I was definitely a nervous first-time mom when I had my daughter two years ago. I was constantly worrying if I was doing the right things to keep her safe and happy. I worried when she cried and I couldn't figure out why. I worried if I was producing enough milk or if she was safe in her crib. But I didn't think too much of it until I found myself hovering over her crib while she slept to make sure she was breathing. I had expected my anxiety to pass once I got the hang of this whole mom thing. But as the months passed by, it got worse. I had no idea that this wasn't normal. I addressed my anxiety when I realized it was a problem for me, and recently, having gotten things under control, decided to try healing crystals as a way to treat my anxiety.
Postpartum Anxiety Versus Normal Anxiety
Postpartum anxiety (PPA) is a real issue for many moms, and one that new moms often aren't advised to look out for, though they usually get a crash course on the "baby blues" and postpartum depression before leaving the hospital. I actually had no idea about PPA until I started researching my symptoms recently. It is quite prevalent — 4.4 to 10.8 percent of new moms experience PPA, according to the Journal of Women's Health. To determine whether you are experiencing "normal anxiety" or generalized anxiety disorder, you of course need to speak to your doctor, and seek treatment if necessary. We also need to talk about anxiety more as mothers.
We're still living with this idea that anxiety goes hand in hand with motherhood, a reason postpartum anxiety is often overlooked. I was told that anxiety was just a normal part of being a mom by my doctors, friends and family. Whenever I'd express my constant state of panic and worry, other moms would say it was normal. They'd say it was normal for moms to be concerned about their children. But constantly worrying or overthinking isn't normal, especially about things I had no control over. It is a condition that can affect mothers and their babies, and deserves proper medical care.
Assuming you don't have PPA, but rather a low-grade nonclinical anxiety, one of the more novel "treatments" — and an approach that is certainly not advocated by medical professionals! — is the use of healing crystals. A few moms in my circle swear by them and, if you remember, not too long ago, Kim Kardashian West credited healing crystals with helping her cope with her anxiety after the infamous Paris robbery. Healing crystals were supposedly so influential that they inspired her perfume line, the bottles of which are made to look like her favorite crystals.
So, why not give them a try? I thought. At best, they'll help; at worst, they're benign rocks that photograph well.
Admit it, you're curious, too.
The Experiment: Use Healing Crystals To Treat My Anxiety
I was skeptical. After all, healing crystals have no backing from the medical community and are categorized as pseudoscience (so is astrology, even though everyone knows that basically every important man ever was an Aries, see: The Undertaker, Robert Downey Jr., and James Franco). Those who believe in the power of healing crystals claim that crystals give off positive energy, which can help with things like your love life, depression, anxiety, and even finances (why not!).
It is believed (by those ~open~ to the idea) that each crystal possesses a unique quality and if used correctly they can greatly improve your life. So, I bought a few and gave it a go, not expecting a miracle but keeping my mind open to this new experience. I bought a variety of crystals without looking up their healing qualities because I wanted to start this experiment as neutral as possible.
There are a few ways to incorporate crystals into your life: carrying them around with you, holding or rubbing them in your hands, placing them on particular parts of your body (perhaps on your ~chakras~), or meditating with them by you. Just having them in your home is believed to work wonders as well. The first few days I carried them with me but didn't notice a difference in my mood. I did feel an urge to stare at them because if anything, they were fascinating to look at in a precious-jewels kind of way. Our preoccupation with beautiful rocks explains the whole Hailey Baldwin-Justin Bieber engagement fever.
I laid the crystals around my house to spread energy all around and again, I couldn't help but stare at them. It was like being a beautiful underground jewel cave with cable and comfy couches. I also gave myself just a few minutes a day to hold them and stare at them. One crystal in particular, the rose quartz, which had been polished and shaped into a heart, was my favorite. Holding it and rubbing it in between my fingers made it easier for me to concentrate on being in the moment. I later learned that the rose quartz is known as the love stone.
According to The Energy Muse, rose quartz is called the love stone because, "the way it facilitates love entering your life is through its ability to bring your consciousness to a higher level." It purports to help you "forgive, understand and see fights or situations from a different perspective," as well as "provide gentle energy that assists you in recognizing your own need for compassion."
What mom doesn't need a bit of self-compassion?
I also kept an amethyst cluster around me, which is known as a calming crystal that is great for meditation. Its supposed to help eliminate stress and anxiety from your life. I wasn't aware of all of that beforehand. But I was drawn to these two crystals more so than the others (coincidentally, they were millennial pink and melodramatic purple in hue).
I'm not the type of person who has ever been able to meditate but I started to feel like with the use of the crystals, it might just be possible. Over the next few days, I set up just a few minutes to allow myself to hold the crystals while I attempted to meditate. But I wasn't able to do it every day — finding the time was difficult with a toddler.
When I was able to use them, I felt calmer. But even on days I didn't meditate, something about having the crystals around were really relaxing. Having them around the house really changed my mood. Perhaps it's because they added an element of nature or they were just something pretty to look at, I don't know. I'm allergic to flowers, and rarely have anything nature-related in my home, so needless to say it was a nice change.
Why do crystals seem to work for so many people? "It has nothing to do with the crystal — it has to do with your brain — but it does make people feel better," Erik Vance, who wrote Suggestible You, told The Stranger's Katie Herzog of the placebo effect in 2017.
I used the crystals for over a week. I didn't feel a tingling sensation or immediately see a great shift in my life, but I do think having the crystals around and using them for mediating helped me to take time out for myself. Although I can't say my anxiety has been completely eliminated, I have felt a drastic drop in the amount of anxiety I usually experience. Obviously, they're no substitute for proper medical care.
I can't say that the crystals give off any healing properties or vibes, and perhaps it's just a placebo affect, but these won't be the last crystals I purchase because, in their weird, passive, beautiful-rock way, they have given me a slightly magical way to deal with my anxiety.
For support with postpartum mood disorders, you can visit Postpartum International or speak with your healthcare provider.