I’m getting the experts in!

by Renee Greenland

Last year, when I was diagnosed with depression, I started this blog and the private support group. I didn’t really know how it would help people. But soon enough I had mums in the group thanking me for providing this forum. I had husbands private messaging me saying thanks too. I couldn’t believe what I had created . . . all from a truly sucky time of my life!

At first, writing and creating the blog felt therapeutic for me. Sharing my story of depression . . what it felt like, the struggles, the crazy pills, trying to get through the days . . . helped me to work out what was going in my head.

Then the more I shared my story, and the blog, the more mums I came across who were feeling the same way. We were ‘depressed’, we felt isolated, we were on different types and doses of anti-depressants, we didn’t like how motherhood was going for us, sex was a chore . . . if we were having it at all.

There was so much going on in our heads that we didn’t feel like we could tell our partners or family about it. As mums we’re just supposed to get on with it. Being a mum isn’t easy. Deal with it.

The mums of the private facebook group needed more

The private group was, and still is, an amazing place for us to all rant, share, ask for advice and support each other. I’m truly humbled by how the group is going.

As we got to know each other in the group and as my experience of depression developed, I wanted to do more to help these new friends. But I felt like I wasn’t the right person to do so.

I’m no expert!

My situation is different. What’s worked for me to get off the crazy pills, won’t work for everyone. But it breaks my heart, reading posts from the incredible woman, struggling to get access to care through the medical system. Or not having the resources they need to get to a place of feeling less guilty, less overwhelmed, less of a burden etc.

I decided to use what I had, to try and do more

What did I have? I had connections through the years of networking I did as a graphic designer – before I had kids obviously. I knew people who could help. I knew what I needed help with and I had an idea what other mums were struggling with, so I asked qualified friends and colleagues for their time and knowledge. They said yes, without question, and so the first workshop series was born.

Why did I choose these topics?

Food & Mood with Dr Julie Bhosale

I’ve been doing a bit of reading into depression – I’m a bit of a researcher! And with all that’s going around on social media, and media in general, about how food or nutrition, plays a huge role in our wellbeing. The studies into the relationship and link between gut and mental health is massive right now.

There’s also conversations in the group between mums about their tummy issues. So IBS and leaky gut etc. Not to mention all the talk of sugar and it’s impact on our health.

So I knew I wanted someone to talk about food and how it affects mood. Even from my own experience of cutting refined sugar from my ‘diet’, I knew this was an important topic.

I asked Dr Julie Bhosale because we’ve worked together before. I actually attended one of her sugar workshops. I walked out of that workshop with SO much more knowledge and thinking, ‘This needs to be taught in schools!’ We need to know how food and our bodies work together. And how to use fuel as food. Rather than an emotional support mechanism 🙂 That’s me!

I don’t know about you but food is always on my mind. With meal planning every week (I have a fussy eater so this is such a chore . . . coming up with meals that will actually get eaten), lunch boxes to make, are the boys eating too much sugar etc.

I’d love to feel more confident and empowered when it comes to food. How it affects my mood (and body) and have ideas on easy changes I can make around what I’m putting in my mouth, to ultimately feel better.

Stress Less with Lauren Parsons

I know stress was a HUGE contributor to my depression. So much so that I closed one of my businesses and cut down on my graphic design workload. I also had mums in the private group asking for help with stress management. So I knew this was an issue that we needed help with.

I think it’s a given, these days, that mums do A LOT! And a lot for everyone else and not enough for themselves. But that to-do list of being a mum is hardly going to disappear overnight. Washing, groceries, lunches etc.

I’ve been friends with, and following Lauren, for awhile now and I love her ‘snack size’ approach to health and wellbeing. So I knew she had to be the guest expert for this topic. Because the last thing we need is a longer to-do list.

Depression and Our Kids with Sonia Doulton

I remember when I first started the private group. A new member joined and one of the first things she asked for was having some help or advice on how our depressive moods and behaviour affect our kids. With what we’re going through, how we are dealing with our depression, will that lead to our kids having a similar experience. Or will it scar them long term?

I know it’s hard when you’re in it – the depression – that it’s easy to take things out on the kids. You’re struggling to get through the day and then you have kids that demand so much of your time and energy.

I can’t wait to hear Sonia’s advice and tips with this! I watched an interview with Mike King and I came away knowing I need to change the way I talk to my boys. For their future benefit . . . I hate thinking that my words can lead to their internal chatter which will affect them when they’re older.

Check out the Sunday interview with Mike King here!

The Benefits of These Workshops

  1. These workshops will be held online. I don’t know about you but once the kids are in bed, the last thing I feel like doing is leaving the house. Plus it’s too bloody cold to go out in the evenings!
    And the bonus of them being online is that you’ll have access to the replays. So if you can’t make it on the night, or you need to re-watch it for clarification, you’ll have access to it later on.
  2. You’ll get the chance to ask the experts questions. I think this is a HUGE plus! It’s unlikely I’d make a one-on-one appointment with these experts. So having the opportunity to ask questions directly, to people who know what the hell they are talking about, is pure gold. And remember . . . there’s no such thing as a silly question!
    When we had an expert session with a sex therapist inside the private group, a few people had the courage to ask questions. The other mums who couldn’t make the live session, or didn’t have the confidence to ask, were so grateful for those questions being asked. They wanted to know the same thing.
  3. Value for money! You get access to an expert for an hour or so without paying huge dollars. Now that’s not to say that we don’t value our experts – we definitely do 🙂 But I’m hoping at $17 a session, most mums can afford to join us and get real benefit from the workshops.

Come join us

So if you want to feel happy, full of energy and enjoying life with your family, get yourself a ticket to at least one of these workshops.

I’d love for you to come away from each workshop with at least one action, or change, you can make straight away. Just one thing to get you on the path to a better you!

From my own experience, it was small and manageable changes that led to me being able to quit my crazy pills. Now things definitely aren’t perfect for me. I’m still making changes, still conscious of how much I commit to, still just taking it one step at a time. But I haven’t felt this good for what feels like ages. I want you to feel this too and I hope these workshops will help to do so.

I hope you’ll join us. I truly do!

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