Postpartum depression affects many women after they give birth in more ways than one. As if new motherhood wasn’t difficult enough without the added stress of mood challenges, insomnia, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. There are many natural remedies which have been found helpful and lifting to new mama’s experiencing postpartum depression including the use of color therapy.
Color therapy, though recently honed in on as a particular type of therapy utilizing light rays, crystals and vibrations, has been around since time began. Think about the simple act of walking outside into a green meadow surrounded by pine trees or staring into the deep blue ocean. Certain colors absolutely invoke different experiences in the mind and emotions and often times we are craving a ‘change in color’ without even knowing it.
The Chinese art of Feng Shui utilizes colors greatly in reorganizing homes and business spaces to facilitate a better flow of energy, mood and abundance. Just by the simple act of putting on a colored shirt or painting a wall something new can create an entirely new feel and change ones state of mind.
Advertisers have known this trick and psychology of color for decades, specifically designing ads and billboards, buildings and magazines by certain color schemes in order to provoke certain emotions and buying impulses in shoppers. There is no arguing color changes everything. Just watch your mood change as gray clouds move away and the bright yellow light of the sun takes its place.
As in all of these scenarios, color can provide uplifting relief to mothers dealing with postpartum depression. It may not be a cure-all, but it is a definite consideration in arranging rooms, choosing clothes and fabrics and picking food items which can support a healthy state of mind during the very vulnerable time after childbirth. Giving birth means a quick and drastic change in the entire chemical and hormonal make up of the body. This can be smooth and easy, or incredibly disrupting, depending on the circumstance and the woman.
Color therapy is an easy way to begin shifting things for those experiencing depression. The first step is to notice what the over-riding emotions and symptoms are which accompany the depression. Yellow can be a great color to incorporate for lifting the spirits and even catalyzing hormonal balance in the body. This could mean the simple act of adding yellow foods more prominently in your diet like bananas, pineapple, cheese, mangos, lemons and yellow squash. More time in the sun, if possible, amps up the yellow reserves and any interaction with yellow will inspire more joy, laughter and lightness of spirit.
Blues and violets can have a calming influence on the mind and body and can help if anxiety accompanies the depression – often due to worry that enough care is not being shown the new infant. Blue lights can replace white in the bedroom and a violet or purple drape or bedspread could be used in the mother’s room. Try lighting some blue and purple candles or introducing a simple strip of purple fabric into the room or on the wall most noticed. Eat more blackberries, eggplant and blueberries for a color boost from the inside out.
Green is a healing color, affecting the heart and immune system most of all. Spending time in nature, if possible, or bringing in some green plants can be incredibly healing and uplifting. There are also some companies which create color therapy baths – available in all the colors of the rainbow. It is quite an extraordinary experience bathing in green, orange or purple water. Green stimulates the self-love response and can help one to feel grounded and cared for. Adding a salad, or preparing a ‘green drink’ can help to facilitate the application of the color green.
Pink can be another beautiful one for new mothers to try as pink is another color that feeds the heart and emotional body. Pink is often associated with what is known as the ‘high heart’ in yoga, and correlates, like green, with the immune system. In color healing sessions, when one emotion is released from the body, it is common practice to replace it with pink light – as a soothing ‘filler’ for what has left. In the instance of postpartum, there is clearly a void that needs filling after spending nine, almost ten months growing a new life and now finding yourself literally ’empty’ inside. Pink can soften the shift and fill the mind and heart with a sense of security and comfort. Try pink fabrics, roses, light pink juices and rose water spritzed around the room.
Color is an intricate part of life. Too often we spend most of our days within white walls or staring at the same shades and structures day in and day out. For a new mother, moods are especially sensitive and can be soothed and enhanced with the assistance of color. Every woman’s case is different, some extremely severe where more intense measures need to be taken, but color adjustments in the home and in the body can have a profound effect. It is very possible that milder cases of postpartum depression can be completely lifted with the simple act of adding color. For others, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Written by: Stasia Bliss