Sure, winter is the season to snuggle, but it's also the time of year that people start to feel... blah. For new moms, it's especially easy to get a bad case of the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known under its very appropriate acronym, SAD). Holiday receipts are piling up high, temperatures are low, the days are getting way. too. short, and you are (mostly) at home adjusting to your new life with baby. In most cases, SAD manifests itself at the beginning of fall and continues throughout winter. If you fall victim of the disorder, you will likely feel depressed, hopeless and fatigued; you will have problems sleeping and will lose interest in activities that you usually enjoys. And for new moms, the winter blues can basically accentuate or prolong the baby blues. Since we know you don't want that, we want to help you keep SAD at bay and to feel happy and energized all winter long.
Here are 5 ways to manage seasonal affective disorder:
1. Be social at home. We get that it can be annoying to have houseguests during the newborn phase, but it's also hard to step out during these months, so you'll probably appreciate the company, even if you have to whip your breast out for a nursing session. Since your closest friends know you well, they'll probably be more of a help than a burden. If they offer to bring something for you, say yes and even let them know your cravings. Satisfying your taste buds will keep you happier in the long run.
2. Plan a weekly outing. Whether it is to the grocery store or to the post office, make sure to schedule a weekly outing so you do get out of the house during the day. you can also go to a café or a museum. And if you can, invite a friend to come along!
3. Take advantage of your village. When they say it takes a village, they don't just refer to taking care of baby. It's about the mom and her health, too! If you're feeling low or if the weather is affecting you, communicate it to your significant other and family members so that it doesn't get built up inside. And don't be afraid to ask for help. Having a support system can assist with newborn stuff will also give you some free time to get a manicure, take a long hot shower, or enjoying your food instead of scarfing it down.
4. Plan a date night. If it's too cold outside or no one can watch after baby, don't give up on a romantic night with your partner just yet. You can plan a date night, just where you are -- at home. Cozying up to your significant other is a good way to reconnect and create some feel-good vibes. So throw on a movie, play a relaxing spotify station, order your favorite take-out and just chill out while the baby sleeps. And know that you guys are in it together.
5. Walk every day. Once you're cleared for exercise, try to walk or engage in light fitness activity (yoga, stretching, pilates mat) as you're recovering postpartum. During the winter months, its important to try and go for a walk, even if it's just for 15 to 20 minutes. Catching some rays during these months will give you some of the vitamin D that your body and mind need to be better. Plus, baby needs a healthy dose of vitamin D for healthy bones, and if it's not too cold out, a little fresh air will be beneficial for him too.
How did you beat the winter blues as a new mom?
Photography by Jonica Moore Studio for Well Rounded.