TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — Janie Porter knew she wasn’t depressed but she’d never been in such a funk. The thirty-something mother of three couldn’t wrap her mind around why she just wasn’t herself. She has a great husband (her high school sweetheart), cute kids, and a safe place to live.
She couldn’t help the creeping feeling of guilt for not being giddy every day. The stay-at-home mom started feeling like she was in a dark hole she couldn’t get out of.
“I have very little negative stress in my life,” Porter said. “I was wondering, ‘What reason do I have to be down?’ I felt guilty and shame for it.”
She wanted to talk to her friends but didn’t want to seem like a “downer.” Porter found comfort in an unlikely place; someone outside her inner circle, but still someone she trusts — her boot camp instructor.
“Disclosing my pain to her and just her listening really was such a turning point for me,” Porter said.
She started making little, simple changes to her everyday routing. Even small things like changing up where she put her mat during the workout helped. She started eating more healthy and cutting herself some slack by temporarily dropping Facebook.
“I see moms who are amazing chefs and a career woman and I would wonder, ‘Why can’t I do all these things perfect?'” Porter asked “You start to realize we all have our strengths and no one has it all together.”
Porter wrote about her struggle with the “mommy blues” on her blog, She Just Glows, in a post called “Dear depressed moms, you’re not alone.”
The response was incredible. Fellow moms dealing with the same exact feelings wrote to her with appreciation.
8 on Your Side reached out to Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Stacey Scheckner, who says moms have more on their plates than ever and mommy blues is becoming extremely common. Between a lack of sleep and changes in life, being a new mom can be a tough transition.
First, it’s important to determine if you have the blues or if you might be dealing with a deeper depression issue. If it is the blues she has these suggestions:
- Get some sleep. Sleep is the biggest factor in our mood and everything looks worse when we are sleep deprived.
- Eat fruits, veggies and protein. When our body is well fed, our brain can think better and help out mood.
- Take a walk in nature; breathe in the world around you and be grateful for small things in life that are around you — the birds, pretty flowers, ect.
- Do things you used to do before you had the baby. Get dressed in your favorite outfit, go to your favorite restaurant, watch your favorite movie.
- Write a list of what you are thankful for and focus on that.
Porter feels like she’s back to her old self. “If you take care of yourself you can do a better job of taking care of everyone around you.”