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3 months ago · · 0 comments

How To Boost Self Confidence As a New Mum

new mother at home with baby or todderAre You At Risk?

When you become a new mum, your self confidence and self esteem can quickly take a dive, particularly when things don’t go quite as well as planned. One of the major issues new mums face is shifting from being in control of your child during pregnancy to feeling completely lost as your child begins to develop and grow into this new life. When things such as breastfeeding and regular sleep do not go well, new mums often begin to question their parenting methods and begin to assume they must be doing something wrong. Add to this the opinions of friends, other mothers, family members and health  professionals, its no wonder so many new mums begin to feel like failures.
So what can you do if you begin to feel like a failure, or begin to self criticise yourself ?

Reduce the pressure you are placing on yourself

One of the first big mistakes new mums make is to stop listening to their instincts and to begin listening instead to everyone else’s advice and opinion on how best to parent their new baby. As a new mum, it’s very easy to begin to doubt yourself when things you try (like breastfeeding or placing a baby in a swaddle to sleep) simply do not work, particularly when you have been told by experts that these are the best ways to feed or get your baby to sleep. What no-one seems to tell new mums (or perhaps as new mums it’s hard to believe), there is no 1 manual of parenting that works for every child. Each baby is different and also has a mind of his/her own. Some babies will easily soothe, for instance, whilst other will not. Some babies will sleep for 2-3 hour stretches at a time, whilst others will only power nap for 30 minutes at a time. If you begin to place too much pressure on yourself to be perfect, you will quickly begin to start feeling overwhelmed and self criticism will begin to seep into your mindset and quickly reduce your self confidence. So, the key is to have a parenting plan and then to just go with the flow. Sometimes your parenting style will work wonders, but other times it won’t (for instance if your baby is feeling overtired or unwell). These are the times to take a brake and just try something new when you are feeling more calm and rational.

Do you trust that you know your baby best?

As a primary carer, no-one knows your baby better than you. Other experts and parents can provide you with support and advice as to what they have observed or perhaps trialled successfully with their children, but ultimately, you know your child best. You will know if your child will respond well to new environments, people and parenting styles. you will be able to assess whether sleeping methods such as controlled crying are right for your child and your family. Trust that you have your child’s best interests at heart and always look at things from the perspective of ensuring your child is safe, healthy, happy and secure (eg living in a harmonious environment).

Catch yourself in moments of negative self-talk

If you begin you hear yourself speaking negatively about your parenting style, try to catch yourself in the moment and rephrase your words. For instance, if you catch yourself saying things like “I’m never going to get my baby to sleep”, alter this to “Every baby eventually sleeps, we just need to keep adjusting things until we get things working well for our family”. Reducing negative self talk will go a long way towards boosting your confidence and ensuring you maintain a healthy self esteem throughout motherhood.

We have a great FREE ebook to help new mums boost self confidence straight away – check it out here

9 months ago · · 0 comments

How to Help Someone Who is Feeling Depressed

how to reduce stressIt is very hard for those who have never suffered a depressive episode to truly understand how debilitating this state of mind can make the sufferer feel. From the outset it can seem as though the sufferers life is so perfect. You may even think ‘how can this person possibly be depressed with how successful, attractive, social and caring he/she is?’

However, depressive thinking is not rational. In this state it is easy to disqualify any positives and to focus on the issues that are creating the depressive episodes. No matter how much others highlight the positives, the depressed person will find it difficult to disengage from the negatives.

The main core feelings underlying depression:

  • Hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Worthless

Therefore, these are the areas that require focus when you are trying to support someone who is feeling depressed.

Hopelessness

To assist with feelings of hopelessness, the individual needs to feel as though there is a manner in which he/she can take control. For instance, if a friend was feeling depressed about being single and having difficulty finding and sustaining a partner, the best support you could give would be to help her to regain self confidence and accompany her to places she is most likely to meet someone she is compatible with (such as joining a sporting club together, going out dancing together, hosting a dinner party with a potential single partner invited, or attending a social function together).

Giving your friend a feeling of control will help her/him to take steps to shift out of depression and regain hope in the future.

Helplessness

To assist feelings of helplessness the individual needs to feel as though she/he has sufficient resources and support networks available to get through the issues at hand. As a friend you can personally be there to provide support. However, in times of depression it is really critical to advise a depressed friend to seek professional help from a qualified therapist or life coach.

Where therapists differs from a friend is in their perspective (enabling unemotional support) and in the techniques used to move past depression into happiness and health. Your support as a friend will of course remain very important in times of depression, so one should not substitute the other.

Worthlessness

In order to assist an individual to increase worthless feelings, it’s important to increase internal validation. Reminding the person of past and current success is a good start. What is especially required is current evidence of being valued. Encouraging the person to help others and thus to see first hand appreciation for this assistance is a great way to see evidence of self worth.

The key here is tapping into the issues causing the depression. So if a person feels unattractive, taking her out for a beauty treatment or supporting her to get back into shape will help. If a person is feeling unloved, showing him those that love and support him will help. If a person is feeling like a failure, engaging her in activities you know she will do well in will also help.

In addition to these supportive techniques above, it is very important to encourage healthy eating and increasing physical activity. Thee two behaviours have a huge impact on moods. Being a good friend could be as simple as supporting your friends to get healthy.

Always remember that there is tremendous power in friendship support. Your ability to help a person in need is one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of being a human being.

To seek help with depression visit The Happy Life website at: http://www.helpformums.com/home/how-to-build-self-confidence-and-self-esteem-online-course/

Positive Parenting Blog

Positive Parenting Blog