You don’t feel depressed.
You feel overwhelmed and you can’t stop worrying about EVERYTHING since your baby was born.
That’s exactly what I experienced as a new mother, but I finally found something that worked to reduce the stress.
Today I am sharing how I used minimalism to overcome postpartum anxiety.
What is Postpartum Anxiety?
Many moms will describe postpartum depression as being hallmarked by feelings of sadness, disconnect and mood swings.
In contrast, postpartum anxiety can best be described as a constant state of worry.
It is typical for a new mom to be concerned about her infant’s safety and wellbeing. However, they are usually able to quickly calm their fears by checking the baby monitor, or simply realizing their fears are irrational.
Moms suffering from postpartum anxiety are unable to turn off the feelings of concern. Even when you know you are being irrational, you simply cannot convince yourself to stop worrying.
The hormones and enzymes released by the body during this perpetual fight or flight situation can cause a whole host of other symptoms including:
- Rapid heart rate
Because these symptoms can be caused by many different factors, it is important that you see your physician if you have experienced any of these in order to receive and accurate diagnosis.
Postpartum Anxiety and Stress
There is a clear connection between postpartum anxiety and stress.
And modern moms face more stress than any generation before us.
- We have the pressure of social media that naturally causes us to compare ourselves to the rest of the moms in the world.
- When we go to the grocery store we are bombarded with aisle after aisle of products to choose from. The staggering amounts of options available for selecting a breakfast cereal alone are mind boggling.
- Modern moms are often taking care of responsibilities that would have been considered taboo before the 1950’s. Example: I am sure my grandmother never took her car to get the oil changed, or called to get an estimate for replacing the roof on the house.
Sure, women can do anything a man can do (and many things they can’t).
But all these task, responsibilities and expectations add up and quickly begin to take their toll. When it starts to impact your overall health and wellness in the form of postpartum anxiety, then it’s time to simplify.
Minimalism to Successfully Overcome Postpartum Anxiety
Ok, so now we know that postpartum anxiety is related to the stress caused by the mental load of modern mom life.
So, what can you do today to start reducing your stress level so you can start to be the happy and healthy mom you had planned to be?
While I am not a doctor I can tell you what worked for me and has worked for dozens of other women – minimalism.
Also known as a simple living lifestyle, minimalism is best described as the intentional focus on what we value and find most important.
At the same time minimizing allows you to reduce the energy, time and emotions you were spending on non-essential parts of your life.
For me, this shift was key in reducing the stress I was feeling as a new mom and allowed me to regain control of my life.
4 Ways to Use Minimalism to Get Rid Of Postpartum Anxiety
Below are four simple shifts I made in my day to day life that helped me on my journey to overcome postpartum anxiety.
You can focus on one area at a time or decide today to make all of these changes a priority.
Either way, you will find that simplifying is a safe and easy route to regaining your health and happiness.
1. Intentional Shopping
When you have young children it is easy to think that you need to buy every toy and adorable outfit you see.
Unfortunately, these items come home and become clutter, laundry and more things for you to clean.
Now, is not the time to be adding any more responsibilities to your plate.
Instead, only go shopping when there is an essential item that you need and take a shopping list with you.
If you simply need to get out of the house for a few hours, don’t go to Target!
Take a walk, meet a friend at the park or go for a relaxing drive.
Intentional shopping will help you reduce the number of items coming into your home. You will have less to clean and pick up and it will also help you save money – for things like daycare and braces.
2. Implement a Morning Routine
As a mom with a newborn it’s easy to wake up and before you know it it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
You still haven’t showered or dressed, but you have been busy all day long.
This is a good sign that you could benefit from a morning routine.
A morning routine will help reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm associated with postpartum anxiety. It enables you to clarify what you need to accomplish before the rest of your day starts.
To create your personalized morning routine sit down and create a list of things that you wish you were able to get done each day. These should be just the essentials; showering, getting dressed, self-care and maybe a few household tasks.
You can see my sample morning routine here.
Once these tasks are accomplished you will no longer feel like you are spinning your wheels and you will have more free time during the day.
Many of us are more sensitive to our environment than we realize. When our homes are full of clothes, mail and piles of stuff we have yet to address our stress levels naturally rise.
This is because everywhere you look you see something that you need to take care of that you don’t have time for. As a new mom, you will benefit greatly by purging your home of anything that you don’t use, need or want.
Once you take those steps your environment will become more relaxing. Your home won’t feel like one giant to-do list.
When your household responsibilities are reduced you have more quality time to spend with your children instead of feeling like you should be cleaning. Not sure where to get started with decluttering?
Here are some great tips from other busy moms on how to declutter when you have kids.
4. Create a Capsule Wardrobe
As mentioned above, a large part of the stress that modern mothers feel comes from the number of choices that we make in a day.
Make it easier on yourself by downsizing and streamlining your wardrobe.
Creating a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your clothes. It means that you will keep your favorite, versatile pieces that you can put together without a second thought.
No more time wasted searching for that one shirt that matches. When all of your items go together in a number of ways getting dressed in the morning only takes minutes, reduces stress and increases free time.
Life Beyond Postpartum Anxiety
Implementing these strategies along with increasing my focus on self-care and increasing exercise allowed me to overcome postpartum anxiety.
Gradually I began to feel more like myself and became the mom I had planned to be.
If you feel constantly stressed, worried and overwhelmed by the pressures of motherhood I encourage you to talk to you physician about the possibility of postpartum anxiety.
At the same time, try out these tips to being to reduce your stress and anxiety.