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Alternative Coping Strategies- Example Role Play

We can support new mothers to develop alternative coping strategies that can help break patterns in their depression cycle.
Were you able to try out any of your alternative coping strategies this week? Yeah. So usually, when I put Saleem down in the evenings to go to sleep, that’s when I would tidy up.
And by the time that the work is all done, that’s– I hardly get time to talk to my partner. And I think that’s the thing that I feel saddest about, because since having Saleem, we just hardly get any time to talk or spend any time together. And then this week, I decided to listen to a podcast as I typed it up while Saleem was having a nap in the afternoon. Fantastic. So was your alternative coping strategy effective? Yeah, I think it was. So normally when I leave the tidying up until later at night, by the time I’m finished, I’m just so tired that I normally just go straight to sleep.
And there’s days when I don’t even manage to get around to tidying up because I’m just so exhausted. But by changing it and doing it in the afternoon, and just having a bit of time to listen to the podcast for me, it just meant that I was able to spend time with my partner when he got home later.
No, it didn’t go very well. I started trying to tidy up, but after about 15 minutes, I just felt so tired. And I ended up sitting on the bed, and I just fell asleep. It’s really difficult because Saleem’s sleep schedule isn’t fixed, so he wakes up a lot. And it just means that, again, I just had to do all of the tidying up later at night. And it just meant I didn’t spend any time with my husband. Well, that’s OK. Why do you think this strategy didn’t work? Well, I guess I could ask my husband to help me in the kitchen when Saleem is asleep, and that might be a good time to spend together.
It would also mean that I wouldn’t have to be doing everything myself. That’s great. So why do you think this strategy could work? Well, I think my partner wouldn’t mind helping me. I don’t ask him because he leaves for work early. And by the time he comes home, he’s really tired. But I’m sure if I did ask him, he would help me. And he would want to spend time with me as well, which if he helped me, we could do that. So other times, it might feel like it can be impossible to find pleasure or satisfaction in the whirlwind of tasks that surround you with a new baby.
Moms often talk about how their previously enjoyed tasks have just gone out the window. And these are still worthy thing to strive for. But as you’re going about your day-to-day tasks, just try to pause and notice the little opportunities for pleasure. And that can make a difference.

Previously we talked about alternative coping strategies. In this video you will see a conversation between the therapist and Tamala, as Tamala discusses how she attempted to change her TRAP into a TRAC, and discussed an alternative coping strategy that she used.

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Addressing Postnatal Depression as a Healthcare Professional

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