Blue Monday: Tips on beating January blues for new parents
- Mums Tips
- Parenting Skills
- Published on Sunday, 09 January 2022 09:11
- Last Updated on 13 January 2022
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
With ‘Blue Monday’ approaching (17th January), many people are looking for a little mood pick me up. Celebrated author Dr. Harvey Karp (Happiest Baby on the Block) has created special tips for new parents to beat the January blues.
“Raising tiny humans is one of the most joyful jobs in the world, but it’s also very hard work! Between all the responsibilities, lack of sleep, adjusting to a new routine… it’s fair to say it can be overwhelming. Both new mums and new dads can suffer from postpartum depression and anxiety and as Blue Monday approaches, it’s important to look after the super-humans raising our future!
Blue Monday has been dubbed the gloomiest day of the year. Falling on the third Monday in January each year, it’s said that it’s the saddest day of the year due to post-Christmas debt worries, the weather, and generally lower motivation levels. After the hustle and bustle of the holiday period, it’s not surprising that people are left feeling lonely or down.
This can be heightened as a new parent – going from being surrounded by family and friends, to being stuck at home with little to no social interaction (or sunlight!) can be very difficult. Especially with another UK lockdown potentially on the horizon, this can seem very daunting. Parents’ number one priority is supporting their child, but to do so, it’s just as important to look after their own needs. To help combat feelings of sadness on the bluest day of the year and beyond, Dr Karp has shared his top tips to help support parents’ wellbeing.
- Take 30 min for yourself
Try and say this to a busy parent, right? Not as easy in practice, but we all need downtime – especially when we’ve just had a busy period of socialising with family and friends! Coordinate breaks with your partner so you both get regular alone time. Divide the duties and create a routine that looks after everyone’s needs, even if that means asking for help from friends and family or using childcare from time to time.
- Don’t neglect the importance of YOUR sleep
We get it. As a new parent you barely have time to breathe, let alone sleep properly. Particularly during the holiday period, getting a good night’s sleep can seem pretty much impossible. But, sleep is crucial for your health. After 30 years in paediatric practice, I have seen over and over again how sleep deprivation can damage a parent’s wellbeing. It can trigger marital stress, suppress your immune system and cause serious accidents. I created SNOO to help alleviate the number one pain point for new parents: exhaustion. SNOO uses womblike sensations to aid a baby’s sleep while keeping them safely on the back, in turn helping parents get more rest too.
- Be kind to yourself
Even the parents that seem to have everything figured out have their moments of ‘What am I doing?!’. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to connect with other parents. You will soon find out that you are not alone, and no parent has it all together. Try to be as supportive to yourself as you would be to your best mate. In the end, we are all just trying to do our best for our children.
It’s natural for new parents to think that they should only express happiness. New parents say that feeling anger, worry or sadness can make them feel guilty and even severely defective. But rather than becoming more secretive, this is exactly the time that it is vital to confide in your partner, primary care provide or trusted friends. Speaking feelings out loud helps bring clarity. Hopefully, as awareness grows that anyone can be affected by mental health issues like postpartum anxiety and depression, we will begin to give them the help they need and deserve to fully enjoy this truly magical time of life.”
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums