2018 has been my favourite year since becoming a mum and recovering from postnatal depression, anxiety & OCD five and a half years ago. I feel the strongest and happiest I’ve ever felt since that dark time and our year has been topped off by the unexpected news of our pregnancy in the Autumn!
There have been a few very low points sprinkled in too – for example the loss of my Nan in March – but overall it’s been a bright and hopeful year for our family. I think a big part of this feeling of overall peace is that I’ve not experience clinical Anxiety for over 18 months and for that I’m so grateful. When your mental health is good it’s so much easier to face other emotional struggles.
Personal highlights from 2018 include:
Our awesome holidays to CenterParcs and Bulgaria
Caterpillar’s wonderful end to Reception and start to Year 1
I couldn’t be prouder of how the little man is getting on. His reading and writing continues to improve every single day, he’s strengthened his wonderful little friendships and continues to be confident and inquisitive in all areas. I find parenting this age to be my favourite stage so far.
Opportunities to speak out about mental health
I’ve been lucky enough to have several opportunities this year to speak at various professional events about my experience of perinatal mental illness, most notably at a training course hosted by the specialist perinatal mental health team in my area who saved me when I was ill. It really felt like I’d come full circle to share my story at that training session, and this is something I’d love to do more and more in the future.
And of course the greatest happy moment of this year was finding out we’re expecting a baby, due in May 2019. You can read my pregnancy announcement here and my #PregnantAfterPND journey so far here.
In terms of the blog, here’s just a few of my favourite posts from this year:
- Favourite Mental Health Post: Anxiety Help – The Traffic Light Technique
- Favourite Emotional Wellbeing Post: The Benefits Of Meditation
- Favourite Parenting Post: When Parenting Isn’t What You Imagined
- Favourite Caterpillar Post: Five
- Favourite Brand Post: How To Survive Between Therapy Sessions With Therachat
- Favourite Rant: Why Gender Selection Is Wrong
And here are the three most popular posts from 2018:
Ten Affirmations For Anxiety Sufferers – I was so happy to see this post do well as I find affirmations incredibly powerful when it comes to anxiety recovery and emotional wellbeing. This post also comes with a free printable which I hope people find useful.
Bonding – Does PND Negatively Affect Your Relationship With Your Child? – discussing bonding issues is a real passion of mine and focus for this blog. My fears around loving Caterpillar and bonding with him were the main catalyst for my Postnatal Anxiety so I want to do as much as possible to get a positive message out to new mums who are worried about not feeling that initial rush of overwhelming love.
Positivity – Five Quick Tips For Turning Your Mood Around – I was pleasantly surprised by how well people responded to this post. I think because it’s short and sweet but the techniques I’ve written about can be really impactful.
Posts I’d love more people to read
- Seven Ways PND Has Made Me A Better Mum
- Is Anxiety Making Your Codependent?
- Five Reasons Why Good Routine Can Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Goals for next year
- Finish my and publish my Anxiety book!
- Make more video content
- Reach more parents who are struggling
- Create some exciting products
- Have a happy, healthy pregnancy and new mum experience!
Finally, I want to thank every single person who has read, commented or shared anything I’ve written this year, especially those who have commented or sent me messages to say that my posts or videos have helped them in some way – that means the world to me and is the reason I do this. And of course a big thank you to all my “real life” family and friends for showing both me and this blog lots of love and support.
Wishing you all a wonderful New Year and 2019.