with depression clinically, but I certainly have days that I’m irritable and stressed and getting enough of healthy foods to eat is massively important. I too struggle with feeling like I have to be all things to all people, and I make myself crazy with exhaustion and stress. God is working on helping me prioritize.
    Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard recently posted…Promote Your Blog HereMy Profile

  4. Pingback: Fun Summer Dollar Tree DIY Foot Spa + 3 Easy DIY's - Healing Mama Remedies

  5. This is such a helpful list to have, Nikki! I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression most of my life, and it only got worse after both my kids were born. Most days it’s easy to manage, but I know it’s there lurking under the surface and usually makes an appearance right before I start a new menstrual cycle. I will definitely be downloading the checklist!
    Marisa recently posted…Last Quarter Homeschool RecapMy Profile

  6. Pingback: My Week In Pictures + New Duty Station? - Healing Mama Remedies

  7. Pingback: Seasons Of Loneliness In Motherhood -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.