Between taking care of your newborn and spending time with your spouse and other children and tackling household chores, it may seem like there is less time in a day to do something that makes you feel good. For many new moms, the already stressful role of a mom has become even more difficult with the added stresses of the coronavirus pandemic. You may find yourself cleaning and disinfecting your home more often, and keeping your older children entertained now that they are spending more time at home. You may also feel isolated due to restrictions such as social distancing, which makes it challenging to get proper social support.
Nevertheless, becoming a mom should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, and even if it may be challenging to remain optimistic with all the obstacles coming your way, it is possible to turn it into a positive experience. It all starts with taking care of yourself first.
Make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition
The pandemic has many of us spending more time indoors than usual, and this lack of structure can be detrimental to someone who is used to being productive. In such tough times when many of us are stuck at home, it is so easy to start slipping into bad habits such as emotional eating just to make ourselves feel better, even for a short while.
While eating junk food while binging your favorite Netflix show may not seem that big of a deal now, it can be detrimental in the long run. Apart from ruining your postpartum fitness goals by causing weight gain, looking for comfort in food can also lead to eating disorders. As challenging as it may be, try to focus more on making healthy choices (especially if you are breastfeeding), but do let yourself enjoy some guilty pleasure foods from time to time.
Try to get more sleep
This one may be tricky, especially with a newborn, but getting enough sleep is essential for preserving a new mom’s physical and mental health. Sleep gives our bodies a chance to recuperate from all the daily stresses they are being put through, especially now in the times of global pandemic. Because of this, it is important to keep track of how much sleep you are getting each night and whether your sleep quality can be improved in any way.
For instance, if you are having trouble falling asleep, consider indulging in relaxing activities such as taking a bubble bath, drinking warm tea, or reading a book before bed. If you need more sleep, try going to bed half an hour earlier, or consider asking your partner to watch the baby so you can take a short and sweet, guilt-free nap during the day.
Eliminate tension and stress through exercise
One of the best ways to relieve the body from tension is to simply get it moving. Even something as simple as taking a walk around the block can be of big help in combating stress and burning off calories. Try asking your partner if you can take turns and go for a walk or a light jog while they watch the baby. Stretching and yoga can also be beneficial for de-stressing, as well as some light postnatal exercises, and they will help get your body back in shape.
Whichever physical activities you go for, make sure to combine them with a balanced diet. For optimal results, consider supplementing with premium isolate protein to help support post-workout recovery, enhance your performance, and foster weight loss. Most importantly, listen to what your body needs and choose activities that you actually enjoy. The better it feels, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Schedule time for yourself
With a newborn to care for, fitting in some ‘me time’ into your schedule may seem nearly impossible. New moms have a lot on their plates, and things can get even more challenging for single moms. That being said, taking a break and incorporating some ‘mommy alone time’ is essential as it gives you a chance to re-energize and be at your best which is what your family needs the most. While your daily to-do list may no longer allow for time-consuming hobbies and activities, there is a way to prioritize your own personal health and well-being.
Instead of structuring your day only for your family, start scheduling time for yourself that you will use to recharge and decompress. Whether that means reaching out to a friend and grabbing a coffee together, baking, making art, or simply breathing and meditating, taking good care of yourself is a big part of being a modern mom, and it will allow you to be better at taking care of others.
Cut yourself some slack
With so much pressure to excel at each aspect of her life, it is easy for a new mom to start striving for perfectionism. However, perfectionism and coronavirus shouldn’t mix, not only because it is detrimental to our mental health, but also because it is rather unattainable. In stressful times such as these, it is important to be realistic in order to take some of the pressure off and avoid burnout.
Sometimes, being a good parent simply means lowering the bar and reminding yourself that you are doing the best that you can during such a difficult time. Cut yourself some slack, practice more self-compassion and forgiveness, and don’t get upset if you are unable to meet every expectation you have set. When things do get overwhelming, don’t hold your emotions in. Instead, head to another room where you can be alone and take a few minutes for yourself to release those negative feelings. Finally, ditch the Supermom myth and, every once in awhile, remind yourself that being a good mom is good enough.
With the coronavirus pandemic making motherhood even more challenging than it already is, new moms may have trouble adapting to what seems to be the new normal. Although it might feel right to put everything else first, it is important to realize that prioritizing personal health and well-being is the only way for new moms to stay healthy and be their best.
After all, you will be setting an example for your child now, so teach them the importance of being kind to themselves before offering comfort and care to those around them.