Without a doubt, this was not what you expected your postpartum experience to be like. You never imagined that you would be living as a postpartum mom during a worldwide health crisis. You had such high hopes for the beautiful bonding experience you imagined with your new baby. You wanted to connect with other new moms so you would have a sense of community and an extended support system. You envisioned or even planned for visits from family members who also wanted to bond with your baby and help out.
It’s really hard to embrace that this is what life looks like right now. If you’re struggling, I want you to know it’s not because you’re not strong enough or not capable. It’s because all of this is hard and none of us know how to do this. It’s more about crisis management for a lot of people right now and not about finding the perfect flow so you can thrive in this climate.
So how does a new mother manage her anxiety in the pandemic? Here are some Coronavirus tips for coping if you are a postpartum mom.
1. Let go of expectations
Release any expectations you have of yourself. You’re not expected to be the perfect mom, or partner or friend even. We’re living in strange times and everything is new and bizarre and you’re doing the best you can.
2. Do a brain dump
You’re probably having so many thoughts and feelings about all that’s going on right now. You may or may not have someone to talk to and if you do have someone to talk to, you might be hesitant to share all that’s on your mind. Grab a notebook and just dump your thoughts on paper. Dump it all, don’t hold back or judge the thoughts. Just let them be and place them outside of your head on paper. You’ll experience a sense of freedom and a lifted weight from clearing your mind.
3. Write a letter of compassion
If a close friend or family member just had a baby during a health crisis and was sitting next to you, what would you turn to her and say? You would be gentle, kind and compassionate. You would acknowledge how hard this is and give her space to express her sadness, anger, disappointment, frustration, and fear. Write a letter to yourself extending the same grace and compassion you would for your closest friend. Being an expecting or postpartum mom is hard. Life as a postpartum mom in the COVID-19 pandemic is harder.
4. Body scanning
A body scan helps you to release tension throughout your body you might not even realize you’re holding. While sitting upright, start by focusing your attention on your toes. As you work your way from your toes up through your body, notice any feelings of tension or discomfort and try to soften or relax each area. Take deep breaths in and out as you scan each part of your body. If any thoughts intrude your mind, try to let them go and watch them pass by like a cloud floating away from you.
5. Breathing Exercises
Finding your breath is key. Breathing deeply helps to signal to your body that you’re safe so you can feel less overwhelmed. When you’re stuck in overwhelm, it’s hard to think, focus and make decisions. If practiced regularly, deep breathing can really help with anxiety. Try to anchor your practice to another part of your daily routine (like brushing your teeth in the morning or before bed) so you’re more likely to be consistent.
I see you and your struggle is real. I’m here to support you through this and walk alongside you as you navigate this season of your life. Share these Coronavirus tips for a postpartum mom you know who’s struggling.
“Peace is the result of restraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”
– Wayne W. Dyer