When you have a tiny human to raise, it can feel like your daily life is no longer your own. It can feel nearly impossible to get in a shower, let alone any quality “me time.” Here are a few quick and easy tips for taking care of yourself—and ways to carve out time in the day for it—because you need it and deserve it, mama.
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1. Try a postnatal workout.
Taking care of your own body is just as important as caring for your wee babe. A simple, restorative postnatal workout is not only great for you physically, it also gets your endorphins going, improves your mood and fights fatigue. And you don’t even have to leave home to do it. Search YouTube or download an app, such as the Sweat App, to your phone or tablet. You can find shorter workouts to sneak into your schedule when it works for you.
2. Get a facial or a massage.
When you’re a new mom and you’re responsible for taking care of little ones, it’s important for someone else to take care of you every once in a while. Ask your partner or a family member to take over at home, and make an appointment for a facial or a massage—most are just an hour long, and they involve you lying down while someone else tends to your needs. Bliss.
3. Sign up for a mom & baby class.
Getting out of the house and being around other people who are in the same situation are often the best things for a new mom’s soul. Look for a local stroller fitness class, a new mom support group or a mom and baby music or yoga class—basically any type of class you register for and attend at the same day and time every week. Knowing you’ll have a regularly scheduled appointment to get out and have some time with other grown-ups can be something to look forward to.
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4. Declutter a room.
There’s something magically freeing about decluttering. If you choose a small area, such as a pantry or closet, it only takes a few minutes but helps you to feel more organized and in control. If you plan to tackle your bedroom closet, get rid of any clothes that don’t fit or you know you won’t wear again to simplify your daily routine.
Meditating is something you can do for yourself, from the comfort of your own home, whenever it works for you. Also available on your phone or tablet, apps such as Headspace or Calm require very little prep or time and can make a world of difference in how you feel, as well as on your perspective and outlook.
6. Have an actual phone conversation with a friend.
When was the last time you spoke to someone on the phone? It sounds almost archaic these days, but connecting with a friend when you’re dealing with the isolation that can come with new motherhood is a beautiful thing. Try calling up a friend and having a good gab.
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7. Take a nap or go to bed early.
Sleep is key to feeling like you can conquer the day—or anything, really. If baby is keeping you from sleeping through the night, sneak a nap into your day. Sometimes all you need is 20-30 minutes to feel reenergized. And if naps aren’t happening, push your bedtime earlier until you feel like you’re able to get the rest you need.
8. Listen to podcasts.
There are so many uplifting, inspiring, encouraging podcasts out there that can really make a difference in how you feel. We love One Bad Mother, but there are so many options available these days that you can find a podcast on pretty much any topic that interests you.
9. Unplug. For real.
Sometimes getting off the phone and away from all the scrolling for a while is all you need to recharge. If you can’t turn off your phone completely, try turning off all the notifications from social media, or even just move them from your home screen to the second or third screen. Out of sight, out of mind.
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10. Make plans with a friend.
A coffee date, a walk, a dinner or lunch out—whatever works for your schedule. There’s nothing like the restorative power of being with a good friend for a few laughs and some great conversation.
— Heather Dixon