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Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

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    No matter your age, parenthood is one of the most challenging parts of life you can go through – from a physical, emotional, mental, and even financial point of view. There is the pressure of being a good parent to deal with, not to mention the ever-present lack of sleep and alone time, plus the constant demands for your attention and money, bodily changes for many mothers to adjust to, as well as the potential for post-natal depression.

    All in all, it’s no wonder that many parents start to suffer from depression due to the variety of pressures they’re under. Some parents also struggle with additional mental health issues, such as personality disorders or addictions (variously known as having a co-occurring mental health disorder, or being dually disordered), which makes life even more difficult.

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    As a result, it is important for everyone to understand some of the most common symptoms of depression so that you can be aware of your own low mood, or notice that of your partner, loved one, or friend. Read on for some of the top signs of depression that you should be on the lookout for.

    Decreased/Enhanced Appetite or Changes in Weight

    A very common symptom that many people who are depressed experience is a change in their appetite and a corresponding weight gain or loss. If you notice that a family member or friend seems to be eating a lot more or a lot less than normal over an extended period of time, they may be suffering from depression. While of course everyone tends to have times when they don’t feel hungry or end up overindulging, a prolonged change in appetite (that lasts for a couple of weeks or more, and that potentially also leads to a rapid weight gain or loss), can be cause for concern.

    In particular, many moms tend to suffer from a loss of self-esteem after they gain weight during pregnancy and typically have less time to prepare nutritious meals or exercise once their baby has been born. They are more likely to suffer from depressive feelings and even develop eating disorders.

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    Insomnia or Fatigue

    Another very common sign of depression is a change in sleeping patterns. While obviously parents, particularly new ones, often struggle with less sleep because they are woken up by little ones, sleep disturbances can also be caused by anxiety, stress, and deeper psychological issues. Indeed, people who are suffering from depression regularly note that they are trying to deal with insomnia or that they have frequent nightmares that keep them from enjoying a proper night’s sleep.

    In addition, often when people are depressed, they end up feeling fatigued all the time, even if they get enough sleep. Depression may be to blame for lack of energy, disturbed sleeping patterns for lengthy periods of time, low moods, and other depressive signs.

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      Loss of Interest in Normal Activities

      For many people who are coping with depression, social withdrawal is a common sign that they’re suffering, as is a general loss of interest in the normal activities they enjoyed in the past. When people have been feeling down for a sustained amount of time, they often wish to steer clear of company and will avoid many of their usual activities as a result.

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      If, then, you notice that a friend or family member no longer wants to go out, attend their usual sporting events, meet contacts for regular catch-ups, or are otherwise retreating into their shell, this may be a sure sign that they are depressed. Where possible, try to encourage them to get out of the house or away from the office more, even if it is just for short periods of time. Opening the lines of communication, and providing people with a safe place to chat and otherwise feel supported can do wonders for mental health.

      Feelings of Despair

      Lastly, many parents who are struggling with depression suffer from feelings of despair, guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness. This can be triggered by the dramatic life change that occurs when people become parents or because they may be worried about being a good parent, about the family’s finances, about their body image, their career, health, or familial relationships – just to name a few things. Post-natal depression can also often cause new mothers to start exhibiting negative self-talk and a marked loss of self-esteem.

      If you hear one of your friends or family members speaking negatively about themselves on a regular basis, take note. While everyone has times of self-doubt or worry, people who are depressed often tend to focus solely on thoughts that are harmful to their self-esteem. Keep an eye out for repeated phrases such as “It’s all my fault,” “People would be better off without me,” “I’m a failure,” “I’m a terrible parent,” or “I’m worthless.”

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      Featured photo credit: shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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      Last Updated on June 24, 2019

      15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

      15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

      You work all day, and you come home exhausted and hungry. Naturally, the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. If you love cooking, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to cook every night, you can simplify your life by making crockpot freezer meals. These meals will allow you to still eat homemade, healthy, filling dinners without the countless hours and enormous effort spent in the kitchen. You can store the simple ingredients in freezer bags and put them in the crockpot when it is time for dinner, or you can cook over the weekend and stock your freezer with delicious ready meals that will make your life easier. Here are 15 easy-to-make recipes to make delicious dinners for busy nights!

      1. Cheesy Tortellini With Ground Beef

      Cheesy tortellini with ground beef

        This is a perfect crockpot freezer meal that even your kids will love. The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do is crumble some ground beef and combine all the recipe’s ingredients in your crockpot. The other ingredients needed for this super delicious meal include tomatoes, herbs, and onions. Tortellini is one of the most commonly ordered meals when eating out, but this way you will get to eat a homemade, healthier version of the popular dish. Find the recipe here.

        2. Cranberry Pork Roast

        Cranberry pork roast

          Cranberry pork roast is a gluten-free meal that everyone can make, regardless of their culinary skills. The dish requires only these few ingredients: onion, cranberry sauce, bone-in pork shoulder, and honey. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, simply combine all the ingredients together in the crockpot and let them cook. If you don’t like pork or if you prefer not to eat it, you can easily use beef as a substitute without impacting the flavor. Click here to see the recipe.

          3. Greens and Beans

          Greens and beans

            Greens and beans are the ideal dishes if you want a dish that is both delicious and nutrient-dense. Combine vegetable broth with beans, garlic, kale, escalore, and Parmesan, and let cook. The result will be a dish with a soup-like consistency that will fill you up and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

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            As a bonus, if you or someone else in your family suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or some other common types of arthritis, greens and beans can reduce the inflammation. That’s because kale and other veggies rich in Vitamin K are anti-inflammatory and are known for relieving arthritis. Click here and start cooking!

            4. Chicken Curry

            Chicken curry

              That is yet another gluten-free recipe that you’ll love to make. Chicken curry requires basic ingredients such as tomato paste, coconut milk, honey, onions, and garlic, in addition to chicken and curry of course.The result is a sweet and spicy dish where different flavors are perfectly balanced. Find the recipe here.

              5. Honey Sesame Chicken

              Honey sesame chicken

                Honey sesame chicken is a simple and effortless dish that delivers an amazing taste. To make this wonderful recipe, you have to combine all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and green onions and let them cook. Use the sesame seeds and green onions for garnish when serving. Click here for the full recipe.

                6. Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff

                Mushroom spinach stroganoff

                  In this warm weather, many people opt to eat lighter food that is easy on the stomach. Mushroom spinach stroganoff fits the bill being a vegetable version of a famous comfort food that you and your family will love. The dish requires simple ingredients such as sour cream, onion, garlic, ketchup, vegetables, and mushrooms. This dish is very simple to make, and thanks to your crockpot, you won’t have much work to do. Find the recipe here.

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                  7. Stuffed Peppers

                  Stuffed peppers

                    If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, and delicious recipe, you’ll love this one! These crockpot stuffed peppers are easy to make, and they require only a few ingredients such as ground turkey or beef, onion, garlic, bell peppers, and pasta sauce. This meal will remind you of grandma’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

                    8. Cilantro and Lime Chicken

                    Cilantro and lime chicken

                      Summer is the perfect season to experiment with more exotic flavors, and this meal can help you do just that. To make cilantro and lime chicken, you will need to combine some simple ingredients such as lime, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and salsa. The result is chicken that is super tender and that you’ll want to make over and over again, so get the recipe here.

                      9. Beef Fajitas

                      Beef fajitas

                        This is an excellent meal for busy weeknights. The best thing about this recipe is that the required ingredients are probably already there in your kitchen. The recipe is also quite simple — combine all the items in a crockpot, cover, and let cook.

                        The result will be beef and peppers that melt in your mouth. You can easily pair this beef fajita with rice and tortillas and get a meal that the entire family will love. You can find the recipe for this delicious beef fajita here.

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                        10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                        Asian chicken lettuce wraps

                          Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, slightly salty and very easy to make. All you need to do is add the chicken, red bell pepper, carrots, soy sauce, honey, garlic and the other ingredients to your crockpot and let them cook. You can also replace the chicken with beef or turkey if you like. The presence of different flavors gives this meal a summer flavor you are sure to love. Learn how to make this meal here.

                          11. Hawaiian Chicken

                          Hawaiian chicken

                            This dish enjoys phenomenal exotic tones due to pineapple and lemon flavors. To make this yummy crockpot freezer meal, you need skinless chicken breasts, peppers, ginger and corn starch, in addition to the iconic pineapple and lemon. Learn how to make this perfect summer dinner here.

                            12. Beef and Barley Stew

                            Beef and barley stewd

                              Beef and barley stew is as healthy as it is delicious. Not to mention it’s incredibly easy to make. Besides the beef and barley, you’ll also need carrots, peppers, herbs and beef broth. The result will be a mouthwatering stew that you can serve alone or over white rice. Get the recipe here.

                              13. Meatball Soup

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                              Meatball soup

                                This soup is very delicious, easy to make and quite versatile. You will be able to swap ingredients and experiment to find your perfect combination. To make this meatball soup, you will need to combine meatballs with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, beans, zucchini, and onion. You can view the recipe here.

                                14. Turkey Black Bean Chili

                                Turkey black bean chili

                                  Everybody loves chili and for good reason — it’s very delicious, and it’s a perfect combination of different flavors that balance each other out. To make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, tomato sauce, black beans, paprika, frozen corns, and a few other ingredients. You can get the full recipe here and have this delicious dish ready when you come back from work on those busy nights.

                                  15. Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

                                  Ham and pinto bean soup

                                    What makes soups special is the fact they’re tasty, healthy and filling at the same time. This soup is no exception. The best quality of this ham and pinto bean soup, however, is its simplicity; it requires only five ingredients: ham, beans, ketchup, salt, and water. Learn how to make this soup here.

                                    Conclusion

                                    With a demanding work week and a busy schedule, it’s normal to have a low energy level by the time you get home. If you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen and cooking dinner due to this, you don’t have to resort to junk food. These freezer crockpot meals offer you the perfect solution for healthy meals that require minimal preparation. You can either combine each recipe’s ingredients in a freezer bag to be thawed and cooked in a few minutes, or you can cook your meal and freeze it to be used later, it’s up to you.

                                    This article showed you 15 easy and simple recipes that you can make using your crockpot. All of these recipes contain anti-inflammatory foods whether it is in the form of vegetable, herbs or spices to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

                                    Featured photo credit: Google via bettycrocker.com

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