Being a mom is a full-time job, and a pretty demanding one too! It’s easy in the thick of nurturing a baby, to forget to nurture yourself.
We’ve made it easy for mamas to find their “zen” with these easy self-care practices to stay relaxed and de-stressed. Try adding some of them into your daily routine, and find yourself going from exhausted to energized in no time!
Breathe. It’s as easy it sounds, and equally effective! Set reminders through the day for closing your eyes and taking 10 long, deep breaths – be it every hour, every time you breastfeed or as often as you can manage, and feel your mind and body re-centre and re-set.
Get outside. Make sure you get sunshine and vitamin D for at least 15 minutes every day. Put your baby in a stroller or sling wrap and go for a walk together, fresh air and bonding time with your baby is always a good idea.
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Ground yourself. Walk barefoot or put your body in direct contact with the earth – this means your skin needs to touch soil, sand, water. The idea is that the earth has a mild negative charge to it. Over time, especially in modern life, our bodies build up a positive charge. Direct contact with the earth can even out this positive charge and return the body to a neutral state. Benefits include better sleep, more energy, reduced stress hormones and normalises blood flow.
Plan your meals ahead. Hangry mamas are no fun to be around! Plan your meals and snacks in advance to avoid unhealthy binging and mood swings when those hunger pangs come calling. Include plenty of whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables to keep yourself well nourished and your energy levels at a high.
One thing at a time. While you may come across as superwoman, constantly multi-tasking with your baby, family, home and work, try to prioritize, focus and and work through one task at a time. You’ll find yourself feeling less overwhelmed and completing your tasks faster and more efficiently.
Move your body. Movement and exercise are natural stress busters and mood boosters. Aim for 2.5 hours of exercise per week – this may seem like a lot when you’re already tapped out, but try breaking it up into 10-20 minute chunks throughout week. Go for a walk, stretch, do yoga, a circuit of strength exercises using your own bodyweight or dance in the kitchen while heating up a bottle!
Try these back and pelvic floor strengthening exercises that are great for postpartum.
Find your mommy tribe. Find a group of like-minded mommies that you connect with, to reach out to for support, reassurance and advice on all the daily dilemmas of bringing up your new baby.
Write it down, let it go. Take 5-10 minutes every day to pen down what’s bothering you. Describing your thoughts and feelings in words will help you understand them more clearly and become more in control of your emotions. This is a simple yet effective way to release your daily stress.
Sleep well (and enough). It is recommended that a solid 7.25 hours of sleep a night is the optimal amount for most adults. While this may be near impossible for new moms, try making up for the interrupted night sleep with refreshing 10-30 minute power naps during the day or a yoga nidra meditation for better, deeper and more relaxing zzz’s. Always listen to your body's need for sleep and grab as much as rest you can when your baby is sleeping. Co-sleeping has many developmental benefits for babies, and it can actually mean better rest for moms knowing that their baby is safe and closeby.
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A little gratitude goes a long way. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to note down 5-10 things that you are grateful for. By shifting your attention on all the positive things in your life, you’ll find your feeling less stressed and calmer at night. Plus, the next time you’re having a bad mom day, just open your gratitude journal for an instant reminder on how much you have to be for thankful for instead.