Becoming a mother changes everything. Your priorities shift, and your focus turns from yourself to the new life you have brought into the world. But for all the joys of motherhood, it can be difficult and stressful as well. Many women find themselves so focused on their children, that they neglect their own well-being.
Successful parenting requires that you thrive along with your baby. If you find yourself depleted, stressed out and exhausted, chances are you need to refocus some of your energy on yourself so that you can be present for your family. Here are a few tips on taking care of yourself as well as you take care of your little one.
Feed Your Body
Growing a child in your womb takes a significant toll on the body, so making sure you give yourself the nutrition you need is more important now than ever. Unfortunately, the demands of a newborn often supersede even basic self-care, including eating well-balanced meals.
Even if you’ve never been a morning smoothie person, this could be a great time to consider a meal replacement shake for breakfast. When you start your day so tired that even scrambling an egg seems like a herculean task, a high-quality breakfast shake can be a quick and hassle-free way to get the day started right.
Although the occasional foray into fast food or take-out is fine, on a consistent basis they won’t provide the nutrients your need. Keep lunch simple with salads you can make ahead of time. For protein, you can boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the fridge or throw a bunch of chicken breasts on the grill all at once and then freeze them for later. It only takes a few minutes to chop several days’ worth of veggies and put them in containers. This way you can throw together a nutritious salad at a moment’s notice and move on with your day.
For the evening, think one-pot meals or tray dinners. It’s also a great time to bond with your slow cooker or pressure cooker. These are the kind of meals that can be thrown together quickly and don’t require you to watch over them while they cook.
Rest Your Mind
It will only be about three months until your baby is sleeping through the night, but those can seem like the longest months of your life. You must find as many ways as you can to increase the amount of sleep you get during this period.
It’s best to take a multi-pronged approach. Should you sleep when your baby sleeps? Absolutely. But also, take naps, go to bed ridiculously early and always say yes when friends and family offer to watch the baby while you catch some shut-eye. You’ll be taking on a huge sleep deficit for a few months, do everything and anything you can to make up for it every chance you get.
Calm Your Spirit
Stress can get overwhelming when you’re a new parent and that can lead to serious issues with anxiety and depression. While the first few months as a new mom may not be the best time to try to master a new yoga routine, it is crucial to find quick but consistent ways to relax.
Simple deep breathing exercises can have a real impact on stress in as little as a few minutes and you can do them anywhere. According to health.com, sound therapy can help, especially listening to the sounds of nature like rain, ocean waves or wind through the trees. When it comes to stress, laughter truly is an effective medicine, so take a couple of minutes to share a video chat with your funny best friend.
You’re going to be a great parent, but you need to take care of yourself along the way. When you’re happy and healthy, your baby will be too.