Baby's First Year · Emotional Health · Parenting

I just survived my baby’s first holiday season…now what?

Mother and her newborn in park

As a Public Health Nurse working with new families, and a mom myself, I know how busy, exciting, and stressful the holiday season can be…especially when there is a new baby on the scene!   Once all the festivities have ended and family & friends have returned to their normal schedules, new parents often fall prey to the “Winter blahs“.

Days are colder, darker, and we may find ourselves actually missing the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring.  Depression tends to get worse in the winter months.

Here are some tips to help battle those “Winter blahs”:

  • Lights and tunes – our bodies crave daylight, which is harder to get in the dead of winter. Open up blinds, sit in the sunshine by a window, and turn lights on before it gets dark outside.  Listening to upbeat music can improve your mood, so go ahead and pump up the volume…your baby will enjoy it too!
  • Get outside – it’s not easy convincing yourself to bundle up and get out when it’s cold and snowy, but there are benefits to you and your baby! Outdoor time can improve focus and lower your stress level.  Take note of how you feel after a brisk walk outdoors and this may encourage you to brave our cold Canadian winter regularly.
  • Socialize – try to schedule regular contact with a friend or family member, both face to face and on the phone. Aim for 1 social activity per week.  This will help you feel connected and less lonely.
  • One positive moment – Every day think of one positive thing you are grateful for, and it may be as simple as “I’m grateful for getting a warm shower today”, or “I’m grateful for making myself a healthy snack”.

Go easy on yourself and use the supports around you

Consult your physician or contact Toronto Public Health if you experience sadness or depression for longer than 2 weeks.  You can call us (416) 338-7600 or chat with us online.

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