It’s not like you weren’t expecting your life to get kicked up a notch (or 10) with a new baby. The shake up is what makes being a new parent so exciting, right? But, if you need a breather, don’t worry. There are simple strategies for sneaking in everything from yoga to acupressure that’ll ensure you won’t lose your cool (or your mind!). Read on for tips from relaxation experts, all who have made it through the newborn stage in the past.
Photo: kellinahandbasket via Flickr
Be a Wall Flower
To create instant calm, lay on the floor with your legs leaning against a wall. According to Gail Grossman, a yoga studio owner and mom of two, it’s super-relaxing for the legs and back and it can also re-energize the entire body. Bonus: when your baby gets old enough, she can join in on the get-zen practice before bed.
Make a Face
When you’re feeling wound up, let loose by making a funny face, suggests Emily Francis, mom of two and author of Stretch Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Basic and Assisted Stretching. Start by inhaling and holding your breath. Shut your eyes and tighten your jaw. Then open your eyes and mouth as wide as you can, stick your tongue out as far as you can and do a very audible exhale to push out the tension, and make your bambino crack a gummy smile.
Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa
Can’t make it to yoga? Don’t worry, says Rebecca Rissman, certified yoga instructor and author of Yoga for Your Mind and Body. Instead, find another way to devote quiet time and energy to yourself. Anything can be yoga if you do it with intention. Do you love painting your toenails? The next time your little one is napping, head to your bathroom, light a candle, and paint away.
Acupressure has been used for thousands of years for many types of ailments, including stress, says Kerry Boyle Jenni, a licensed acupuncturist in Montpelier, Vermont. The point right between your eyebrows can be slowly and repeatedly tapped on for a quick calming effect.
Photo by Phoebe via Flickr
Pretend Your Stress is $$$
See your stress level as currency, says Anita Marchesani, Ph.D, a licences psychologist. . How much stress” do you really want to expend on your crying babe, knowing you have a limit to how much you can comfortably give without stretching yourself too thin? Resist giving away too much of your peace and joy in life in exchange for something that has no value.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
When your baby starts to cry, pause and take one slow deep breath before responding, says Stephannie Weikert, a yoga therapist in Baltimore. You can add to this practice by saying to yourself as you inhale, “I breathe in peace,” and when you exhale, “I breathe out love.” The words peace and love can be replaced with anything that feels right to you.
Do you have any tips for finding inner peace as a new parent? Dish in the comments section below.