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I have been dealing with heightened anxiety and depression since Shepherd was born. I believe I’ve probably always dealt with these things but certain life circumstances or situations really bring them to the light and amplify them. Here are two things that have helped me lately:
- Stopped drinking alcohol almost entirely.
- Started taking St. John’s Wort.
So thing number one on this list: drinking. After not having a drink for 9+ months, I found myself wanting to occasionally have one or two. Fine, no big deal. But I also found that I was reaching for alcohol to help ease my anxiety. To help ease the stress of having a difficult infant or to help calm me while navigating our life with not one but two kids. But, to no one’s surprise, it did not help with those things. Alcohol actually made it worse. Alcohol is a depressant after all so it is counterintuitive to think that it would lift my spirits much. And I’m not talking about a lot of drinks, I’m talking a noticeable difference after having one drink. I was more irritable even though I desperately wanted it to help calm me. I was more anxious even though I desperately wanted to be more zen. So during my difficult times I’ve been having, I’ve been deep in prayer and I had a moment of clarity (that can only come from God because my mind is never that clear ha) and I lost any interest in using alcohol as a crutch. Halleluiah! Alcohol, during this time in my life, does not benefit me. And if I’m being honest, it probably never has. I’ve had sip of drinks (wines I love or a seasonal beer) but I don’t care to have much more than that right now. The freedom I feel with that is incredible. And again, only can thank God for this.
And now for number two: St. John’s Wort. SJW is a supplement that a coworker of Jeff’s recommended that helped for her. After doing some research and talking to my doctor (as well as Shep’s since I’m still breastfeeding), I decided it didn’t hurt anything but my pocketbook to try. I started with one 300mg capsule each day and within a week I noticed a difference. I didn’t feel like I was ‘on’ anything but rather just felt back to my norm. Similar to how I felt when I was taking CBD (which I don’t feel comfortable taking while breastfeeding). It’s made a huge difference.
I’m doing plenty of other things to help with my mental health but these two things have been true game changers for me and so I wanted to share. Wherever you are on your health journey, keep going. Keep trying new things. Pray about it. Know you can always reach out to me for support.