Self-care routines for busy mamas
To take care of others, start by caring for yourself.
From your pregnancy to the birth of your child, you’ve travelled a great distance to an entirely new life. There’s suddenly a new little being that’s entirely dependent on your care. Many things weigh your mind: vaccinations, laundry, diapers, milk, and food.
While your baby needs your attention, recognise that you’re also dealing with changes in your body: healing incisions, swollen breasts, a weakened pelvic floor, and a sore back. Mentally, you’re adjusting to new roles and responsibilities. Some days – especially those where you’ve barely slept a wink – it feels difficult to even catch your breath.
During this postpartum period, it can be easy to abandon yourself. Putting your needs above your baby’s might feel a little selfish, but remember that you matter too. Self-care is a necessity, not an indulgence. It puts you in a better position to experience motherhood in a sustainable manner.
Self-care is a necessity, not an indulgence. It puts you in a better position to experience motherhood in a sustainable manner.
New mothers might be wired to love and worry, but don’t let the equilibrium tilt so much that you forget to care for yourself. As with your little one, you need to be regarded and nurtured with compassion.
Learn to pause
When you’re living with a baby whose needs appear to be endless, learning to hit the pause button is key. If you find yourself overwhelmed, taking a moment to step back and survey the situation helps to put things into perspective. While there will be emergencies, most things are not an emergency. When you pause and hold space for yourself to think, you are able to consider a response that isn’t rigged with anxiety.
Roll out your mat
In early postpartum, it can be difficult to shift from constantly being on high alert to the rest-and-connect state of your parasympathetic response. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it can help to bridge that gap. By helping to shift your nervous system into a mode where it feels safe, yoga can decrease stress hormones, inflammation, and spark neurotransmitters associated with relaxation. In addition, postnatal yoga is also incredibly useful in strengthening muscles that have been weakened from pregnancy and childbirth. At The Yoga School, we offer postnatal yoga classes guided by certified postnatal yoga teachers.
Hold space for meaningful conversations
Motherhood can feel incredibly lonely and alienating at times. You barely have time to get a haircut, much less dress up and head out with friends. Even with a supportive partner and network of extended carers, it is easy to feel like you’re the only one in this journey. But you’re not. There are other mums out there going through similar journeys. Connecting with them to discuss your highs and lows is a surprisingly healing process, one that not only allows you to gain wisdom from others who have walked the path before you, but also a sense of camaraderie and support arising from your shared experience of motherhood. So even if it’s just once or twice a week, block out time to meet a fellow mother virtually or in person.
Immerse yourself in a sound bath
Sound baths harness the energy of sound to invite restorative effects. It’s immersive, therapeutic, and gently meditative. Besides helping to quieten internal chatter, soothing sound waves help to drown out external sounds and distractions. For an hour or so, your mind gets to be completely at rest. It’s so important that you give your mind permission to rest especially when motherhood is a calling that demands your energy and attention all the time. At The Yoga School, we offer restorative sound bath sessions harnessing the healing powers of crystal singing bowls. We invite all mamas to join us for a well-deserved time-out.