How to Manage Postpartum Anxiety and Stress?

A Quick ‘STOP’ To Help You Get Through Stressful Situations

Mothers among all are the busiest people in the world. Not only are you excited about your new-born, you are also concerned about your relationship with your partner, your health and appearance to how you can strike a balance with a new addition and still maintain a healthy composure. A woman’s body changes from pregnancy through childbirth and postpartum period. These changes come in different aspects; physical, mental, emotional, hormonal and psychological changes where you are to make adjustments to those changes. Even the most well-supported or experienced mothers can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the constant pressure to stay calm during this crucial phase.

When the mind is preoccupied with worries, doubts, or fears and you are struggling to keep it together under pressure, instead of focusing your attention on a specific task, you are mostly likely to be distracted with all the overwhelming demands of the environment while your body is adjusting to the changes. It is arguably one of the most daunting phases to experience as a mother.

Here’s your go-to ‘Mindful Tip’ whenever you feel anxious, stress or faced with life’s demands, worries, negative thoughts and so on. Apply this ‘STOP’ technique as a quick trick to get through stressful situations during this postpartum period.

S - STOP Stop what you are currently doing.

T - TAKE Take a few deep breaths to center yourself fully into the present moment.

O - OBSERVE Observe what is going on with your body and mind; your emotions, thoughts and actions. What physical sensations are you aware of through your senses? What are you feeling right now? What assumptions are you making about your feelings? What story are you telling yourself? Observe everything that is going inside and outside of you.

P - PROCEED Proceed with whatever you were doing, or make a conscious or mindful choice to incorporate what you’ve just learn through your observation and proceed accordingly. You may occasionally ‘STOP’ during your day, this can increase your awareness of what is going on around you and inside you. Applying ‘STOP’ may help you to recognize when you are anxious or stress, and your body is becoming tense, which may then allow you to correct it before it goes out of proportions.

The above ‘STOP’ technique is a mindfulness-based tool to help you get through stressful circumstances. Mindfulness is a skill you can develop to focus your attention by shifting your attention from your anxious thoughts to paying attention at the present moment. This can help you regain a sense of calm and focus your attention rather than being caught off-guard by your anxiety. Mindfulness is a ‘fully-conscious’ state of living that enables us to relate to our experiences with a higher clarity. It helps to develop our ability to overcome unfavorable emotions, limiting thought patterns and unhelpful attitudes and habits. This practice of mindfulness allows us to be full engaged in the present moment as an inherent ability necessary to our overall well-being.

I am sharing with you a note from my dear daughter - "I am because you are". I'd say, it should be the other way round - I'm because of her and my son, they are my inspiration, my resilience, and my perseverance. For them, I developed strength, courage and wisdom to lead by example.

'It's not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts' - Mother Teresa