Let’s be honest, taking care of a baby can be mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. Between the lack of sleep and the need for constant attention, moms get burnt out quick. For this reason, it is crucial that you prioritize caring for yourself in addition to caring for your baby.
We often refer to this as “self-care”. However, self-care can require a time commitment, and your baby must be asleep or in the care of someone else for you to practice it. This can make caring for yourself feel unattainable, like an additional task on your already lengthy to-do list.
So, how can you take care of yourself without adding self-care to your “to-do” list? Here are six actionable steps that can help you achieve this:
1. Drink Water
Drinking enough water everyday can significantly enhance your mood and it doesn’t add any time to your day (except for a few extra trips to the bathroom). Fill a large glass or water bottle at the beginning of the day and drink away.
2. Eat Healthy Snacks
You’re already eating (at least a little bit) during the day. Try to make these snacks and meals more nourishing by ensuring they include a combination of protein and carbs. Whether it’s adding nut butter to a muffin or some seeds to your salad, get both those carbs and protein in!
3. Get Outside
It’s important for everyone (adults and babies) to get outside every day. If it feels like too much to go on a walk, head out to your balcony, porch, or backyard. Get some sun and fresh air, as this will improve your mood and can help regular your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
4. Move Your Body
If you’re ready to start a postnatal workout program that’s great, but if not, even small amounts of movement can easily be added to your day and make a huge difference in improving your health and wellness. Put on some fun music and have a dance party to entertain your baby, or practice a few squats every time you stand up and relocate to a new place in your home.
5. Do Something You Enjoy
Whether it’s watching a show while baby feeds, calling a friend or family member, listening to your favourite podcast or audiobook, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, just a simple joy.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
Taking care of a baby is hard. You are doing an amazing job. Remind yourself of that.
If incorporating all of these changes simultaneously feels overwhelming, choose one to adopt at a time, and only add in more as you feel able to.
As discussed, allocating time specifically for self-care may not always be feasible. This is why I suggest to my postpartum coaching clients to temporarily disregard the term “self-care” and instead prioritize taking care of themselves WHILE caring for their baby. Give it a try with the steps above!