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7 Simple Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms

The moment you meet your new baby, your whole world changes. Suddenly, your precious child becomes your primary focus. This shift in both mindset and attention is essential to your newborn’s health and happiness, but you still need a self-care routine.

It’s normal to feel guilty or nervous about taking time away from your little one, but self-care is anything but selfish. According to Verywell Health, moms who take the time to nourish their minds and bodies reduce their chances of developing depression or anxiety. When you choose to relax and unwind, you’ll also help yourself to avoid caregiver burnout and enjoy a better immune system. Each one of these advantages also benefits your baby.

As you adjust to your new life as a mom, take our big sister advice. Try a few of these self-care ideas. By creating a holistic plan for your wellness, you will stay energized and ready for the challenges of parenting. You may also find that you’re better equipped to juggle your family life with your career or caring for your other children.

1. Take Time to Unwind

During the first few months after birth, there is so much to do for your baby—and so little time for yourself. However, it’s important to carve out a few moments each day to take it easy. It doesn’t have to take long or be complicated, especially in the newborn stage.

Take a warm bath, hot shower or read for 30 minutes before bed. Other ideas include having a hot cup of tea, enjoying aromatherapy or watching your favorite television show.  If you find it difficult to take time for yourself during the work week, ask your partner or a family member to watch the baby on the weekend. Take an hour to get a massage, shop solo at the mall or take a nap.

2. Focus on Your Whole Health

When you meet with your OB-GYN for your follow-up appointments, they will give you a vaginal exam and discuss your physical health. You’ll also talk about exercising again. According to the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the time will vary depending on whether you had a vaginal birth or C-section. Some women will be able to resume a regular workout program six to eight weeks after they have their baby, but you should talk to your provider about your unique situation.

As you start a new workout plan, you’ll also want to care for your mental health. Watch out for the signs of postpartum depression and visit your doctor if you think you’re experiencing any symptoms. You can also unwind and de-stress by doing deep breathing exercises, taking walks in nature and meditating. Other ways you can focus on your mind and body include engaging in relaxing strength and cardio exercises such as Pilates, yoga and tai chi.

3. Save Time on Important Tasks

One of the best ways to save time and energy as a new mom is to shop online. Your little one will grow quickly, so purchase your baby clothes at your favorite online stores and boutiques. Many retailers offer free shipping and quick delivery. As an added bonus, you can find the cutest pajamas, booties and bodysuits while your newborn naps or sleeps.

Other ways to add time to your day include ordering grocery delivery and investing in a weekly meal subscription service. You can also consider hiring a maid service or babysitter for your other kids until your schedule becomes more predictable. Try to budget these extras while you’re pregnant. Knowing what to expect will help to keep stress and anxiety at a minimum. You’ll also have more time to focus on yourself.

4. Express Yourself

If you had a hobby before you had your baby, don’t stop now. The benefits of creative expression include enhanced physical well-being and the ability to manage difficult emotions. Be sure to paint, play your guitar or sing as often as possible. New moms who don’t have a favorite idea can try dancing to their favorite playlist, baking a cake or coloring in an adult activity book.

Journaling is an excellent way to communicate what’s on your mind and free yourself of negative thoughts. You can also use your notebook or digital diary as a gratitude journal. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, jot down a few reasons why you’re thankful for your life. A healthy baby, cozy home or a flexible job are all things to be grateful for. You can also go back and review your positive notes whenever you’re feeling tired or stressed.

5. Socialize with Adults

There’s nothing better than spending time with your baby, but you still need time to chat with a fellow adult. Ask your partner if you can talk about each other’s day when you’re winding down before bed. You can also schedule a weekly call with a parent or best friend.

It’s wonderful to receive support for your daily challenges. However, you should also make time to talk about fun topics, such as a favorite TV series or an upcoming family party. You may also choose to get your mind off your needs or anxieties by listening to a loved one talk about what’s going on in their life.

6. Date Your Partner

You and your partner are in love with your newborn, but you still need to make time for each other. A combination of fatigue and added responsibilities can take a toll on intimacy, which can affect your overall relationship. The team at WebMD says you can reconnect with your spouse after pregnancy by talking about your feelings, focusing on the reasons you fell in love and going out on dates. This can be anything from a little time out of the house to get ice cream or an overnight at a romantic bed and breakfast.

If you’re worried about leaving your baby with a loved one, start small. Take 30 minutes in the car with your spouse to chat and get a coffee. Once you feel comfortable, you can try having an hour-long lunch at your favorite restaurant or seeing a short movie. Eventually, you’ll be able to branch out and spend the afternoon together. The time away will be invaluable for your emotional health and wellness.

7. Accept Help

New mom guilt can make it difficult to accept help. However, experienced mothers will encourage you to take all the assistance you can get. A network of caring friends and family members will make the baby feel loved throughout his or her life. Since you can attend to your basic needs and unwind, you’ll also feel healthier inside and out.

Sometimes, your partner, neighbor or sibling may not know what you need. When you’re not receiving offers for support, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help. Communicate your request clearly, such as asking for an hour of babysitting to go to the grocery store or an extra hand in the kitchen during the holidays. Being honest about your limitations will allow you to find help faster so you can better juggle each of your responsibilities.

Self-Care Is Essential for New Moms

Engaging in self-care doesn’t make you a neglectful mother. It’s actually the opposite. Caring for your body and mind will allow you to give more to your child. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t started a self-care routine because every day is a great day to begin. Choose a few activities and then review how they make you feel. Adjust as necessary.

Your schedule and baby’s needs will change rapidly over their first year, which means your self-care goals are sure to change as well. As long as you keep a flexible and positive attitude, you can focus on your little one while keeping physical illness and stress at bay. The self-care skills you learn will help you stay well throughout your lifetime. You’ll even be able to share them with your baby once they get older.

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