Baby Blues: 10 Pick-Me-Ups That Help Me Cope With PPD

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Baby Blues is a column about raising my daughter in the windstorm of postpartum depression. Though discussing the dark spots of postpartum depression, I also share my successes.

I’m no doctor, but through my experiences with depression — both the standard, Depression 1.0 and the upgraded postpartum kind — I’ve learned quite a bit about coping. I might even consider myself professionally depressed, as I’ve been doing it now for about 10 years! (Where’s my honorary degree? Trophy? I’d settle for a gold star).

If you’re going through the “baby blues,” or just have depression minus the colicky offspring, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of more advice than you ever wanted. I know I heard my fair share of phrases like “it’ll get easier” or “chin up!” or, the absolute worst for new mothers, “but doesn’t the joy of your lovely baby make all the bad things worthwhile?”

Um, no, it doesn’t. If it did, I wouldn’t be depressed. Dumbass.

In no way is this medical advice. These are 10 of the pick-me-ups that actually made a difference in the way I felt during those first few dark, difficult weeks. They didn’t work like some instant wonder drug, but they did a whole lot more for me than the words of wisdom from well meaning but oblivious loved ones. In fact, I still employ these feel-good activities now, a year and a half after my initial bout of baby blues.