Can Minimalism Help with Postpartum Depression?
Can minimalism help when you have postpartum depression (PPD)? I think so, and here's my story.
It had been a rough day. I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Everywhere I turned, I saw unfinished chores. Loads of laundry still in the basket, dirty dishes in the sink. Toys on the floor. All I really wanted at that moment was to take a long nap. My postpartum depression was draining, and my possessions were making it worse.
In the throes of postpartum depression, I struggled a lot with low energy. Simply getting through the day was taking everything I had. There was nothing left over for organizing or cleaning. I realized that if I couldn't magically get more stamina, my only option was to reduce the amount of energy it took to get through the day. That's when I started on my minimalism journey.
Minimalism Frees Up Energy that PPD Takes Away
Minimalism left me with more energy to use than I'd had before. It started with small things. I threw away random cords to electronics that no longer worked. I got rid of old CDs and books that we'd never read. Then I got more ambitious. I started going through my closet and taking out clothes that didn't fit. I started paring down the kitchen. I got rid of the toaster. Our possessions were slowly becoming less draining.
Of course, children come with a lot of stuff. Even the most minimalist parents need things for a baby like diapers, clothes, lots of towels, burp cloths, etc. Babies are messy. I started to notice, however, that taking care of my kids' things was becoming easier. There weren't as many toys to organize. I didn't get stressed looking in the closet. I could breathe a little.
I realized that decluttering and adopting minimalism was helping me regain some control. I started to feel like I had space to think and plan. I had time to rest. The to-do list was shrinking, and so was the energy required to function. Minimalist living was giving me the wiggle room I needed to function with postpartum depression.
Prioritize People Over Objects
I still practice intentionality with new purchases and make frequent donations to our community rummage sale. Rather than spending time taking care of objects, I can focus on taking care of people. I find that by weeding out everything that no longer holds value, I can focus on the most important parts of life.
Everyone has a unique journey. Postpartum depression can manifest itself differently. Your energy may be stable. If you are dealing with debilitating exhaustion, however, you may find that minimizing clutter can free up some headspace. You may find a little more time to take care of yourself and others. You may find a little more peace and a little more rest. After all, things can be replaced. People are irreplaceable.
Epperson, K. (2021, April 8). Can Minimalism Help with Postpartum Depression?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, July 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2021/4/can-minimalism-help-with-postpartum-depression