“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” This is a mantra all new mothers need to hear.
A new baby is incredibly demanding (as is motherhood in general.) Moms often become so focused on their child’s well-being, they unwittingly begin to neglect their own self-care.
Here are a few ways you can actively engage in self-care (and we insist you do not feel guilt for any of these!)
- Sleep. Sleep deprivation can become serious, leading to heightened stress levels, poor concentration and depression. Take naps when you can, and set a reasonable bedtime for yourself. A well-rested parent is a wonderful gift to give to your child.
- Buy postpartum clothes. A shopping trip for a larger size than you were pre-baby can feel daunting. But it is important to feel comfortable in your clothing as well as your skin. Buy clothing in the size you need now so you can feel comfortable and don’t even look at the number on the size tag.
- Accept help. We are not meant to do every little thing all by ourselves. Super-Moms are a myth, so just say yes the next time someone asks if you need anything. Keep a mental (or written) list of tasks you could reasonably delegate: Babysitting, bringing a meal, running errands, folding laundry, etc; When someone asks if you need anything, mention those tasks and see who volunteers.
- Pamper yourself. This could be long bath or shower. It could be a massage or pedicure. Whatever it is, do something relaxing for your body. Give your physical self some attention and your mental health will thank you.
- Do something alone. Go to the grocery store, get a cup of coffee, attend a yoga class or just go for a walk. Take alone time to reset from “mom mode” and focus on non-child related things, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Take in the sunshine. Get dressed and get outside at least once a day, weather permitting. The act of getting ready (even if it’s just changing in to clean yoga pants) will be an accomplishment for the day, and natural sunshine is the best medicine for you and your baby. 10 minutes of sun can make a world of difference for your mood, and the change of scenery will as well.