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With motherhood comes a plethora of stressors. Who wouldn’t be affected by the biggest change you may ever experience? Whether adopting a teen or recovering from a C-section, a mother’s job can be perpetually taxing. It’s easy to lose ourselves, neglecting self-care in favor of carpooling, breastfeeding, or working.
Even if I could afford mental health care right now, many of us think, where would I find the time? Where do I start to look? Who would watch my kid(s)? Collin County Moms has you covered with local resources and money-saving tips.
A skilled therapist can provide a non-judgmental environment for you to process your thoughts and emotions. There are various specialties and types of therapy for specific issues. And because we all have different personality types, you may connect with one therapist and clash with another. Many counselors will offer a free consultation call, so schedule a few and find one that’s right for you.
If you have health insurance, be sure to choose an in-network therapist for lower out-of-pocket cost. If you’re uninsured, licensed professional counselor (LPC) interns and associates tend to have lower cash-pay rates than more trained and experienced professionals.
Many counselors charge on a sliding scale based on your income. Your workplace may even offer an employee assistance program with free, confidential counseling sessions for employees and their families.
Starry’s Family and Youth Success (FAYS) Program offers free individual, group, and family counseling as well as parenting classes in McKinney. Several fellow Collin County moms highly recommend Shabnam (Shabee) Behzad, I Choose Change, and Aletheia Therapy.
>> RELATED READ :: 3 Ways to Find a Mental Health Therapist in Collin County <<
There should be no stigma, shame, or guilt associated with needing treatment or medication to cope with mental challenges. The reality is that our brain is an organ, just like our heart, and some of us need help regulating it. That’s okay! Many medications can be safely used during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Drug-free options such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and neurofeedback can be effective treatments as well.
Talk to your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or even your child’s pediatrician if you think you might benefit from seeing a psychiatrist. He or she may offer a referral, plus words of encouragement.
Implementing lifestyle changes can drastically improve your mental health. Here are some ways to boost your mood:
Connect :: Join a Collin County Moms community group, schedule a play date, and share your struggles with a fellow mom. You may just feel less alone!
Eat well :: An anti-inflammatory diet can help improve gut health and prevent illness. I feel noticeably better when I stick to this diet and regularly take my probiotics.
Exercise :: Watch free YouTube videos (you name the exercise, there’s a video on it), go for a jog outside, join a gym . . . the possibilities are endless!
Go outside :: A little fresh air and vitamin D can do the body good!
Journal :: Keep a notebook in your nightstand. Jot down all your worries before bed and put them away for the night.
Make a daily checklist :: Set goals for the day or list out things that tend to make you feel better. Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from checking everything off your list!
Make time for hobbies :: For many of us, children become our passion. Doing something we enjoy independently can make us more well-rounded. Enrolling your little one in a class at your local recreation center may even inspire you to do the same!
Meditate :: Check out a local meditation center or app. Have your kids join in! It can teach lifelong coping skills.
Quit drinking :: Taking a break from alcohol can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and help us deal with negative emotions in a healthy, productive way.
Read a book :: Cozying up with a good book can be therapeutic in and of itself. Here are six books to remind mamas who they really are.
Set boundaries :: It’s okay to say no to the things that do not serve you. You are not here to please everyone — in fact, that’s an impossible feat!
Sleep well :: No matter how difficult it can be for moms to get enough sleep, it is crucial for our mental health and wellbeing. Here are four ways to improve your sleep right now.
Stay hydrated :: Investing in a reusable water bottle can make all the difference. I love my CamelBak’s extra-wide straw and bite valve.
Unplug :: Turn off your phone, take a break from social media, and take a walk in nature.
Volunteer :: Find a local cause you’re passionate about and get involved — or just help a friend in need! This always helps me put things into perspective.
Being a mom is tough enough, let along if you’re struggling with mental health challenges. As much as we’d love to make our problems disappear, we must first identify our need for help. It is so easy for us to get lost in motherhood, taking care of our children, and putting ourselves last. As we make space for ourselves, manage our stress, and create balance in our lives, we are teaching our children to do the same.
If you or a loved one are in crisis:
- Call, chat, or text 988, call 911 or go to your local emergency room
- Call, chat, or text the 24-hour Texas Youth Helpline