Today, we’re sharing thoughts from Emily Pardy, founder of Ready Nest Counseling in Nashville, TN. She's a licensed marriage and family therapist (one of the first in the country to be certified in perinatal mental health), a published author, speaker, educator and a Skin Pharm patient, too!
As a working mom to four rambunctious daughters, Emily strives to carve out that much-needed self-care time by coming to Skin Pharm. It’s important to her to set an example for her girls that caring well for yourself is necessary and not selfish. Her work through Ready Nest Counseling — and their incredible staff of therapists — impacts the lives of new mothers in Nashville and surrounding areas. Leading by example, Emily encourages new moms to keep their self-care a priority.
Why should we pay attention to our mental health?
We like to think of mental health as only important for those who are suffering a breakdown or mental illness. However, everyone has a brain and emotions and therefore has needs that will ebb and flow with the stressors of life. Just like a solid hygiene routine, taking time for your mental health with payoff in the preventative and restorative qualities it can offer to you andthose around you. Decreasing anxiety, increasing tools for coping and regularly maintaining time and space for clarity are all practices that every human requires, regardless of how crazy life can get!
How can we not feel like self-care is “selfish”?
This is especially challenging for mothers. It’s imbedded in our culture to define motherhood by suffering and putting ourselves last. It’s easy to keep other’s needs on our to-do lists, while our own care slips to the back-burner. I tell women every day to flip that to-do list upside down. Get the rest and nourishment you require so that you can actually be more productive in the end — and with less resentment. As we learn how to ask for help, we develop a new appreciation for how much we are all carrying in the day-to-day. Most people are feeling too busy, stretched too thin and isolated. When we turn towards help, we become vulnerable with one another and recognize we all have valid needs that require time and attention.
What does that look like in pregnancy or postpartum?
You don’t magically get more hours in the day when you become a mom! Team up with a friend to help keep you both accountable for getting the rest and time away that you need. If someone can watch your baby so you can go get a facial, then you can offer to reciprocate the next time that mom needs some free time. (Remember, a little goes a long way!)
Skin Pharm offers a wide range of safe services for the pregnant and postpartum moms out there. When you’re able to care well for the outside of your body, be sure and make the most of this time for your internal being, as well. Meditate on some positive affirmations while getting a BBL Photofacial or focus on how you feel best supported when you’re getting a Gold Infusion, for example. Combining this well-rounded integration of inner and outer beauty will help you feel confident to your core.
If someone is thinking about therapy, what can they expect?
The most common concern I hear from new moms is, “I just don’t feel like myself.” This isn’t to say they necessarily suffer from anxiety or postpartum depression. One of the best things we do at Ready Nest is to just listen to new moms and be able to assess for them the best next steps.
Not unlike a skin care routine, each individual has a variety of stressors and concerns that matter most to them. Some pregnant moms need to be reminded that they are literally growing a human and learn best from integrating new tools to help them slow down and adjust to this life phase. Other times, a new mom might need additional resources — such as a lactation consultant or pelvic floor therapist — to help alleviate some challenges.
Emotionally, we can help you identify the resources or tools that will help you make the most of this season, including relationship challenges that surface with this stage of life. We’ll match you with the Ready Nest counselor that best fits your schedule and needs, and your first session typically consists of background gathering and setting some goals. Many of our clients only need a handful of sessions to see significant progress, and many choose to continue care as needed depending on life’s journey.
It’s important to not wait for your emotional wellness to just improve “on its own.” Nearly 80% of new mothers experience baby blues, while up to 20% will go on to suffer from postpartum depression. Before waiting for the hardship to decide to get help, we’d encourage you to reach out during conception or pregnancy so you can proactively create a wellness plan. This will give you and your family the security of a plan as you navigate these milestones. You are not alone, and it’s our privilege to welcome you into a space where you can feel safe, understood and attain your wellness goals.
If you or someone you know are considering improving your emotional or relational wellness, please reach out today!