Hi Rachel! Thank you for sharing your experience with us! It’s clear that your writing has already helped many women – what kind of feedback have you received regarding your blog about postnatal anxiety?
I have received some really lovely feedback. As we know, post natal anxiety and depression can still be a taboo subject so I think people are grateful to read about other peoples experiences. I know I am. I hope that people in the same position as me can take some comfort knowing they aren’t alone as it can all feel so isolating.
I’m a big advocate of meditation as a way of combating anxiety. Can you recommend any specific guided relaxation recordings to our readers?
I use the meditation recordings that came with the Charles Linden method pack that I used in the first stages of recovery. Those worked really well for me and I would really recommend his programme. I use a lot of relaxing music that is on YouTube too to help me to get to sleep.
You write that you like to log off from social media sites one night a week, how does it make you feel to do this?
As I am a blogger removing yourself from the Internet can be quite daunting, even before I blogged I think I would have found it a bit strange! However, it is really refreshing and helps to clear my mind a lot. I find if I look at social media before sleep that can also hinder a good night’s sleep. As I say, it is a bit strange but I would highly recommend.
What kind of negative impact do you think social media has on those suffering from anxiety, particularly postnatal anxiety?
I think social media can be great for people suffering from post natal anxiety because if you can find other people in the same position it can really help to feel less alone. There is a big ‘but’ though. When you log onto social media and are met with a feed full of perfect family photos, tantrum-less toddlers, blissful sleeping babies and happy smiley made up mums it can really get to you and I know it made me wonder what I was doing wrong and why we didn’t look like that on a daily basis. The important thing to remember is these photos are a tiny snapshot of someone’s day. That toddler could have had a complete melt down straight after the photo, that baby could have only been asleep for 5 minutes and that mum, well it’s probably 2 in the afternoon and she’s only just managed to shower. She’s probably put make up on to help her feel normal. Photos are a great way of catching memories and we all like to put them on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages but we must never compare ourselves with these photos as they are not an accurate picture of parenthood.
Your “Recipe for Relaxation” sounds very similar to mine. How can our readers go about establishing their own “Rachel Night”?
Do what makes you happy. Forget what you think you should be doing or what other people tell you. If you enjoy reading, pick up a book. If you enjoy a bath, run one. Find that little bit of time for yourself each week and it really will help you relax and dampen the anxious thoughts.
And finally, tell us, what’s your favourite treat?
I think it would have to be, a relaxing night in my bedroom reading a good book with some chocolate. You can’t beat it.
Thank you Rachel for sharing your experience with us, and also some words of wisdom for our readers. Now, I’m off to find some choc… 🙂
Check out Rachel’s blog for more advice concerning postnatal anxiety: http://www.mummyintraining.co.uk
And for more information about perinatal illness, please take a look at the PANDAS website: http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk