I want to talk about joy and happiness. I love feeling joyful and happy! Doesn’t everyone? Why do we make things so hard on ourselves?
I have decided to have a new outlook on life. Instead of focusing on how life can be unfair, hard, depressing, and sometimes boring; I have decided to make the most of every day. To wake up with the intent of helping those around me. Treating my husband with respect, love, and kindness. Teaching my child new and exciting things about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the world around him. I want to live knowing that I have made a difference in my family’s life.
Being joyful includes 3 main topics. Jesus “J”, Others “O”, and Yourself “Y”.
For those of you who may not be as religious as me, or religious at all, think of ‘J’ as in Journey. There is a journey in life for everyone. We will not always know the big picture, and may only have a few pieces of our puzzle. There is a path in life for all to carve and follow. By confiding in ourselves and those around us, we can be blessed with Joy and Happiness.
As we put our faith in Jesus Christ, the world around us will seem brighter and our worries will fade. I believe that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can feel comfort in our times of need, solace from our sins, and happiness in our hearts. Putting Christ first in our lives will help us see others that need help. I believe having selfless love for those around us is important. We all come to this earth the same way, but are all put in different situations and circumstances. Being able to connect with and help those around us is a great way of serving the Lord and discovering more about our true potential.
Thinking of others before myself is something I didn’t know I struggled with until I had post-partum depression after my son was born.
It was on my darkest days of loneliness and sadness, when my husband taught me that I needed to start thinking more about the people around me and less about myself.
This seemed quite silly in the beginning. Shouldn’t I be focusing on the depression and how to get rid of it? My husband, bless his heart, told me I should do one nice thing a day for the people that I love.
Wasn’t I already doing enough? I was taking care of our baby 24/7. I did the laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, and I was up part of the nights with an acid reflux baby.
I told him to hit the road! I was the one feeling left out of my family, like my load was too full, and I could feel my testimony slowly diminishing.
Despite how I felt, I started writing a note for my husband every day. Reminding him of how much I love and appreciate him in my life. I would tape them to his lunch containers, or hide them on his pillow. After a while I started getting excited to write them! I even got creative with my rhyming skills!
After a couple days I started feeling less stressed. It only took a couple days! Now, I have less stress when the house isn’t ‘perfectly clean’. I may not write the notes as often, but I feel more love and affection towards my husband. As for my son, I would try to think of one happy thing that happened each day and write it down in my notebook. I often felt that days and weeks would go by and everyday was just as challenging as the last. But once I started recognizing the good that was happening, I could feel happiness again amidst the stress. I felt more love and affection towards my little baby.
As I focused on others, I discovered that my depression had a lot to do with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It had turned me into the queen of perfection. Everything had to be done my way, or the highway. This made it impossible for Mike to help with anything because it was never good enough. Letting go of my idea of being right and every other way was wrong, helped Mike and I to become closer as parents and work in unison.
Last, but certainly not the least, we need to focus on ourselves. Maintaining physical, mental, and emotional balance is an important life skill. One I will forever be trying to master. To continue with my story, I went online and signed up for some Mom and Baby classes. I picked 2 different ones and started attending them shortly after.
I took the bus most days and had lots of thinking time while Beckett slept. Attending these classes helped me learn how to better connect with and teach my baby. I learned more about myself and how to rekindle my identity.
One of the classes was a Baby Sign Language course. I focused on my own skills of learning a new language and being able to teach it to my son. The other class taught me how important my mental health is, and how we often forget to take care of ourselves. The simple everyday things like brushing our teeth, showering, and even eating, can seem like the hardest tasks to remember to do.
As I made time for myself, I felt happier. I would start a routine when I woke up by changing into a new set of clothes for the day. PAJAMA DAYS WERE OVER! This started the day with a fresh attitude and an open mind.
Fast forward a few months and I can proudly say that I do not feel depressed nearly as often as before. I may have a ‘bluesy’ day once every few weeks, compared to almost every day.
I want to challenge you to do 1 thing a day to help yourself feel happier. And in return, you will be blessing the lives of those around you.
Taking time to relax and remember all the fun and important things we do everyday, will help us to feel the joy and happiness in life. This life is meant for us to develop character, learn more about ourselves and the world around us, to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and develop a relationship with him.
Post-partum depression is a real thing. It is serious, and I want you to know that you are not alone. Please reach out to those around you and confide in them. There are public resources that can help struggling moms as well.
Please ask me any questions any time about my experience with post-partum depression.