Becoming a mum can be a lonely time, and more so during lockdown. This week, Counsellor Sarah Barr has reassuring advice on how to look out for your mental health:
The transition to motherhood is a huge transformation for many women, physically, emotionally and mentally. Add a global pandemic and lockdown on top of that and it can be so much more difficult to adapt to your new identity as a mum.
Having a baby in lockdown has been so much more isolating and lonelier for many new parents, and your experience may be a little different than what you had initially hoped for.
But you are not alone in how you feel, and there is support available that can help. If you are feeling low or anxious, please reach out to a local mental health counsellor or your doctor.
Below are a couple of suggestions that may help:
Take baby steps – one day at a time
Your family and friends are probably so looking forward to seeing you and meeting your newest family member. Please do not feel pressured into doing too much too soon, or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. What is important is that you move at your own pace.
If this choice has been taken from you due to the lockdown restrictions and you are eager to meet your family and friends, try to take one day at a time, baby steps. Lockdown has meant most of us rely on video calls, so continue to use these as another way to feel close to your support system. Hold on tight to the day, hopefully in the not to near future, when you get to hug your family and friends and introduce them all to your little baby.
Be honest about how you are feeling and reach out
There is no shame at all in admitting how you are feeling, own your emotions – even the negative ones. We all struggle from time to time and that is okay. Give yourself permission to express and release your emotions, talk to those closest to you and reach out to a professional who can help support you.
Becoming a mum can feel lonely for a lot of people and finding comfort in others who know exactly what you’re experiencing can help you to get through it. Online baby support groups or classes in your area may also be a healthy outlet for you, and again move at your own pace.
Take care, Sarah.
New dates for my Minding Mammy Workshop, will be released soon. For more information, you can visit my website www.newbeginningscounsellinbng.ie