Honestly, I’d advise this to any pregnant lady irrespective of whether you have depression or not. But especially when suffering from Prenatal Depression, you need to make the time to pamper yourself. This is much easier said than done, I know that! When you're in a deep depression you can’t seem to find the motivation to get up and cook your dinner never mind do extra tasks but believe me if you can manage to push yourself to do it you will feel a million times better- even if it’s only for a short time.
When I suffered from depression, the simplest thing like a hot bath really made a difference (it still does now actually). Instead of just plopping in the bath I turned it into a spa-like experience- dimming the lights and using candles, faint classical music and really relax. This is perfect if you want to go to the spa but can’t afford it or don’t feel motivated enough.
I also swear by lavender baths. Using Lavender oils in the bath which you can use in your second and third trimester- AVOID this in your first trimester. Before using any essential oil during pregnancy always check out whether you can use it first as some are unsafe during pregnancy
I found it too hard to sit and read a book as I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading- so instead, I chose magazines. I could just about concentrate enough to read small articles and I enjoyed this time whilst drinking a honey, lemon and ginger tea and some ginger biscuits to ease the morning sickness.
If you can, the best possible thing you can do is go for a walk. Yes you’ve heard it a thousand times but you’ve heard it for a reason- it actually works! A nice stroll in the park, a walk around a lake or woodland area can really increase your dopamine levels, serotonin levels, and endorphins all needed to make you feel happy. You can also use mindfulness techniques whilst walking for added benefit.
Swimming is another gentle but fab exercise to do that is safe during pregnancy and will really boost your mood and help to keep you and baby healthy and happy. You can also attend swim classes that are aimed at pregnant women to ensure that you are exercising correctly.
Which brings me on to gym exercise classes aimed at pregnant ladies. Yes, this all sounds very energetic to you right now but as you progress through the previous suggestions this will seem much less of a mountain to overcome.
Also, my favorite thing to do during ME time is to write. You can write positive quotes, positive thoughts or just journal your inner thoughts or feelings. All of these are therapeutic and help you relax. And if there’s one thing you need to do now while you're pregnant it's relaxing!
Soon you're going to have a tiny little baby to cuddle, feed, change and be completely in love with and you're not going to find too much ME time for a while and so you should definitely make the most of it now!
Arts and Crafts
Immerse yourself in an arts and crafts project, this will occupy your time and is very therapeutic.
It’s so important that you take the time to give yourself the care and attention it needs and craves even if you think you don’t need to or you don’t want to because you don’t feel motivated enough, these things are equally as important:
There's no much evidence to suggest that there is a strong connection between what you eat and your food. If you eat healthy meals every day then you will see an improvement in your mood. In particular leafy greens, mushrooms, Avocado, onions, berries, apples, tomatoes, beans. Also think about the different food groups and ensure that you are eating the right amount of food in each category such as complex carbohydrates (brown pasta, brown rice), protein (in particular white meat and fresh fish also needed for the essential fatty acids), fruit and vegetables, water, fibre and probiotics NOTE:. Keep in mind that you are pregnant and certain types of fish are considered unsafe. Also, try to eat food rich in folic acid for your babies health.
Stay fresh and clean
You won’t feel like having a shower, in fact, it’s probably the last thing you want to do right now but you will feel so much better once you’ve had a shower and washed your hair. Personal hygiene is one of the things that we let slip when we are unwell but it’s one of the instant mood boosters that’s so easy to achieve.
Good night's sleep
We all know we should be getting 8 hours sleep each night but how many of us do it? I know if I stay up an extra hour at night I feel tired all day the following day. Try to get into a good routine of going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each day.
Take an hour to have a coffee with a friend or family member, meet up in the park or if you have no friends that live close by try joining a group of some description.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
These stimulants will keep you from having a regular sleep pattern and also will have a detrimental effect on your mood and mental health.