I weaned Little Miss Toddler Girl from breastfeeding a little less than two months ago. Within a week without any nursing sessions, I noticed that my mood started to shift. I became really sad. I felt like I was lost. It was a punch in the face because for two years, I’ve been a dedicated breastfeeding Mama. And the last six months were especially challenging because I was honestly just tired of breastfeeding. It’s a great deal of work. My body was not my own for about three years…I willingly shared it with my sweet baby who used it first as an incubator, and secondly as a milk factory. I achieved my breastfeeding goal of two years. It still took a few months for me to really let the breastfeeding relationship with my daughter come to an end. After a lot of soul-searching and support from my dear husband and Mama friends who have weaned a child once or twice before, I decided that I was done ahead of summer. My goal was achieved, mission complete.
So what happened? Why the dramatic upheaval of emotions? Two of the happy hormones that facilitate breastfeeding – prolactin and oxytocin – were no longer available in my body. These hormones are responsible for keeping the milk factory productive. And for me, they really helped me to maintain an upbeat mood. In the absence of breastfeeding, these hormones were no longer around to keep me upbeat and calm. And down the depression hole I went.
Post Weaning Depression can be considered a type of Postpartum Depression (PPD) that shows up really late to the party. I was fortunate to not have to face PPD. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life, I felt like I dodged a bullet. Enter Post Weaning Depression – I felt I was stabbed in the back and betrayed by my body.
Thankfully, I am past the worst part of plummeting hormones. At least I hope I am. Self-care is essential. I am not sure why or how I became a second-class citizen in my own life, but I know now that I don’t have time to NOT take care of myself. Self-care used to be last on the list to be honest. My common pattern of thinking kind of went like this – If everything else was finished, and everyone else was cared for, then I would carve out a little time for myself. Folks – I am here to tell you with certainty, that you will NEVER carve out that time for yourself if you’re at the bottom of the list, or on the next page. The list builds from the top. It’s a trick! Self-care first. It is as essential as eating well, getting adequate rest, moving your body. Shouldn’t a Holistic Nurse know this? Yes, I do. I preach this. And to save my health, I am now putting what I preach into practice. Don’t be like me…Take my advice. Lessons don’t always have to be as hard as you can make them. And trust me…I can make lessons extremely difficult. But seriously, take care of you and the rest will follow. If you see me with this very notion tattooed on my forehead, you’ll know why.
My Mental House – Plans & Goals for Healing from Depression
To keep me accountable, I will post my goals below on a daily basis so that I can review and amend my plans to achieve my goals as needed. MY 28 Days of Clean Eating book should arrive today!!!
Goal — To Gain Clarity
Plan — Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily, eventually expanding on the amount of time a couple minutes per day, with 20 minutes of daily meditation being the target sit time.
More Plans — Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Lights out by 10pm and wake up at 7am would be a good starting point for me.
Goal — To Reduce and Prevent Insomnia
Plan – No electronic devices before meditation/yoga practice in the morning. No electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime.
Plan – Read more books instead of staring at electronic devices, especially at night
Goal — To Relieve Depressed Mood, Anxiety Symptoms, and Relieve Pain
Plan — Move!!!! Yoga, Swim, Walk
Yoga — Attend at least 2 classes a week, practice most days of the week for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Practice in the morning after waking. May precede meditation. Loving my new morning routine! Yoga, meditation, blog, quiet. It’s a good start to every day!
Swim — 10–20 laps 2–3x per week – I did 12 easy laps yesterday!!!
Walk — Walk daily — sometime during the day. Just get out and walk. – Working on this, not too many walks lately.
More Plans — Medicate with cannabis as needed.
- 1-3 inhales from a vaporizer with a CBD-rich strain first thing in the morning if panic/anxiety/pain not relieved by self care bodywork is on board
- 2–3 inhales from a vaporizer with an indica-dominant strain by 7:30pm to reduce tension and promote sleep. – Work in progress, open to suggestions for sure!
Goal — To Nourish My Body To Heal Up From Depression, Anxiety, and Panic
And to keep things simple, I’ve invested in this book to help me get on a better track with nourishing my body. I eat relatively well, but I could certainly use more fresh foods and less convenient carbohydrates. My dear friend and I will be following this plan together. More on this when the book arrives and I start diving into the 28 day plan!
Thank you once again for reading dear friends! Wishing you a bright, beautiful, happy, and productive day! Much love! Many hugs. Namaste ❤