Why New Parents Need to Care for Themselves and How to Find the Time
As a new parent, you may find yourself slightly exhausted all the time. Between feeding, changing, and being enamoured, taking care of yourself may fall by the wayside. However, you need to take care of yourself too -- for your sake and the sake of your new child.
Make Your Space Calming
The first thing to make your life easier is making your home environment a peaceful place. If your home is overly cluttered, it may be a cause of stress. Make a plan of action, such as which rooms you will tackle first, and get to sorting. You don’t need to do everything at once, so take your time and do a little when you can. You also want your bedroom to be a sanctuary where you can relax and sleep easily.
To make your room soothing, you might begin with your bed itself. To sleep well, you’ll need to invest in something that allows you to be comfortable all night, which may mean something different to everyone. Some like firm mattresses, while others prefer softer ones. Choose neutral colors to keep things calm. And if you’re into meditation, set aside a small portion of your bedroom as a dedicated meditation space.
Like mattresses, relaxation means something different to every person. It's vital to your well-being to take time every day for yourself, doing something that helps you unwind. Be proactive. Sitting for 20 minutes in the bathroom on your phone is not actually relaxing. Do something that lets your body release stress, such as getting a shoulder rub from your partner or meditating for 10 minutes.
Engaging in a hobby you enjoy can also be a soothing way to let go of stress. That could mean writing a journal or blog online, or something like pressing flowers, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen once a week, or reading a novel before bed to get your body ready for sleep without technology keeping you awake.
It may seem counterintuitive, but working out when you're exhausted can actually boost your energy. The last thing we want to do when tired is put on our running shoes and go work out, but it may be just what your body needs. It doesn't need to be an hour at the gym, but even 20 minutes engaging in exercise regularly can truly add up. This may require some planning and good time management, but it's a commitment that can have lasting impact on how you feel.
Signing up for a class can help you stay on track by motivating you to be ready and actually go. However, not everyone has the excess funding to sign up to a gym. One thing you can do is get a workout buddy and schedule times to go for a run or walk with them. This can help you stay on track and really ensure you accomplish your goal.
Ask for Help
It's hard to do for many of us, but it's a skill we all need to master. This goes beyond asking your partner for extra help. Look to your friends, family, and other loved ones who may be able to lend a hand to free up some time for yourself. This help can take numerous forms.
For some, it may mean getting a family member to come over and doing meal prep together. For another, it may simply require having a heart to heart with a friend where you can talk about the things that are weighing on you, or just having a bit of a laugh together over some tea. Whatever it means for you, it's important to not allow yourself to be overwhelmed. You and baby both need help to make sure everyone feels loved, respected, and take care of.
It isn’t easy to find time when you have a new baby, but a few minutes each day can make a world of difference in how you feel. By investing in self-care, you may find yourself with more energy, which is good for many reasons. Don’t hesitate to start looking after your well-being together with your new bundle of joy.
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Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.