Thanks to everyone who watched today’s Facebook Live (if you missed it, click here).
I want to do everything I can to avoid experiencing PND & Anxiety following my current pregnancy and one of the self-help structures I’m putting in place is a survival kit of sorts. I’ve collated lots of items which helped me to recover first time around to keep close by to eliminate or reduce my symptoms this time. You can find out more by watching the video replay but for now I just want to include a list below for ease and links to any resources I mentioned.
So what’s in my survival kit?
1. Notebook & Pen
Probably the most important item on this list for me. Writing absolutely saved me during my experience of Postnatal Depression & Anxiety. Everything from incoherent scrawlings during Anxiety attacks to brain dumps before bed to more structured therapy homework and, eventually, this blog – having the ability to put my thoughts on paper was a huge recovery tool for me.
2. Free printables
Linked below are all the printables I previously created that I plan to use myself during the coming postnatal period. Click on each for more details and to access your copy.
- Traffic Light Technique printable
- Anxiety Cheat Sheet printable
- 10 Affirmations for Anxiety printable (NB these can be cut up and displayed around your home, that’s my plan)
- 10 Mental Wellbeing Mantras For Mums printable (as above)
- Morning Routine printable
- Evening Routine printable
3. Useful blog posts
For ease, I’m including links to all the key blog posts that I’ve printed and put in my survival folder. Should I begin struggling after the baby arrives I’ll be reaching for my own words for reassurance – and these posts may help you too!
- From Me To Me – Dear Future-Me-With-PND
- 12 Tools For Managing Anxiety
- Five Quick Tips For Managing Intrusive Thoughts (OCD)
- Overcoming Derealisation
- Overcoming Insomnia
- The Biggest Mistake You Can Make When Struggling With Anxiety
- Why I Gave Up Fighting Anxiety
- Defeat Anxiety With Belief, Confidence & Visualisation
- Using Lists To Manage Anxiety
4. Creative self-care activities (in my case colouring & cross stitch)
7. List of useful phone numbers (crisis team, therapist, specialist healthcare provider, Samaritans etc)
8. Useful printables from www.getselfhelp.co.uk
This is an amazing resource site for discovering CBT techniques for managing Anxiety and other mental health issues. The links below are just a small sample of what they have available.
9. Books I use for mindfulness quotes & exercises
Remember to discuss all medication needs with your doctor. You can read about my antidepressant experience here.
As mentioned in the video, the supplements I plan on using are the same ones as recommended to me by the specialist perinatal mental health team who took care of me when I was unwell before. As above, ensure you discuss all supplements with your healthcare provider before starting them, especially as some aren’t safe to take with antidepressants (St John’s Wart for example). I plan to use the following:
12. Any other items that bring you comfort!
This list is completely individual. If you’re facing another postnatal period following a previous experience of perinatal mental illness then you will know exactly what helped you to recover last time. So if there’s anything else that helps you that I’ve not covered here then obviously include it in your own survival kit. Plus, please share it in the comments below for other people to read!
I hope you find this list and these resources helpful should you be facing the prospect of another pregnancy and birth after experiencing PND, Anxiety or any other maternal mental health issue. If you’ve already been through this I would love to hear your experience, good or bad, so either comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.