When You're Blue...
Who doesn't feel down now and again? Break out of a temporary slump with these blues busters. (Of course, if you consistently feel disinterested in your baby or in your normal activities, talk to your doctor; these can be signs of postpartum depression.)
Don't be a martyr Ranking your needs (eating, bathroom breaks, reading) below everyone else's is bound to wear you down. "It's hard to take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself," says Huber.
Loosen up "Rigidity will get you nowhere but frustrated," Farrell says. Schedules help provide structure to your day, but if you really need a break, don't let a routine stand in the way of just sitting by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate.
Plan a naptime escape "If (please, God) your colicky or cranky baby naps, don't fold laundry or change the diaper pail," says Jen Singer, author of 14 Hours 'Til Bedtime. "Put your feet up on the couch and watch television or read a book that has no pictures in it." Doing something that's not baby-related will help to boost your spirits.
Spread some "eau de joy" Studies show the scent of baby powder induces happiness, says Alan Hirsch, M.D., author of Life's a Smelling Success. No need to bury yourself in a cloud of white dust: Just a whiff will do it. Try powder-scented bath products, moisturizers, deodorant, even dryer sheets.
Turn a bad body image upside down If lingering pregnancy pounds are the source of your blues, take a brisk walk with your baby or put on some upbeat music and dance in the living room (she'll be a captive audience!). You won't budge the pudge in one exercise session, of course, but you will increase your body's levels of endorphins -- brain chemicals that induce euphoria (and that might inspire you to finally fit regular workouts into your schedule).
Indulge your vanity A study by Pantene found that 88 percent of women feel good about themselves when their hair looks the way they want. So skip the ponytail and take the time to blow-dry and style your locks.
Count your blessings Psychology professor Robert Emmons, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, found that being thankful helped reduce stress in parents of 2- to 3-month-olds, and made them feel that they had more support from their spouses. So think about something you're thankful for -- those ten little fingers and toes, perhaps? -- and chances are things will quickly go from blue to rosy.
Colleen Moriarty is the author of Shortcuts to Sexy Abs and a mother of two.