Mothers’ Mental Health Toolkit – Chapter 1

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I found this resource back in 2016. Back when my mental health wasn’t the greatest. This is everything for me all wrapped in one. It’s so hard for mother’s. Especially new mothers who second guess themselves and always question their ability to parent. That is how it was for me. I struggled with postpartum depressed for nearly a year. It wasn’t until I took the time for myself and to see myself as a wonderful mother. The tools in this workbook is absolutely amazing and I’m still shocked that it’s a free resource. It was made in Canada by Joanne MacDonald & Coleen Flynn. I first want to thank them for making a resource for Mother’s who struggle with mental health. It’s beautifully written and organized. Each chapter is focused on Mother’s, Self Care, Understanding Mental Health, and more! Any of the tools or ideas I’ll express are right from this workbook. I haven’t finished the entire book, so they’ll be new things I’ll discover. However I will be focusing on the exercises that helped me the most and which ones I feel can be used for mothers and those who aren’t. I encourage you to download this resource, it is free and would be perfect to follow along with. You can download it here: x

There are seven chapters in this workbook, I’ll be going through each one.. looking at the main points, and resources.

  1. Mothers’ Wellness and Self-Care
  2. The Mothering Role
  3. Understanding Mothers’ Mental Health
  4. Assessment and Screening
  5. Intervention and Treatments 
  6. Supporting Recovery 
  7. Community Action

Chapter 1: Mothers’ Wellness and Self-Care

This chapter focus’ on all dimensions of self-care..

  • Body health with information on nutrition, fitness/movement, and sleep.
  • Mental health with information on relaxation and stress management
  • Emotional health with information on substance use and self-development

In encourage you to do the checklists and exercises in this chapter. It’s so important to really look at your health in theses aspects. My favourite task is the Self-Care checklist. I’ve done this a few times now to check in over the months and years. It’s amazing looking back and seeing where I improved and what I still need to workout. The pencil is from 2016 & dark ink is now. Another is looking at what you’d like to talk to your doctor about. It’s so important to utilize the time you have with your doctor and making a list can help you get the most out of your appointment.

The body health checklist is amazing for that as well. Sometimes you feel a pain that has become somewhat normal, but it’s important to look at that and see how often you’re dealing with the pain physically. A main part for me in my recovery is focusing so much on my mental heath that I forget about how I physically feel. They really both go hand in hand.

Body Health:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Stretching and moving
  • Eating nutritious food
  • Cutting back on harmful habits
  • Relaxing from the hard work of mothering
  • Paying attention to any aches or pains that won’t go away

Looking at your stress and looking signs if you are over stressed are also touched on in this chapter. It’s important to focus on the things you have to do and not worry about things that could be done another day. Substance abuse is also in this chapter. The exercises used are CAGE, CRAFFT, and HALT. Back in 2016 I never really touched on these much, mostly because I thought my substance abuse wasn’t an issue. I smoke marijuana and there was a time where I was so dependent that I wasn’t able to eat anything unless I smoked. I relied on it so much.. to even function properly. I still do smoke, but it isn’t in a damaging dependent way as it once was. Using these tools really helped me realize where/what the problem was and how to get the help to resolve the issue. If you are struggling with drug dependency these exercises are a good starting point, if you need more resources please let me know. It’s important to reach out and ask for help if it’s needed. Even if you are confused about what drug dependency is.

I’m so excited to go into more depth with this workbook with you. Each week, or twice a week, I’ll be posting the next chapter. I was planning on including them all in one post, but I’ve realized that it will be extremely long and hard to follow along. I encourage you to read this workbook and attempt the exercises. Even if you aren’t a mother it touches on self  love and mental health which applies to everyone. The next post in this series will be on Chapter 2: The Mothering Role. If you are wanting to talk about your progress with this workbook and topics discussed above feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram or Facebook. 

Love yours,

Michelle

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