When Life Gets Too Big Keep the Adventures Small

I just got diagnosed with post natal depression. They gave me the Edinburgh Post Natal Screening test when I arrived at the baby health clinic bawling, with a screaming baby hanging off me and I totally aced it!

Mental-Health-Checklist

They recommend that you ‘see a health professional’ about how you’re feeling if you score above 10. My score was 21. Winner!

To be honest the highs and lows are extreme and rapid fire, so I still laugh but she caught me on a bad day with a slightly manic feeling that he might never stop crying again. Accentuated by daydreams about swerving off the road.

But I know me, and I know some of the things that help foster happiness, so I know sitting at home dwelling in my depression isn’t going to help.

So how do I have an adventure when I feel low?

I’ve made a checklist, to make sure I keep the basics covered every day:

Nourish your body.

In normal life, I don’t really take supplements (let food be thy medicine, and all that), but sometimes you need a little support. At the moment I take:

  • Probiotics every morning, to help repair the good flora in my gut as there’s such a strong link between gut health and mood.
  • Magnesium, to help me sleep http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/marek-doyle/help-me-sleep-magnesium-secret-to-sleep-problems_b_3311795.html I’ve spent a few nights lying in bed between the little dude and the big dude counting sheep while they both snore away.
  • Fish oil tablets, to help improve my mood. They taste rank but it seems a small price to pay for happiness!
  • Juice Plus+ tablets. These little beauties are general nutritional supplements and have dried up my allergies!
  • Plus three square meals and 2 1/2 litres of water every day (it’s surprising how hard it can be to fit three meals in every day. It’s the opposite of bored eating at work).

Nap

We all know that a good night’s sleep makes the world seem like a brighter place, but those smarties at Harvard have proven it.

Since I won’t get to sleep through the night* until the little guy does, I’m nana napping whenever I can. I am occasionally** having to recruit my own mother*** to jiggle him while I sleep.

Meditate

I read somewhere that 20 minutes of meditation is as restorative as 2 hours of sleep. That sounds like excellent efficiency to me! Of course, my mind is way too busy for me to commit to 20 minutes a day, I try to meditate and things in there ramp up to a whole new level and the mice get tired^. But I can do 5. And maybe soon I’ll be able to increase it.

Get outside

Sometimes, all I manage is ten minutes on the balcony in the sun. But I still get my vitamin D, and feel like I’m not cooped up inside all day. We look out over the beach, and these days I am very happy that the husbandito won out over my miserly nature when I said we didn’t need to pay extra for a room with a view. I love the view!

Walk daily

Movement and mood (good) are friends. I’m not up to anything too strenuous at the moment, but walking daily is a great way to get out of the house, get the little guy out of the house, and if I can’t stop him screaming, then it isn’t quite so piercing when I’m in the great outdoors.

Have a cuddle with Chachi

Gotta remember the love. He’s starting to smile so I spend my days chasing them. It’s amazing what I will do in private in the hopes of getting a smile from him!

Speak to a friend

I love my friends, and people make me happy. So I phone a friend every day at the moment, even if there are tears (mine or the little guy’s, no difference)!

Read

Reading is one of my all time favourite activities. Especially reading in bed. So even if I only get to read for 20 minutes I am doing it daily. It helps me unwind, gets me thinking and I stop fretting that my ‘normal’ life is over. Of course, my old life is gone forever but that doesn’t mean I can’t replace it with a new and improved life, where there’s still room for the things I love^^.

My life in pics posts. Or, gratitude.

You will have seen my new My Life in Pics posts (and if you haven’t, go check them out!). So even if I’m doing little things, I’m doing them every day AND documenting them. Which means I am thankful for what I do manage to do, and the sun, and Chachi’s smiles. So I guess you could call that gratitude. I’m thankful for the little things and the big things, and remember that each day I am doing SOMEthing. And that makes me happy.

So there you have it.

Sometimes life means the adventures have to get smaller, but by ticking off my checklist every day my physical and mental strength will improve, and I’ll be getting out of the house – the best place to find adventures.

Xx Sam

What do you do to help yourself get back on track when the adventures are hiding out?

 

*I was a little bit devastated when I discovered that medically, ‘sleeping through the night’ for a baby is 6 hours of sleep. I was hoping for more like 10!

**every day. I think she must be elated that I’ve had a child so she can spend a LOT of time with a baby again!

***newly respected as absolute legend

^you know, spinning the wheels. Good analogy?

^^Like friends and reading. Horse riding will make a comeback soon as well!

 

 

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