The arrival of a baby is a thrilling experience in any parent’s life. But the initial few months could be an overwhelming journey with little to no time for yourself.
Every day you devote yourself to your baby while juggling multiple household chores. If you are a first-time mom, the entire experience could be even more challenging as you navigate countless unfamiliar responsibilities.
Self-care is essential for you during this period to minimize fatigue, stress, and eventual burnout. Although finding time to care for yourself may seem a distant reality, it is definitely possible with these simple practices.
For new parents, building a support system is crucial. You and your partner may certainly be capable of handling all the added responsibilities that come together with your bundle of joy. But it doesn’t mean that you always need to tackle them alone.
A little help from your loved ones could go a long way to free up your time. So, don’t hesitate to ask your family to run an errand or request a friend to pick up something to eat. Hiring a part-time or full-time babysitter is another option if budgets permit.
One thing every new mom lacks is sleep. Looking after a baby doesn’t just disrupt your regular sleep patterns; it also prevents you from getting more than a couple of hours of bedtime.
Sleep is essential to sharpen your cognitive abilities, regulate mood, and reduce stress. It can even impact your metabolism, heart health, and immune system.
Therefore, finding ways to maximize your sleep time is vital. Ask family and friends to babysit for a few hours so you can get a shuteye. Then, make the best of that time by removing distractions—keep the phone on silent, close window shades, switch off lights, turn on white noise, and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
Physical activity is not only good for your body; it can have a significant positive effect on your mental health, too. Regular exercise can elevate your mood, improve memory and concentration, reduce stress and symptoms of depression, and help you sleep better.
Of course, going to the gym is usually not a practical option when you are tending to a newborn baby. But you can still try yoga, Pilates, and stretches at home. Or, find a postpartum fitness expert on Leadar who can advise on a personalized fitness regime you can follow on your own. But remember to take it easy at the beginning without overexerting yourself.
Spending time outdoors is crucial to minimize the negative impacts of prolonged periods of confinement in your home. Besides, fresh air, natural sunlight, and nature can do wonders to uplift your mood.
So, ensure you schedule a few walks in the park with the little one every week. A change in scenery will do good for both of you.
A new baby will consume all your attention. Before long, you will feel as if your entire world revolves around them. But you still need adult company—the conversations, laughs, and social engagement are essential for creating a sense of belonging and connection without losing your identity.
So, visit family, grab a coffee with a friend, or meet them in the park as you take your little one for a stroll. If you have someone to babysit, take an hour off to meet up with a loved one.
Looking after your physical health is important for both you and your baby. This is why having regular meals and eating a balanced diet is vital.
Prepare your grocery list ahead to avoid buying unhealthy snacks or pre-cooked meals. Opt for one-pot and instant-pot dishes to save time. Having a selection of recipes at hand, creating a meal plan, and meal-prepping are other options to ensure you remain committed to eating healthy.
For a new mom, solitude is just as necessary as socializing. Having time for yourself in a quiet and peaceful environment can help you calm your nerves when you spend your day in constant chaos.
When your little one is napping, light a few scented candles, play soothing music, and enjoy a calming bubble bath. Practice guided or breath meditation or spend time in reflection. You can even take up a hobby you enjoy in solitude, such as reading or knitting.
To help get into your zen zone, create a calming space in your home. Keep it free from clutter and introduce a few plants for a soothing effect.
Setting too many expectations for yourself can easily escalate your stress levels before you know it. So, it is important to acknowledge that there is only so much you can do and achieve within the day. Letting go of those extra pressures you have put on yourself will free you from excessive stress and help bring more balance to your daily routine.
Select your priorities and take on a few tasks to complete each day. Be gentle with yourself and keep your goals and expectations realistic.
As a new mom, your responsibilities will double and triple once you bring home your newborn baby. To find time for your little one and the rest of the family, the first thing you will do is sacrifice your personal time. The resulting fatigue and burnout can take a severe toll on both your mental and physical health.
This is why practicing self-care is crucial for new moms. If you are concerned about finding time, start by building a support system. Your friends, family, and neighbors can all help you take some time off at least a few days a week.
Maximizing sleep, exercising, and eating healthy are essential activities to include in your self-care regime. And don’t forget to get outdoors and socialize. Spending time in solitude and silence is equally vital. But, most importantly, be realistic with your expectations and be gentle with yourself.