We talk about Self Care a lot. When you are trying to get pregnant, self care is important so that you know your reproductive health is where it should be. During pregnancy, you are making a human so self care and self compassion is so important. And then, when your baby arrives, self care is so important because it you cannot fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.
Self Care for New Moms
But today we are talking about realistic self care. Yes, a long weekend away sitting on then beach with hourly massages and a butler service to bring you freshly made drinks and local food is self care, but that isn’t real when you have little kids. But just because that type of self care doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean all types of self care doesn’t work for your stage of life. As parents, it can be so hard to take hours our of our day to get the kind of self care we really want. Sometimes, all we have is 5 minutes. And while it can feel easy to just scroll through Instagram, it is not always satisfying.
Take A Break
Whatever that break is. Sit on your couch for five minutes while your kids play, spend a few extra minutes in the shower, lay in bed a few minutes longer, let the kids play at the playground a few minutes longer while you sit on the bench, or even sit on the toilet for another minute. Just take a minute to rest. You do not always need to be moving. Promise.
Take Some Time for Yourself
As parents, it can feel like we need to do everything all the time. There is laundry to be done, toys to pick up, groceries to be pick up, and so much more. But guess what? You will get more laundry tomorrow, more toys will be played with tomorrow, and your family will continue to eat everything in the house.
So, instead of caring for all the things that need to be done, take some time for yourself. Just a few minutes to do something you love, by yourself, and only for yourself. Remember, you can’t give from an empty cup.
Do An Activity You Love
Whatever that activity is, make time daily or every few days to do it! Maybe it is grocery shopping (true story—i actually love grocery shopping, alone that is). But try to find something that isn’t a chore, but feels really good to you. Watering plants or gardening are great activities because you get to enjoy something beautiful, get some fresh air, and also do something just for your enjoyment.
Be Around People Who Make You Feel Good
Note that we said people that make you *feel* good. As new parents, so often we are judged for our actions, and often that is by people we love. So take some time to be around those people that support you, no matter what you do.
Get Outside Everyday
When you have a new baby, days and nights don’t seem to matter. You have no idea what time it is, let alone what day it is. And that is really hard! We suggest to ever new parent to get outside, at least once a day. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze in your hair, and the ground under your feet. Even if you just walk to your mailbox and back in, that fresh air can do amazing things for you.
Do Something For Your Appearance
It doesn’t have to be anything wild, maybe you just put some lipstick on before your next nursing session, blow dry AND straighten you hair after a shower, or even wear your favorite pair of shoes while you binge on Netflix. By putting some effort into your appearance, you may feel better about yourself. Because like my hairdresser says, look good, feel good.
If these small acts of realistic self care seem too challenging, know that are our postpartum doulas are here to support you every step of the way. Our daytime doula support can help you achieve some of these tips daily, as well as prepare for the next day.