6 Snappy Self-Care Strategies for a Busy New-Parent Schedule
Caring for a family – especially one that includes a newborn – can be draining. But a simple solution to feeling emotionally drained is to make a bit of time for yourself. Of course, as a harried parent, you may not have enough time for much of anything – but these ideas can help.
If you’re a Happy Mommy Tired Mommy, too, try these self-care strategies that fit into your busy schedule.
First Strategy- Adopt a Person-First Mindset
Yes, you’re a frazzled, sleep-deprived, and totally loving mom. But you’re a person first, and it helps to remember that. Though setting aside time for yourself may be something new, reconnecting with who you were before having kids can feel refreshing in a totally different way.
Plus, succeeding with self-care is about more than lining up a few spare minutes for a shower. To really embrace self-care, you need to balance your needs with those of your family. Getting your priorities in order – and scheduling time for everything – can also help you make a few extra moments for yourself.
Second Strategy-Pamper Your Body, Too
Whether you’ve given birth, adopted a child, or anything in between, parenting can sap your energy. And while extra (or even adequate) sleep may not be doable, pampering your body in other ways is.
For example, investing in everyday tops can help you feel more put-together and prepared for your next nursing session. A new lotion or hair mask can help you re-moisturize and feel like a new person.
Treat Yourself (Literally)
While it’s not healthy to overindulge at any point in pregnancy or parenthood, treating yourself can offer a bit of a boost to your day. From dark chocolate, which is packed with nutrients, to oatmeal cookies (which could help with milk production), sampling treats you love can get the endorphins flowing.
Besides, nursing moms do need about 450 to 500 extra calories each day, according to the CDC. As long as you’re making time for healthier habits – like drinking enough water and eating your veggies – a few treats can’t hurt.
Give Yourself a Few Minutes “Off”
Your baby – or toddler or special needs child – will eventually take a nap or go to bed for the night. But when they do, you might begin your after-hours routine of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, and a million other household necessities.
While letting chores pile up can seem counterintuitive (mom guilt is real), consider the mental health benefits of taking a bit of time to enjoy your favorite Netflix show or sitting down with a book. After a short break, you might even feel more positive about what’s next on your to-do list.
Ask for Help
Going it alone is almost always a recipe for disaster when it comes to new parenthood. Verywell Family recommends looking to social support and simplifying your routine when dealing with overwhelm as a new mom. Clearly, emotional support is one thing you can’t get via self-care, but it can play a major role in your well-being.
If you have a partner, be honest about your need for support. If you’re going it alone, onboard family and friends to help out. Whether it’s a meal train to keep you out of the kitchen or someone to come over and cuddle your baby while you shower, getting help with mundane tasks can help you avoid burnout and feel more human.
Save Time Wherever You Can
One way to make time for self-care is by reducing the time you spend on daily tasks. Instead of going grocery shopping, for example, you could order delivery or sign up for meal kits. Rather than cook a full meal at the stove, toss a few ingredients into a slow cooker for a one-pot meal.
As Psychology Today explains, doing more is a recipe for burnout – and no new mom needs to carry extra stress, guilt, or responsibilities.
By caring for yourself in small ways, you can enter parenthood with a bit more confidence and a lot less stress. Taking each day as it comes is an excellent strategy for maintaining your peace of mind. And working in ways to feel slightly more human is the perfect way to spend a spare minute.
Connect with Happy Mommy Tired Mommy for more Self care strategies and tricks to help with your parenting journey!
Alex is a Stay-at-home father of three lively boys. Home safety is a number one priority when you are around this much energy and curiosity! He co-created safetytoday.org.