The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental health in an unequal world’. Research has shown that those who have suffered the most during the pandemic are those who already had long-term health conditions, already faced discrimination or those who were parenting alone.
This is something I can relate to. My mental health took a big dive during the pandemic, being pregnant and being diagnosed with an underlying health condition meant I had to shield from the start of the third trimester. My pregnancy was already high risk. This meant not being able to see family, even when restrictions were lifted at Christmas, and seeing people sharing conspiracy theories who had no regard to how that would affect those struggling.
I actually had therapy at the start of the pandemic due to the death of a friend and anxiety issues, so I had some good CBT tools to use during my pregnancy, things like journaling, meditation and challenging negative thoughts.
Pregnancy is a wonderful thing but it was very isolating, going to scans alone, hearing concerns on my own and feeling like there was no support around. This was further evident postpartum when I was diagnosed with postpartum hypertension, which the midwives thought could be preeclampsia.
I had so much fear and was convinced that I was going to have a stroke so I would stay awake all night. I developed habits such as only eating shredded wheat and banana before having my daily blood pressure checks by the community midwives as they were ‘heart friendly foods.’ I would insist on holding my newborn as I heard holding a baby lowers your stress levels, and I ordered 12 bottles of coconut water because I heard it would help.
Looking back I realise how fragile my mental health was. I lost a lot of weight postpartum, I couldn’t sleep and I constantly felt anxious. I went from having the most incredible pregnancy care to not even being able to talk to a GP over the phone.
When I finally got the all clear and my blood pressure stabilised I made a promise to put myself first, focus on self-care and add daily habits to my routine, such as meditating in the morning and at bedtime, eating better, walking for an hour each day and calling my mum at least twice a week.
Something which I am also focusing on is breathwork as I know that there are so many benefits. In the current climate it is difficult to access GP appointments or mental health support which is why the The Anti-Burnout Club is such a great concept. They give you access to everything from courses such as:
- EFT (Tapping)
Classes such as:
- The RAIN Technique for Anxiety/Overwhelm
- CBT to Help Improve Motivation
- Challenging Negative Assumptions
The Anti-Burnout Club are giving everyone free access until the end of October to help make self-care more accessible. I have personally used the RAIN technique during therapy and also Challenging Negative Assumptions and they have been life-changing for me in regards to boosting my confidence and self-esteem. Make sure you register by the end of the day to get free access.