It's a fact that self-care is incredibly important. But what’s also fact is that it can get really hard to squeeze "me time" into any given day. It’s easy to give the excuse that we don’t really have time to look after ourselves and sometimes, it’s not even an excuse – we really don’t have the time for extended periods of self-care.
Especially if a woman's a new mom.
New moms will feel like their baby is taking up all of their time and as much as they love their child, it’s become especially difficult to find any time to look after themselves. But the truth is, self-care is vital to being a good parent because we have to be happy and healthy to be able to provide optimum support for our children. It’s not selfish to take a moment to ourselves sometimes – it’s necessary!
For those new moms who are struggling with this idea and finding the time, here are 20 small ways we squeeze in some self-care, and some tips on just how to do it (when it feels as if we don’t even have an hour to ourselves during the day). I promise – we can all do this, and will feel all the better for it.
20 Take An Indulgent Bath
Sure, you probably jump in the shower to clean yourself off, but when was the last time you laid down and just had a bath? Let your partner or a friend take over watching the baby, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, and run a bath. Use bubble bath. Use bath bombs. Use that expensive moisturizer you’ve been saving. You’d be amazed at how pampered a simple bath can make you feel, and it doesn’t have to be every day.
19 Eat Out With Friends
Being a mom can be stressful, because more time for your child means less time for everyone else in your life. And while it’s fine that your child has to be prioritized – that’s what being a mom is all about. Go see if you can squeeze in an hour here and there to have lunch with your friends. Let someone else take your baby for a lunch period, even if it’s just every few minutes
Catching up with your friends might just be the revitalization you needed.
18 Have A Date Night With Your Partner
If you’re parenting with someone else, you both might need the break. Don’t feel guilty about hiring a babysitter just for one night or asking a relative or friend that you trust to look after your child. You’ve both been focusing on your child for so long that you might want to take a night and just focus on you two and your relationship.
This could be a date evening out at the movies or just as simple as at home. If you’re really struggling to find time, make a blanket fort and watch some movies together once baby is asleep!
17 Do Some Light Exercise
All of that rushing around after your new child might feel like exercise, but it’s probably not the kind that’s good for you – it’s more mental stress than anything else. Find some time to do some light workouts to keep yourself feeling good and healthy. This could be as simple as a quick 10 minutes in the morning or later during the baby’s nap time. Some workouts really are not as long as you think, and something is better than nothing.
16 Pick Up A Mindless Hobby
Sometimes, you just won’t want to put effort into anything – and that’s okay. Picking up a hobby that doesn’t require too much concentration might be just what you need. For instance, buying an adult coloring book and some materials to use is cheap and can be done literally while you’re watching over the baby. This could actually be pretty cathartic – and if coloring isn’t your thing, you could try something else, like reading a few light books or magazines. Just something to take your mind away from the stress – gently!
15 Fill Your Pantry With Your Favorite Snacks
I’m not saying go overboard. I’m not saying fill the pantry with sugary, unhealthy things you can munch on every five minutes! That’s probably not going to benefit your health in the long run. But filling the pantry with a few of your favorite snacks – and preferably a few healthy things too – might just be what you need.
Food is one of those little things we can look forward to day-to-day that gives us pleasure. Make sure you have some awesome little snacks to grab for a quick energy boost.
14 Create A Relaxing Spot In Your House
If you have the space, think about creating a spot in your house that’s just for you. It could be a nook, a corner, an entire room – it entirely depends on you and your house. But there should be one rule: it’s just for you!
Go to it when you have the time; when the baby is asleep and you aren’t, when someone else is watching the baby, whenever. Take your snack and coloring book. Make it cozy and inviting. Use it purely to unwind.
Meditation is actually shown to have great benefits, so if you’ve never tried it, you should. This could be your key to a relaxed mindset that you previously had no idea how to achieve.
This is probably best suited for early in the morning, if you’re one of the few who wakes before your child, or when they’re asleep, because you’ll need peace and quiet to do it, and new moms know that can be a pretty foreign concept sometimes!
12 Make Sure You Get Some Outdoor Time
When your child is still a baby and doesn’t need to be outside, it can be hard to remember that you probably do. It’s all too easy to get stuck in the mindset of not wanting to leave the child and being glued to their side and therefore, glued indoors. But that’s not healthy. You need sun and fresh air. Take a walk with your child in their stroller or even alone if you can – being cooped up indoors isn’t good for anyone.
11 Get In Some Extra Sleep
I can hear all the new moms laughing. Impossible, they say!
But the best way to do this is to ensure you’re asleep when your baby is asleep. It might mean some odd hours, since your baby might cry during the night and then nap frequently during the day, but try to nap whenever they do. When baby is asleep, you should be too – try to use this as a rule. No one likes running around on three hours sleep a night.
10 Learn When You Have To Say No
This doesn’t necessarily mean to your child – although that might apply too!
But learn to say no to obligations that aren’t actually obligations at all.
It’s fine to turn down extra work if you’re too exhausted, or a night out with friends if you desperately need to catch up on sleep. Don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first sometimes. Parenting is hard and when you can take some time to yourself, you should.
Those worth keeping in your life will understand.
9 Make A To-Do List
Making a to-do list sounds pointless if you have the list memorized in your head, but it’s so easy to get frazzled and forgetting something that day – leading to more stress later. It’s also incredibly satisfying to tick off items on a list and see the progress you’re making that day, rather than just trying to run around and hope you’ve completed every item.
Writing a list first thing and seeing it completed by the end of the day is so worth it.
8 Take Some Cuddle Time With Your Child
It’s so easy to try and remember everything that you need to do with your child that it might be easy forget to just be with them. Appreciate the time you have together – they won’t be this small forever! Lie down with them on the couch or in bed for a bit and just have a cuddle. Breathe them in, enjoy this stage of being a parent without worrying about what you have to do next. It might give you a new appreciation.
7 Step Away From Electronics
Electronics are supposed to be helpful, but they can stress us out more. They’re necessarily for staying in touch with people in this day and age sure, but if you can, step away for a bit. Even if it’s just for an hour before bed, they’ll help you fall asleep faster and will increase the quality of your sleep – which every new mom knows is super important! Sleep is top of the priority list!
It’s fine to turn off your phone at night. No one but your new baby needs you all the time.
6 Keep Your Space Organized
Tidy surroundings can definitely benefit your mindset. You want to keep your space organized so that you aren’t constantly worrying about having to tidy up a mess.
Yes, this can be incredibly difficult, especially when your child is moving around on their own and has no concept of keeping the place tidy but if you try to tidy as you go, it should work out. Don’t let a mess build and build before you tackle it – you’ll just stress yourself out more.
5 Get Your Hair Or A Beauty Treatment Done
Sometimes you need to take that extra step. When you’re constantly stressed and feeling down, the best thing to do to make yourself feel awesome might just be to put yourself in the hands of someone else. Go get a pedicure! Go get a manicure! Go get your hair done! Whatever makes you feel beautiful, go do it. You just have to find time in one day, but you can do this – take that time to make yourself feel amazing.
4 Sing In The Shower
Sing in the shower. Let loose. If you live with other people or someone else, don’t be embarrassed – just let it all out. Singing can make anyone feel better, and it’s such a quick way to lighten your mood considering you’d be showering anyway. What’s the harm in belting out a few songs?
You can even buy waterproof Bluetooth speakers for your shower, which I think are a great happiness investment. Buy one, put on your favorite music, and liven up a usually boring daily routine.
3 Cuddle Your Pet
If you have a dog or cat, consider taking some time with them too! Lie down and just cuddle them. Stroking pets has been shown to release endorphins, which can be really important for you right now when your hormones might still be all over the place. As a new mom, you need to find the simple pleasures in life.
And if you don’t have a pet, consider getting one for that very reason! If you life is too busy for a dog, cats can be pretty low maintenance. And they can all be life savers.
2 Consider Creating Something
This is one that you can even involve your child in as they start to get a bit older, so you have no excuse not to do it!
Take up a craft or baking. Do something where you can see an end result, where you can keep trying and keep improving. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction and pride of seeing something come together that you created, and it might give you back feelings of confidence that you’ve been struggling with lately.
1 Talk And Think About Yourself Positively
If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
Don’t stand there looking in the mirror, wishing you could lose pregnancy weight, or wishing the shadows under your eyes weren’t quite as dark. You look great, and you’re a superhero for bringing up a child. You should appreciate all these things about you! It might be hard to be positive some days, but make a conscious effort to take a second— literally a second—every morning to compliment yourself. You deserve it.