Kristine was struggling. A while after she had her second son she started not wanting to be around her older son. It was a terrible feeling and she knew she needed help overcoming it. She saw her family doctor who said this was likely a post partum feeling from her first pregnancy and put her on medication. Then she developed anxiety which hit her really hard. She didn’t want to leave the house. The kids became her safe zone and the only way she would leave the house was with her kids. At this point her doctor suggested that meds cannot fix this, she needed to talk to someone and was sent to a RDPCN Mental Health Counsellor.
The counsellor provided Kristine with lots of resources. They started with breathing exercises. Kristine would set a timer on her phone at least 15 times per day to remind her to stop and take deep breaths. The counsellor and Kristine had practiced over the phone to ensure Kristine knew the technique. This really helped. Kristine states “When I was anxious I would forget to breathe. My breaths were very shallow.” The counsellor also encouraged that she takes time for herself through activities such as yoga or baths. She also encouraged her to change her outlook by thinking of the positive things about going out by herself and having a break from her kids. This really helped her to think of this as a fun outing instead of a scary have to do. Reflecting on the information she learned about anxiety, Kristine thinks she has had anxiety all of her life.
Kristine started a Facebook nutrition challenge in January where healthy eating, exercise, drinking water and other healthy habits were presented in a fun and competitive way. As these are all aspects of self care, they have been very positive for Kristine. Her husband stated between the counsellor and the challenge I can see the light back in your eyes. Kristine’s relationship with her older son is much improved. He spent some play time with relatives where he received their undivided attention. He also started school which absorbs some of his endless energy. These changes along with Kristine’s healing have made a big difference.
Overall Kristine feels much more hopeful, healthier and that she is a better mom. She feels she has come through the darkness to enjoy her life and family.