Lots of things change when you have a baby. Many changes are positive and enrich your life – feeling happy and content, enjoying the hugs, and daily joys of having your baby. But, there may also be times when you feel exhausted, stressed and out of balance in key areas of your life. These may include:

Wanting to be positive and in control, but at times it seems the opposite and you can feel over-whelmed, experience low confidence, low mood and/or feeling lonely.

Does any of that sound familiar? If so, take a look at a typical a typical situation in more detail and see how it can impact on how we feel and what we do.

Situation: New baby in the family

Thoughts – “I feel exhausted”, “I can’t get to the shops”, “I don’t know how I’m going to manage everything”.

Feelings – Scared, Anxious, Frustrated.

Physical feelings – Exhausted, Tense, Pain.

Behaviours – Not sleeping enough, worrying, taking care of baby and others, putting oneself last, tearful and avoiding others.

The online courses in the Enjoy Series aim to help you to work out what’s going on- why you feel as you do and how to make small changes by using a Vicious Cycle model.

The vicious cycle is a way of understanding how the way we think affects how we feel and the worse we feel the less we do and the less we do the worse we feel. The good news is it can also spin the other way and become a virtuous cycle, if you know how and you can learn how to build in time to relieve tension, focus on self-healing and, self-care?

You’ll be able to use colourful and practical worksheets such as this colourful worksheet here to help you to understand your thoughts, feelings, how this physically affects your body, and how this all adds up to affect your behaviour. The courses then suggest a range of changes you can make to change your life and improve your relationship with your child.

By using the Five Areas Assessment TM  you can start to notice if there is a vicious cycle spinning and this will help you target those areas that you’d like to change. The Enjoy Your Baby resources and book teaches 15 changes you can do to help you feel better. These resources are free to access if you work or live in Greater Manchester.

Have a look at some examples below.

Steps to feeling relaxed: Change 3 – Learn how to take a break – when you feel stress rising, take a step back, pause, drop your shoulders down (they tend to rise up towards your ears if you get tense) – and breath normal calm breaths. You can build on this using our free MP3 relaxation downloads as part of the Living Life to the Full course at www.gmlifeskills.com it only takes 5 -7 mins of tension control that may work for you. 

Make space for You: Change 7 – Learn how to plan some time (even when you have a lot to do) to be good to yourself, if your feeling happier most likely baby will be too. Choose something that you enjoy, maybe read a chapter of a book or magazine, watch your favourite show. Plan it for a time when your baby is likely to be napping, or at nursery or with a friend or relative. Or get your friends round for a catch up – whatever works as a good starting point for you and your family. 

Making space for positive thoughts : Change 10 – Learn how to work out what’s going on. When you’re feeling low, the way you think can make you feel worse. You may beat yourself up with self critical talk. You’re not good enough or maybe you think others think badly of you. This is what we call unhelpful thoughts, because they’re not helpful and can affect what you do in ways that make things even worse. Have a look at our Amazing Unhelpful Thought Busting Programme (AUTBP) for a great way to respond when unhelpful thoughts crowd into your mind.  

More on the LLTTFTM Enjoy Series Resources

Having a baby and helping them grow up in the early years can be both a happy time, but also challenging, with issues like the Baby Blues, as well as the stress of having a newborn baby or toddler. In the Living Life to the FullTM  Series we have developed 3 courses that help parents to build a secure foundation from the very beginning. 

The three courses cover the formative years of a child’s development- helping both the child and parents to enjoy each other. These life skills courses aim to teach how to build the relationship and have fun together, coupled with tried and tested strategies based on the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach. 

Enjoy Your Bump – This resource will be available soon.

Your relationship with your child starts even before they are born. This online self-led course aims to teach how to get prepared emotionally for the birth, build your own resilience, and improve your mood.

Enjoy Your Baby – This resource and support is available now. 

Having a baby can be a joyful but challenging time for new parents. EYB teaches key life skills that can make a difference. Discover why you feel as you do, as well as increase your sense of closeness and fun with your baby. 

Enjoy Your Infant – Not included at this time but may become available at a future date.

Enjoy your Infant is designed to help parents during the toddler years as their baby starts to assert their own views and independence. This online self-led course aims to help parents to learn how to understand their infants (and their own reactions) and respond in ways that help teach your toddler a language for their feelings. 

These web courses start from the beginning of the parenthood journey to the toddler years. You may be considering doing this course because you want to make changes about how you feel and have doubts about your ability to be a good enough parent. 

To access our Enjoy Series Courses and online self-directed resources visit www.gmlifeskills.com