The most profound thing we can offer our children is our own healing.
So often during the perinatal period, we can find ourselves vacillating between surviving and thriving. I remember experiencing this during my own pregnancies and postpartum experiences with my kids. Did you experience this too? Today I wanted to take some time to go over the common traits of survival mode, what it often looks like and feels like to be thriving in life, and if you’re in survival mode, how to move yourself toward or into thriving in life again. Read on!
Survival mode in pregnancy and postpartum may include:
- A lack of interest in things you usually enjoy doing
- Feelings of guilt (behaviorally based) and/or shame (attacks you as a person)
- Pessimism and negativity
- Feeling disconnected from your inner feelings and emotions
- A lack of direction in life
- Just getting through your day
- Emotional disconnection from others
- Exhaustion and not having energy throughout your day
- Trouble concentrating and staying focused
- Not feeling like yourself
What else would you add here? These can also be a sign of perinatal depression, so if you’re experiencing any of these, please reach out to your doctor, midwife or a therapist in your area.
On the flip side, thriving in pregnancy and postpartum my include:
- Finding fulfilment in activities you enjoy
- Supporting yourself and others
- Feeling centered and grounded
- Being able to concentrate and stay focused
- Your life has purpose, meaning and direction
- An emotional connection to others
- Optimism and positivity
- A connection to your inner feelings and emotions
- Feeling thankful and grateful for all you have in life
- Feeling excited and energized throughout your day
What else would you add to this list?
Finally, here are some things you can do and work on to move from surviving to thriving during the perinatal period:
- Focusing on self-compassion and self-love; feeling good from the inside out
- Having more self-acceptance and not beating yourself up when you mess up or aren’t perfect in life. Giving yourself grace!
- Asking for help from others, ideally before the point where you’re stressed out, overwhelmed or burnt out all together
- Processing how you’re really doing in therapy to help you work through all the feelings and emotions that so often get stirred up during pregnancy and postpartum
What else would you add to the list above?
Being in survival mode when you’re pregnant or in postpartum can be a very hard place to be, especially since society often tells us as women that we’re supposed to be happy, excited and glowing during the perinatal period. If you are struggling right now, know that you’re not alone, and that many of us (myself included) struggled during the perinatal period. If you’re needing help, please reach out to a Perinatal Mental Health Therapist in your state (PMH-C) to work with a therapist certified by Postpartum Support International (PSI) to work with pregnant women and postpartum moms. Also, let your doctor or midwife know about these struggles as well. I’m sending lots of love and support your way as you navigate this hard time in your life.