Surviving the Holidays with Postpartum Depression
This time of year can be filled with fun times, special memories, and exciting events. It can also be excruciatingly difficult for those going through postpartum depression (PPD). If you're feeling exhausted, a full social calendar is the last thing you need. If you're struggling with feelings of hopelessness, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with photos of others' seemingly perfect lives. If you're feeling guilty about your parenting, seeing parents do all the things with their children isn't helpful for you. In spite of the emotional toll of the season, there are some strategies that helped me deal with postpartum depression in the thick of the holiday season.
How to Deal with Postpartum Depression During the Holidays
You get to decide what your holiday season looks like, no one else. That is your decision, and you must own it. I struggled with trying to fill other people's expectations. By trying to accommodate everyone, I wasn't doing my mental health or my family any favors. I was waiting for everyone to be on the same page, and that was never going to happen. When I realized that the decision was up to me, things improved. Did I still struggle with PPD symptoms? I did, but it allowed me to regain some control. That responsibility motivated me to decide what I wanted for the holiday season, and more importantly, what I didn't want.
This is a big one, and it's not easy. I like to say yes to obligations, which often gets me in trouble. When I had postpartum depression, I didn't have any extra energy. So, loading up my schedule with non-essential events required energy I didn't have. I had to learn the hard way to set boundaries on my time. If I wasn't going to protect time for myself, then I had to do it for my children. Sometimes this means you have to say no to things you really want to do. That decision is tough, but it's essential for feeling your best throughout the season.
Stop the Comparison
So what if your neighbor has the perfect holiday card and you never sent one. So what if your friend bought the newest toy for their child and you bought baby wipes instead. So what if that social media account has the cutest seasonal decor, and you have nothing up at all. Does it really matter? Will it matter in five years? When you start to play the comparison game, everyone loses every time. If I compared our holiday with someone else's, I suffered. Not only that, it made me vulnerable to bitterness toward those closest to me. If you're struggling with comparison, it's time to tune out the noise and turn off the notifications. You'll feel better.
For more about postpartum depression during festive times, check out my video:
Hopefully, these simple strategies will be as helpful to you as they were to me. Postpartum depression can be difficult, but it doesn't have to ruin your holidays. Likewise, holidays don't have to make your postpartum depression worse.
Epperson, K. (2021, December 9). Surviving the Holidays with Postpartum Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, May 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2021/12/surviving-the-holidays-with-postpartum-depression
Author: Kelly Epperson
I was in a relationship when I was 29 years old and when the relationship broke, I also lost my job and felt very alone and lonely. I started to have thoughts of suicide that life is not worth living. I saw a few doctors about it, they said it was schizophrenia depression. So a few doctors thoughts it was schizophrenia and other doctors thought it was depression. I do feel down at times and it may be depression but I think it is also a finanical problem as I do not have very much money or a steady job.
I have been able to get a job just not able to keep for longer than 6 months. I feel a little better theses days after quitting smoking 1 year ago and running a mile every day for the last 1 month.