Self care is a trendy topic lately, and most women would agree that caring for themselves with relaxing spa treatments and more sleep would be amazing. However it’s not necessarily realistic advice, especially for new moms.  Today our guest blogger Cassandra Padgett from Viv Fitness shares advice for a self care routine, written especially for all the new moms out there. This is first hand advice. As a new mom herself, Cassandra is well aware of the challenges involved with keeping your own self care routine going while your kids are very young. – Elly xx

A self care routine for a new mom

self care routine
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While the occasional pedicure or massage is definitely appreciated, in general, self care for moms involves a much more comprehensive approach. Caring for yourself at any time of life includes being mindful of your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Self care includes the hard stuff like making doctor’s appointments, budgeting, going to the gym, going to bed at a decent hour, and taking vitamins (or at least eating vegetables). The fun stuff like happy hour or girl’s nights, pedicures, and vacations can be restoring, but certainly doesn’t come easy after becoming a mom.

After you bring a child into the world, your priorities naturally change and you may find yourself putting everyone’s needs before your own. Lack of self care combined with the fragile state of being that comes with birthing a child, the stress of parenting, and lack of sleep can be a recipe for disaster.

Caring for yourself – one of the best tips for new moms

I firmly believe that to be the best mother, partner, and friend, you need to first invest a little care into yourself. Just like eating healthy and exercising can prevent health problems in the future, having a self care routine can keep you feeling good in the long run. By caring for yourself you will have more energy and have more to give to your children, family, friends, and work.

A self care routine doesn’t have to take hours a week (duh, because who has time for that?), but it is something you need to make time for at least once a week or spread out with a few minutes a day.

Where to start?

Be sure that you are regularly checking in with yourself. It’s easy to get on autopilot and then suddenly you realize you’re starving, your clothes don’t fit, and you are emotionally drained and exhausted. Put a reminder in your phone or have a regular check-in with your partner to make sure your needs are being met.

Knowing yourself can also help you to know where your self care minutes can be best spent. Consider whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, already have a community of mom friends you’re seeing regularly, and your favorite hobbies or pastimes are… or were. Because it’s hard to have hobbies as a new mom.

Here are several 19 ideas to get you thinking about how you can better care for yourself. These self care routine ideas range from simple and superficial (haircut or pedicure) to more significant (meditation and journaling). Choosing one or two each week can help you to figure out what leaves you feeling recharged and energized.

A healthy breakfast

Start your day with a nutritious breakfast! A simple protein shake, scrambled egg, or bowl of overnight oats can help you begin your day feeling energized. Starting your day with a healthy habit sets up a domino effect for a focus on your self care routine throughout the rest of the day.

Connection is key

Find a mama friend to connect with. This is definitely easier said than done, but thanks to technology it’s getting easier. Try out the Peanut app (it’s like Tinder for moms- seriously), take a stroller strides class with Fit4Mom, go to a baby class, try local facebook mom groups, MOPS, or use a site like Meetup to connect with like minded mamas.

Regular check-ups

Go to the doctor! Don’t forget about your own physical and mental health. Just because you made it to your postpartum appointment, doesn’t mean you are off the hook! Take care of yourself. Get your yearly physical, go to the dentist, and if you need to go talk to a therapist!

A moment of bliss…

Throw a face mask on before you do the dishes or fold laundry. When the annoying task is done, your skin will be glowing. It’s the ultimate way to multitask.

Escapism

Take a solo drive. You will never appreciate driving alone in peace and quiet more than you will as a new mom. It really is the ultimate simple luxury for an over stimulated mama.

Get out!

self care routine
Enjoy nature as part of your self care routine

Take a walk or hike! Get out in nature and get some fresh air. Even a walk around the block with the stroller or baby carrier can be the perfect reset during a stressful day. As well as being a great addition to your self care routine, babies usually love it too!

Endorphins go a long way

Workout! Use the gym daycare or hit up YouTube for free home workouts. Your body will thank you by delivering a hefty dose of endorphins to make you feel amazing. And remember that ten minutes is better than nothing! Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t get a full 30 or 60-minute workout in. Something is always better than nothing.

I get by with a little help from my friends

Call a friend. If you just can’t make it out of the house call a friend to chat with. You will feel better after catching up.

Inspiration

Listen to Podcasts. Parenting podcasts like Atomic Moms help me to feel less alone, even when I’m spending a long day at home doing baby things. Read more about my favorite podcasts here.

What language are you using with yourself?

Using positive affirmations is one of the best tips for new moms. Repeat one or two (or more!) positive affirmations that resonate with you. Example: I am doing the best I can and letting go of the need to be perfect. My baby loves me and just needs love and attention from me. Put reminders in your phone or tape them up around your house so you don’t forget. Mindset is everything and your family will pick up on the positive vibes coming from you as you speak to yourself with love and kindness.

Get all zen-like

Meditation.  Two minutes of quiet time and deep breathing can be so powerful. Especially for a stressed out mama. If you can’t manage a few minutes of complete quiet, use an app like Headspace for guided meditation.

Nourishing reads

self care routine
Choose relaxing and nourishing reads for your self care routine

If you can’t pick up a physical book (The ones on my nightstand are collecting dust, so trust me I know it’s hard!!), use audible or the Kindle app to read on the go instead of using social media. You will feel so much more uplifted and at peace by reading something you enjoy instead of scrolling social media and comparing yourself to others. When you sit down to nurse, pull up the Kindle app instead of Instagram!

Feel fresh and confident

Get a haircut. Nothing will make you feel fresher than quiet time in a salon enjoying a scalp massage and a blow out. You will come home feeling like a new woman.

Writing for release

Journaling is a wonderful act of self care for moms. Let out those feelings and journal it out. Write out your concerns, fears, or what you are looking forward to. Journaling is an excellent way to sort out your stressed mama brain. I find it’s especially effective before bed, so you can go to bed feeling calm and peaceful.

Simplify and minimise

Get the clothes that don’t fit out of your closet! There is no reason to look in your closet and feel down about yourself each day. Pare down the wardrobe (even if it’s a small capsule wardrobe in the postpartum months); it will make your morning easier! Check out Pinterest for great capsule wardrobe ideas.

Let the sun shine in!

self care routine
Let the sun shine in as part of your self care routine

Open the blinds. Every morning open the blinds and let some sunlight in. It helps baby sort our her circadian rhythm and a little sunshine is good for the soul.

Can’t get to the salon right now?

A hot shower and blowout can be an amazing and nourishing part of your self care routine. If you can’t make it to the salon for a haircut, this is the next best thing! Taking the time for a full-on blow-out isn’t realistic every day, but if you do it once, not only is it super relaxing but with a bit of dry shampoo you can have great hair for several days.

Date night for one

Take yourself on a date! Either head out for a solo movie or get some takeout and snuggle up with your favorite chick flick after the baby goes to bed. Most importantly, unplug from your phone, forget about the housework and veg out without guilt!

Party time!

Put on some music. Play your favorite music in the background instead of having the TV on. An impromptu dance party never hurt anyone either! Singing and dancing is good for the soul, and your babe will probably enjoy it too.

While this list for a self care routine may seem overwhelming at first glance, I hope you find one or two suggestions that can help you feel more peace and self-love. For more articles like this one, check out www.vivfitness.com/blog.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out these ten fitness tips for moms or find out why ‘me time’ is so important. Maybe you also need to know these six steps to awesome energy levels! If you’re a mom and you think you might have postpartum incontinence, find out about the signs you’ve got it and what to do about it xx

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I write for a number of publications and generally publish a blog once a week about finding ways to enjoy a more happy and healthy lifestyle.

I also come across a lot of useful healthy information all the time. If I find something of value, I'd love to share it with you.

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2 Comments

  • Atim at EffiFit

    I’m not a mom, but I feel I could use many of these strategies myself.

    • Elly McGuinness

      For sure – self care is important for everyone. glad you found the tips helpful:)

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