It’s Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year (although there’s very little science behind this statement!) Today, however, we’d like to focus on those Blue Mumdays that can arise on any given day of the year when you feel that you’re struggling to stay afloat in the rough seas of motherhood.
It can be a challenge to stay on top of our mental health as busy mums, but it’s important to find the right support and take the time to prioritise your mind. Our Blue Mumday blog includes some tips on how to manage your moods when you’re feeling “not quite right”, be that today or any other day!
We’ll start by saying, we recognise that January is a particularly tough month for many, a combination of post-Christmas melancholy and back-to-work blues that can leave us feeling low. If you’re struggling don’t be afraid to seek help from family, friends and/or speak to your GP – it’s okay to not be okay.
A breath of fresh air can work wonders, but we know the weather is pretty pants right now, and you won’t always feel like stepping out of your front door! If it’s too grim to go for a walk, find something to get you moving inside the house. Most importantly, make it something you enjoy. Listen to your favourite music and have a boogie, find a Yoga video online to reconnect and rebalance, even playing hide and seek with your kids will get you active. You don’t need to run a marathon or spend hours in the gym to get exercise but being active is very important for both your mental and physical health.
If you feel you have too much on your plate, planning your time can make you feel more organised and in control. Create a list of tasks which need doing and prioritise so you can manage these easier. Also, ask for help if you need it! Friends, family and colleagues may all be happy to support you. It’s important to take breaks too, particularly when you have a lot on. If you’re working, try to find time on your lunch to go for a short walk or call a loved one. If you’re at home but are bogged down by an endless load of chores, make sure you take time to pause and do something you enjoy.
Speak to yourself like you would speak to someone you love. Remember, it’s impossible to do everything perfectly. Don’t give yourself a hard time if there’s things you get wrong or don’t get around to doing – YOU ARE HUMAN.
We won’t lecture on getting 8 hours sleep because, come on, we’re mums! Lack of sleep can affect how you feel both physically and mentally so this can make things harder for us when we’re feeling out of sorts. We can do our best to relax and wind down in the evenings wherever we can, however. If you find time, have a warm bath, read a book or listen to a meditation app before bed rather than endlessly scrolling through your phone (we know, easier said than done!) Take a moment during the day just to sit, even whilst watching your baby play. Plus, if you’re able to, have a nap if baby is sleeping. Your rest is important too Mumma!
“A problem shared is a problem halved.”
Chatting through your worries with a loved one can help to ease your mind. Never feel afraid to admit you are struggling as we’ve all been there. There are also a host of online support forums and mum groups where you can share your concerns and talk to others in similar positions.
Journalling can be another great a way of getting your thoughts and feelings out in the open and you may then notice patterns with your struggles and what triggers them.
Remember, if you are concerned about your mental health, make an appointment with your GP. They will be able to offer support and signpost you to specialist services that will get you back on track.
We hope these simple tips will help to lift your spirits. We want you to know, you are not alone and every now and then you need to be reminded, “Mumma, you’re doing a great job!”