It comes at impeccable timing. In meeting with the therapist last week, we decided collectively to focus on behavioral changes first and keep medication as an option to consider down the road if things don't improve or get worse. I know the behavioral changes that improve mood. I am a psychologist. I just haven't been listening to my own advice. A week off of work is the perfect opportunity to hit the "reset" button and put an emphasis on my health and mood.
Here is the action plan:
- I have a follow-up therapy appointment in early January.
- Focus on sleep hygiene to get enough sleep an feel well-rested. This means turning off the screens before getting to bed, having a relaxing cup of tea or cocoa to down-shift, and taking my heartburn medication as recommended.
- Try to get in physical activity every day. Elevate my heart-rate, which is great for endorphin-release and a mood boost. Bonus points if it is outside in the fresh air (but no hard feelings and mentally beating myself up if there is a blizzard and I opt for the treadmill or mall walk!).
- Ask for help. Accept that I am growing another human being while working full time and raising a toddler and this is hard work. Don't expect for C to read my mind, but ask to him to assist me completing the first three things on this list or giving me a break from the toddler.
These are basic, but things that I have not been managing up to this point. Three daily tasks to make my emotional health a priority as we close out the year and I enter the second half of my pregnancy. Now I just need to consistently follow-though. Wish me luck!