Mamas, as we navigate the rewarding yet demanding journey of motherhood, I want to remind you of something crucial – taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your little ones. I’m here, both as a Family Nurse Practitioner and a mom who’s been through these very challenges, to share a more in-depth guide on how you can integrate wellness into your daily routine.
More often than not, when I share details about health and wellness for women, a mama just like you tells me it’s impossible with their kids! I know it’s not easy…no change to a routine or schedule ever is…but there are steps that moms can take to reclaim their health while in the trenches of motherhood!
- Schedule It: Treat your ‘me time’ like any important appointment. Put it on the calendar and stick to it. Whether it’s early in the morning before the kids wake up or during their naptime, find a slot that works for you.
- Simple Pleasures: It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A warm bath, a few minutes of meditation, or just sitting quietly with a cup of your favorite tea can be incredibly rejuvenating
Nutrition – Eating Well for You and Your Family:
- Meal Planning: Take some time during the weekend to plan your meals. This can reduce stress and ensure you’re eating wholesome meals throughout the week.
- Healthy Snacking: Keep healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, or yogurt handy. They’re great for you and your kids when hunger strikes unexpectedly.
- Involve Your Kids: Cooking with your children can be a fun and educational activity. It’s a chance to teach them about nutrition and healthy eating habits.
- Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine:
- Family Activities: Make exercise a family activity. Go for a walk, have a dance session, or play a sport together. It’s about movement, not necessarily a structured workout.
- At-Home Workouts: There are numerous online resources for quick at-home workouts that can be squeezed into your day. Even 10-15 minutes can make a difference.
Building a Supportive Community:
- Connect Digitally: Join online forums or social media groups where you can share experiences and get advice from other moms.
- Local Mom Groups: If possible, join a local mom’s group. It’s a great way to make friends who are in the same stage of life and understand your challenges.
- Asking for and Accepting Help:
- Delegate: Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your partner, family, or friends. It’s okay to share the load.
- Professional Help: If things get overwhelming, consider seeking help from a counselor or therapist. Mental health is a crucial part of your overall well-being.
Sleep Strategies for Moms:
Embrace Sleep when Baby Sleeps: It’s a common piece of advice because it works. Try to rest or take a nap when your little one does. This might mean letting some household chores wait, but your sleep is a priority.
Create a Calming Bedtime Routine for Your Kids: A consistent bedtime routine for your children can help them settle down quicker, allowing you more time to relax and prepare for your own sleep.
Seek Help for Nighttime Duties: If possible, alternate nighttime duties with your partner or ask for help from family. Sharing nighttime feedings or comforting can give you a longer stretch of uninterrupted sleep.
Limit Caffeine and Stay Hydrated: Especially in the afternoon and evening, limit caffeine and drink plenty of water. Proper hydration can improve your energy levels and overall health.
Prepare for Efficient Nighttime Feeds: If you’re nursing, have everything you need for nighttime feeds close at hand to make these disruptions as brief and calm as possible.
Use Relaxation Techniques: If you have trouble falling back to sleep after tending to your child, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, gentle stretching, or listening to soothing music.
Remember, mama, prioritizing your wellness isn’t just beneficial for you, but for your entire family. By taking care of yourself, you’re teaching your children the importance of self-care and setting them up for a healthy life. Embrace this journey with kindness towards yourself. You’re doing an incredible job, and taking care of yourself is a key part of that.