By Lizzie Bland
Hey mama, it’s a well-known fact that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others (you can’t pour from an empty cup!)… the hard part is actually practicing this and prioritising yourself, especially if you have a newborn soaking up all of your time.
Self-care may seem like an unachievable luxury when you’re a new mama, so during the early months, it may help if you lower your expectations from a 30 minute meditation, bath, home-cooked Yotam Ottolenghi meal or a mani-pedi to some more realistic options.
1 // Try a walking meditation
Don’t have time to meditate when you get home, but have a walking commute? Meditation apps like Headspace now have walking meditation which encourages you to discard autopilot behaviours such as making a call, listening to music or dwelling on your workload and instead encourages you to engage in your scenery with the idea to sync body and mind. The idea is to focus your attention on the environment and hone in on one aspect for a period of time. For example, focusing on your posture, appreciating surrounding trees or listening to particular sounds around you. The benefit is that we get out of our heads and tune in to our environment… which when we have up to 80,000 thoughts a day (yup!!) is a welcome respite for our brain.
2 // Bring the bath to you
If you don’t have a bath or the time to soak in one (let’s face it, who does?) DIY with a bucket and Epsom salts. Simply run hot water and pour in Epsom salts which promote muscle relaxation and then park yourself on the couch (once the bebes are asleep, so you can truly relax) and binge your fav TV show while your feet receive some much needed lovin’.
3 // Embrace the mini facial
Any new mama will tell you that your skincare regime goes out the window, but I’ve learnt to improvise. I massage a nourishing natural oil (my fav is Rosehip Oil) into my face before I breastfeed and just after the feed, while my little one is milk drunk,
I roll a rose quartz roller over my skin. This helps improve skin tone and elasticity, which is desperately needed thanks to the minimal sleep I’m getting!
4 // Simplify your cooking
For some, cooking is therapeutic, but can be restricted by time. That’s where Jamie Oliver comes in handy, opt for his 30 minute cookbook or even the 15 minute one if you’re really pressed for time. Cooking a meal for yourself is a form of self-care which when paired with music, a glass of wine or with a friend/partner can be very rewarding, especially if there’s leftovers for lunch.
5 // Rest up
When you’re doing your last Instagram scroll for the evening or reading a book, lie on your bed, rest your legs up against the wall and tuck your bottom in so it is close to the wall. This helps drain the circulation from your legs, which is beneficial if you’ve been sitting for most of the day. This also helps soothe the nervous system and may even ease you into sleep a little quicker.