Let’s face it: Babies equal hard work. Behind their adorable faces and joyful smiles are dirty diapers, late nights and early mornings, and the mental strain it takes to keep going. If you’re feeling emotionally drained, here are some ways to press pause for a moment.
Turn to Scripture
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 (NIV). If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, nervous, or tired, God welcomes you to bring it all to Him.
This season of life has so many emotions that come with it: joy, hope, anxiety, weariness, excitement and so much more. The authors of the Psalms also understood what it was like to experience these emotions. Reading through the Psalms can be a soothing balm to your soul as you hear encouragement from Christ.
Take this time to pray or sing different Psalms to God, and let His peace and comfort surround you.
If you need to clear your mind or shake the “funk” out of your body, movement is one of the best ways to do it. Movement releases endorphins and relieves stress, helps emotions move through the body, and gives you a chance to take a break.
While you may automatically think of the gym whenever you think of exercise, it could be as simple as:
- Exploring different walking paths near you with friends. You can even take the stroller and get the baby outside.
- 5-15 minutes of home exercises like pushups, sit-ups, planks, etc.
- Doing Pilates or Zumba on YouTube or through your church.
- Biking with a child seat or trailer.
Rest? Is it possible? While it may seem unachievable, there are ways to work rest into a busy schedule.
- Prioritize taking at least one nap a day when the baby does.
- Take shifts with your husband so you each can get a nap or sleep in a little longer.
- Hire a babysitter for a couple of hours and go for a date night.
- Let grandmas and aunts spend time with baby while you recover or do chores.
Set realistic expectations. Don’t pile more on yourself than you can handle. Doing so can drain your mental energy as you look at a mounting list of to-dos that you can’t accomplish.
Emotional and spiritual wellbeing comes in a variety of ways—including facing and working through hurtful circumstances and situations.
Not every childhood was good. If parenthood brings up painful memories for you or if you want to better understand how to protect your child from some of the things you may have gone through, this may be a God-given nudge to step out of your comfort zone and work through some of your past experiences.
Postpartum depression or anxiety are after-pregnancy concerns that may be improved through counseling. If you find yourself struggling with either of these, it’s important to remember:
- You’re doing your best.
- You’re not a bad mother because of it.
- Getting help will make you stronger.
Set realistic expectations. Don’t pile more on yourself than you can handle.
Cut back on social media
How many times have you found yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media? While it may be a good way to get a serotonin dose from cute animal videos or funny clips, it’s not always healthy. Losing yourself in a flurry of videos or comparing yourself, your husband, your kids, your friends, or anything else in your life to those of others can suck the joy and peace out of your life.
Try setting a timer on your phone. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media and have your app automatically shut down once you’ve spent the allotted time. If you unhealthily compare yourself to specific accounts, stop following them.
Rather than spending your time on social media, use your available time to catch up with a friend, journal, dig into God’s Word, play with your little one, go outside, or otherwise disengage from the hectic pace of life.
Finding inner peace
Often, emotional health is associated with inner peace: a Zen-like state in which your feathers are never ruffled, you always have the right reactions to situations, and things that shouldn’t bother you don’t.
This type of peace—the world’s peace—isn’t realistic.
However, Christ promises all who follow Him have access to His peace. In John 14:27 (NLT), He said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Take a deep breath. Give your troubles and your worries to Christ. Ask Him to fill you with His peace and His rest.
CHM Maternity Guide
When you’re thinking about starting a family, considering all your options is a great first step.
Learn more about CHM’s maternity program and make sure you’re prepared by signing up to receive the Maternity Guide.