28 Oct 7 Self-Care Tips for New Mums You Need To Read
While new motherhood is a transcendent experience that you will no doubt look back on with immense fondness, it can also be a very challenging time in your life. If you are feeling frustrated, confused and incredibly tired, take comfort in the fact that you are certainly not alone. While taking time out for self-care might be the last thing on your mind, it is incredibly important that you nurture your own well-being during this period to make sure you don’t burn out. Here are eight self-care tips that all new mums should consider incorporating into their routine.
Go easy on yourself
Many new mothers fall into the trap of comparing themselves to those seemingly perfect Instagram mums who appear to be able to care perfectly for their (adorable) newborn and still have time to go for a 20km jog and make a three course vegan meal from scratch at the end of the day. Truth is, all new mums are just trying to do their best and the entire experience is one big learning curve. Instead of trying to hold yourself to impossible standards, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and your child is lucky to have a mum who cares about them as much as you do.
Ask for help
Another aspect of going easy on yourself is accepting that sometimes you can’t do it all on your own and it’s okay to accept help when it is offered and ask for help when it is needed. Those who love you will understand that you need their support at this point in your life and they are probably happy to provide it. Try to make a habit of delegating at least one item on your daily to-do list to somebody else and watch your stress levels reduce. Even just asking a friend to come around and hold the baby for half an hour so you can lie down or take a bath can make a big difference.
Get out of the house
Getting out of the house with your baby might seem like it’s not worth the hassle but it can actually make a massive difference to your mental wellbeing. Going for a walk with your little one and connecting with nature will get your blood pumping and help you to recharge and reconnect with the world outside you and your baby.
Mindfulness can be one of the most powerful self-care tools in a new mother’s arsenal. If you have never practiced mindfulness before, this is a great time to start. Try downloading a free app like Headspace or Smiling Mind to get started. Once you get the hang of it, you can practice mindfulness throughout the day – e.g. while feeding your baby focus deeply on the smells, sounds and physical sensations of the process while breathing deeply. This will help you to take enjoyment in simple sensations and be truly present in the moment. The best part is that mindfulness can even be employed during more mundane tasks such as washing up or cooking.
Join a Mums Group
Staying home alone with somebody who can’t speak for weeks on end is bound to make anybody feel lonely. One of the best things you can do for your wellbeing is to join a mothers group so that you can connect with other mothers in the same position as you. The social interaction aspect, along with the chance to share experiences, will allow for your struggles to be validated and you will be able to seek advice from people going through the same thing as you are. Try searching for New Parents Groups on a site like Around You.
Do something just for you
Again, this may sound like something you don’t have time for, but taking even ten or twenty minutes a day to do something that is purely for yourself can help you maintain a sense of self that is separate from your baby. Decide on an activity you wish you could do and do it! Even if you don’t have much time, if you commit to spending a few minutes a day pursuing something that makes you happy, this will help you to feel more balanced and centred.
In the weeks and months after giving birth, many mothers feel that their body is no longer their own – it has been claimed totally and utterly by their new son or daughter. While this is part of the joy of motherhood it can also be very difficult to deal with. This experience is intensified by the changes that occur to the body after childbirth including stretch marks and excess body fat which can reduce self-esteem and make your post-birth body unrecognisable when compared to your pre-pregnancy body. While it can be difficult to lose baby weight, especially when juggling taking care of your newborn, exercise can help to return the body to its pre-baby state. If you are finding it difficult to lose baby weight or stretch marks, spoiling yourself with some cosmetic treatments to address these concerns can boost your confidence and put you back in control of your body.
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