Conscious mom | Adult time | Fold | The Weekly Source

BBeing a mother of four myself with school-age offspring, I love being with new moms. Conversations about the myriad of struggles mixed with newborn hugs give me a magical blend of a familiar life stage.

Recently the sun came out and a new mom friend and I decided to put her little ones in the stroller and go for a walk. Inevitably, we started to discuss anxiety. I don’t think I have met a mother who is not afraid that her newborn will stop breathing overnight or starve to death due to insufficient lactation. New moms deal with body changes, melon-sized breasts, jeans that still don’t fit and to top it off, anxiety. While anxiety typically lasts about six weeks until the new routine becomes normal, hormones regulate, and the body recovers, sometimes anxiety grows like a ubiquitous bacteria.

My friend was showing signs of new mom anxiety that troubled me, not because I think she is sick, although anxiety disorders are common. I was confused because the self-care needed to ease her anxiety as a new mom seemed almost impossible. During this initial stage, most moms are exhausted. The tasks of caring for a baby, a home, possibly other children, and nurturing a relationship with a loved one, not to mention exercising an outside profession, are monumental.

Asking a new mom to take care of herself often seems like just another duty. People look at me sideways when I say I’m still recovering from my 14 years as a stay-at-home mom. I am not joking. When I was at the new mom stage, I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I am trying to recognize what it really means to take care of yourself. What are some self-care practices that a new mom can implement with limited time and money? Self-care is defined as an activity designed to take care of one’s mental, emotional and physical health in a targeted manner. Taking care of yourself is not another task to add to the list. While the choice to care for oneself takes willpower, the result is a refueled individual, offering a new capacity to love those who are important.

Here are nine handy self-care tools for new moms:

Exercise: It was my only personal care for years. Choosing to exercise each day will increase serotonin levels and physical energy. In addition, certain exercises, such as yoga, will counteract the body’s response to anxiety.

Acupressure mat: For just $ 20, you can lie on small, spiked plastic discs that stimulate your body’s acupressure points, helping it release natural endorphins. I will not lie, the first times, it feels like lying on bedbugs. Persevere to slowly build up to 10 minutes for a natural, rewarding calm.

Weighted blanket: Often used for ADHD and anxiety disorders, it gives the body a sense of being held that can soothe YOU because you spend so much time soothing your baby. Consider taking a nap with one or using it while you read or watch TV

Meditation: We often assume that meditation takes at least an hour, requires a “Zen” atmosphere, and is reserved for Buddhist monks. In truth, even 10 minutes of chosen stillness can improve feelings of well-being, minimize anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Authorization to say “no”: When a mother is born, so is a list of new requirements. You will be writing permission sheets for your child over the next decade. To balance the new requirements, write one by saying “no” within a task that is normally asked of you.

Support groups: Join a community group, library group, or playgroup. Get into a place where you can be surrounded by women for companionship, support, and new ideas.

To laugh: I will never forget reading Vicki Iovine’s “First Year Girlfriend’s Guide”. His wit and shameless truth made me feel normal. A contemporary reading is “Confessions of a Domestic Failure”, by Bunmi Latidan. This literary delight made me tremble and snort in my efforts to stealthily laugh on an airplane.

Eat clean: This is not your muffin-top. Our bodies are designed to function on whole foods. Eating well allows our body to function optimally.

Pick one nice thing every day: Take five minutes to sip a hot drink. Take a 10-minute walk. Color or draw. Think about what you like to do and enjoy one activity a day, no matter how small. We spend every day loving our children. Can we also love ourselves by choosing to take care of ourselves? Wonder Woman needs her weapons, may self-care be one of yours.

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