We have been talking about the Pit of depression (post 1 and post 2) and sometimes being depressed can be aided and abetted by physicial problems as well as chemical imbalances*.
*I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv, this is just from my own personal experience*
Today I wanted to take a minute to have you ask yourself a question.
Question 1: is there something that is lending to your run-down-ned-ness (yes I made that up) that might be making things more difficult for you? (Silly question right? My answer might be “I have kids. So yes. There IS something, or someONES lending to my run-down-ed-ness. But just keep reading)
Things such as not enough sleep? Just checking. You have kids right? Have you found the adage of ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ to be as silly as I did once I moved from 1 to 2 to 3 children? This one is the HARDEST it seemed for me to accomplish, at least during the day. And to be honest, at night too. I would so rarely get to see my husband alone (even just sitting together on the couch!…together and yet alone from the children) that when we would put the kids to bed, inevitably I would stay up late just to have that time alone with him. So what did I do? I stayed up. Oh you BET I stayed up! Almost like I was staying up late to SPITE the little cherubs that kept me awake all day long.
Dear parent, if I could advise you to do anything it would be this. Do NOT stay up late to spite your children. 1)they don’t know or care once they are asleep. 2) the only person this hurts is you. A actually that is not true. Sometimes it hurts your family too. How often have I let myself (see that?! It’s a privelege to me to stay up late.. Sigh. I am still learning here. 🙂 ) stay up late just to be woken up late in the middle of the night, or in the very early hours by a crying baby that is teething, or a sick child that just needs my help, only to be grumpy at them and snappy because I didn’t get the proper rest? Too often is my answer.
If this is difficult for you too, remind yourself and your husband that is only a season. This will not always be this way.Though it may feel like forever while you are going through it, it does come to an end. There will be a time where you can sleep through the night and actually get rest. Some ways to help with the sleep aspect of this time in your life is to….set a timer! Timers work wonders for distracted, overly tired, stressed out parent brains. There are all sorts of apps for smart phones and for TVs and also physical egg timers or visual timers that you can use to remind yourself that “its almost bedtime” or “it IS bedtime”, or even to shut the electronic device off FOR you! My husband used to use one for his video game days (thank the Lord those days are not as they once were-Thankyou Cris too!) that would turn the game system off after a certain amount of time. If it helps, change your mindset to use it as a countdown to something positive instead of a sort of impending doom mindset. “Nooooo not the end of my Facebook!!!! Noooo!” Not tattling on myself at all. 😀
Now don’t do something drastic like try changing your bedtime from say…midnight to 9 pm the first night. From personal experience, its not practical and it just means you end up staying up in bed tossing and turning! Try changing your bedtime and wake up time by 5-10 minutes at a time. Also, if its OK with your Dr., midwife or ND, try taking melatonin. Make sure throughout the day that you are staying hydrated, eating well and using the bathroom appropriately enough. Being constipated or dehydrated will NOT lend itself to proper elimination habits and WILL be another area that will make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
The other thing I have been trying (and its helping!) Is to have no electronics in my face for at least half an hour before I fall asleep. I can’t just go straight to sleep like my husband can, so I try reading a book at night. Like a real, hold in your hand and turn the pages book. Currently my choice has been the Triggers book by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake. Its all about exchanging angry responses to our children to gentle and biblical responses. (Remember a couple of paragraphs earlier where I mentioned the being grumpy part? Yeah. I am working on it)
This has helped my eyes and brain know when its time for sleep and some nights I actually get to bed and asleep before 1 am. I am doing it all in babysteps too, Its not going to happen overnight. (<— see what I did there? Talking about more sleep happening but not over night…? :D
Lack of sleep, I recently read (on fb late at night!) Is something that can be used for torture. I believe it. If you are not getting enough sleep, it will make the time that you are in the pit seem endless. Take heart though. There IS hope. If you find yourself stuck in the pit of depression, take a look and see if this is an area that you need help in. Sometimes, you need to talk to your doctor, or to a trusted friend and let them know you are struggling. If someone smiles and nods and says “yes, I remember that stage” ask that person for help. Maybe they can come and sit with the kids while you nap or while you “sleep while the baby sleeps”…even if that baby is 4 years old. 🙂
I have been there before dear parent. Read this blog to see what I mean.
Please share with me in the comments what has worked for you dealing with lack of sleep or dealing with depression in the past?