IOW Doula and Coach

Maternal Mental Health

May 13, 2023

Why looking after your mental wellbeing should be as normal as doing the weekly shop

I suspect most of us have a running shopping list pinned to the cupboard door somewhere – there to quickly jot down whatever item we need to grab in the next shop…..It’s become a habbit, something very easy to do!

I am generalising here and yes I know it’s not always the women that does the shopping! And in fact in my house we are very 50/50 about it but….

I strongly believe thinking about what we need as mothers to help us regulate our mental health and wellbeing should be just as easy and essential as writing and doing the food shop!

My mission

We’re currently not supported or encouraged to think like this but I for one, along with many of my wonderful colleagues and peers out there, am on a mission to change this. Looking after our mental wellbeing should be habitual like cleaning our teeth, brushing our hair etc. It’s our mental hygiene, like our physical hygiene.

If you’re doing it that regularly what does that look like?

  • Open and honest conversations with your family about the good, the neutral and the hard bits from your day, this may feel vulnerable and uneasy if you’re not used to doing this, I get it!
  • Pausing regularly during the busyness of the day and focusing on your own breath and taking some big inhales – fill the body with oxygen. A great one when you’re switching on the kettle!!
  • Getting enough rest and sleep. For now maybe it’s to go to bed just after the little ones so you can bank those hours. Honestly your mind can really struggle when it/you are continually exhausted.
  • Planting your bare feet (or in socks if it’s cold) on the ground and becoming aware of the sensations you’re noticing.
  • Going outside and listening to the sounds you’re hearing, smelling the flowers and plants around you and watching the branches move or insects flying.
  • Writing down your thoughts and feelings when they’re bubbling around your mind and you need to untangle them!
  • Getting physical…. hugs and kisses all round with babies, children, partners, family and friends. Spread the love!!
  • Connecting with friends and your supporters and sharing what you’re up to, even if it’s the most boring thing and you’re at home. Reach out to reduce any feelings of loneliness.

I could go on but if we’re going to turn these into habits then taking one or two, or more if you feel up to it, and consciously repeating them daily is all that’s needed.

Start slowly and build up…

…we are working on making these actions instinctive to support our mental health….

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