I have been constructing this blog post in my head for what seems like a month. I have been feeling so uninspired and overwhelmed with the pressures that come with being ever-present on social media, and I have been waiting to write this - a summary and detailed break-down of my feelings - until I felt BETTER and “recovered” from that seemingly dark several weeks. I was nervous that day would never come! But thankfully here I am… typing away… over the moon about getting back into writing blog posts, and can confidently tell you that life feels happy and hopeful once again.
I have been digging deep over these past 2.5 months (probably spending TOO much time trying to uncover the WHY behind my emotions) and I have chalked it up to the perfect storm of a couple things.
1- (probably a big one) Pregnancy hormones. I began to feel stressed, uninspired and confused in my work - both photography related/ blogger related right about the same time we found out I was pregnant. I found out the same weekend I was attending a photography conference that was SUPPOSED to leave me feeling excited, motivated and energized as a new photographer. It really threw me for a loop when instead I walked away feeling like an imposter.. I didn’t feel I measured up to the talented women around me and I started to doubt myself every time I picked up the camera…. Imagine your favorite hobby all the sudden becoming a source of fear and uncertainty!
2 - Pregnancy first trimester exhaustion. Exhaustion seemed to hit me harder this time around. I definitely felt tired when I was pregnant with Jett, and I don’t know if this time was worse because I now have a toddler that wants to play, go on walks, run around at the park, etc. But I just felt like a sack of bricks most days. And when you feel that exhausted, it gets REAL depressing when the things you typically love and look forward to everyday - you all the sudden don’t want to do anymore. Blogging, shooting photos of my own family, working on developing my business - all my favorite things lost their luster and I was left feeling confused & depressed about it.
3- Winter Blues. This always gets me. (Why I haven’t moved to some place in the desert by now I don’t know!) But February - Early April are always tough months. I am sick of snow, overcast skies and temperatures that aren’t comfortable to be out in unless you really layer up. I think I lived in sweatpants and sneakers the entirety of those weeks. I wasn’t exactly showing but clothes were starting to fit a little tighter and I just opted out completely and put on the biggest comfiest sweats I could find! One positive thing I came out with from this is some money saved on clothes. I didn’t buy any new clothes this winter! (I also realized how much feeling good in what you are wearing can help you feel more confident and ready to tackle the day. I’m glad I saved the $$ but I really missed feeling good in clothes!)
The little things that helped:
Thankfully not all day/every day felt low, there were always glimmers of happiness mixed in there. Some of the things that made me feel better (even if I lacked motivation to do them in the first place.. these things 9 times our of 10 really helped my mood)
Working out! As much as my energy was suffering, every time I got a workout in EVEN if I just went “through the motions” and moved my body, it felt SO MUCH BETTER. I realized this early on and really made the effort to get a workout in at least 5 times a week. Even if that meant a walk, or doing what I COULD do at Health House in classes. **doing a class REALLY helps. You don’t have to dictate what or when you workout. You sign up and show up and let the instructor take care of the rest. I lifted lighter weights and took it really easy on the rower. It always felt good when I walked out of class!
Time with Friends Socializing and spending time with friends was a LIFESAVER. It’s definitely harder in those colder months to make plans happen but I really looked forward to quality friend-time and those plans always resulted in a boost in positivity and motivation!
Devotional Book I went looking through all our books for some sort of daily devotional - I knew I had some in the past and to my luck I found one that I hadn’t ever read! I made it a priority both at night and in the morning to open up this devotional book and spend the 5-10 minutes (such a small time commitment!) to read a daily dose of hope and encouragement. I can’t tell you how much this really helped shift my outlook. Such a simple task - I highly recommend to anyone needing a big shift in the way they look at stressful periods of life!
Little Bit of Grace I am really hard on myself. I expect myself to work hard every minute of every day. Keep the house clean, entertain and keep my family happy. Hustle hard in my side hustle. See results constantly. Laying around and relaxing is not something I let myself do often. OF ALL TIMES OF LIFE. That first trimester you need to give yourself an ample amount of grace. Let yourself relax. Watch TV on the couch. Let your toddler watch kid movies with you when you don’t have the energy to chase them around the house. It will all be okay. Your body and mind will thank you!
So happy to be writing blog posts again - and thought diving into this subject of pre-partum depression was a good start. Both for me for “closure” on this time period.. and hopefully for any reader who has experienced this or possible COULD experience this.
Would love to hear your experiences and what helped YOU feel better! Comment below, or as always send me a DM on Instagram!