Congratulations! You’ve just welcomed your bundle of joy to the world. You likely feel like your heart has expanded a size—you didn’t know you were capable of so much love.
But between nursing, burping, diaper changes, and of course, the constant interruptions in sleep, you may not have a lot of time to practice self-love.
Parenting takes boundless energy. Sometimes you go to bed at night wondering how you’ll be able to do it all over again! But there’s an easy way to feel better: start practicing this 6 step self-care routine.
#1: Take a Deep Breath
Finally, you’ve found (or demanded) a moment for yourself. You may have conflicting feelings—joy, guilt, separation anxiety, and even sadness. Remember that you’re experiencing natural hormonal change, not to mention a huge life transition!
That’s why it’s so important to take a deep breath, exhale it with a sigh, and then get ready for some self-care.
Let’s do this!
#2: HALT Assessment
The HALT assessment is meant to alert you to basic unfulfilled needs. You’ve been spending so much energy taking care of yourself that you may not realize that you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
If any of these apply, take immediate action before proceeding to step #3.
- Hungry, grab a simple and nourishing meal or snack
- Angry, try squeezing a stress ball
- Lonely, dial a supportive friend or family member and talk it out
- Tired, put on your favorite sleep mask and grab a few precious minutes of sleep
Feeling better? If not, listen to your body, and continue taking steps to fulfill your core needs. This list is just a jumping-off point. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to spend time and attention focusing on what you really want and need.
If you still have time, proceed to the next step.
#3: Get Grounded and Calm
Next, feel your way back into your own body. One of the best ways to do this is by focusing on your feet. Try rolling them out on a therapy ball, or give yourself a nourishing foot massage with the help of a CBD tincture.
#4: Move and Stretch
Once you’re feeling a little more in touch with your body, take the opportunity to get in some movement. Regular exercise is just as important for new moms as everyone else!
While pregnancy weight may be a concern, the main goal right now is to start feeling comfortable again. To this end, try out:
- Taking a walk around the block
- Catching an online yoga class
- Trying postnatal Pilates
Remember to take it easy at first. Your body may not be prepared for the same workouts you breezed through in your second trimester!
Start with just 5-10 minutes of exercise and build up slowly as time and endurance allow.
#5: Wash and Moisturize
Once you’ve exercised, get in the shower. We know. You may rather take a nap. But you’ll feel better and sleep better if you’re clean.
Want to make your shower as short as possible? Try using a cleansing beauty balm that doubles as a moisturizer. Hop in and out, and then curl up in a quiet place to savor the rest of your time to yourself.
Find a comfortable place to jot down a few thoughts. Is that place next to baby? As long as they’re sleeping, we won’t stop you from snuggling up close.
Tackle the following questions:
- How are you feeling now?
- How did your self-care routine benefit you today?
- Is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
- What are you grateful for today?
- What would make you feel whole, happy, and rested tomorrow?
In time, this journal will become a record of your first tender moments with baby. As they start to change and grow, you’ll be happy to have this reference on hand. You’ll see how much they’ve grown—and how much you have, too!
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish
When your little tot is totally dependent on you for everything, it can feel selfish to take a single second to yourself. Just remember that you’re adjusting to a whole new world, too.
Take the time to get in touch with your changing needs so that you can adapt to the new normal with strength, grace, and of course, soft skin.