Combat the Stress of Being a New Mom
Congratulations! You’re a new mom! Welcome to the world of stinky diapers, sleepless nights, precious smiles, and indescribable giggles. There’s nothing quite like the first few months of motherhood, and that goes double when it comes to your stress level. We’ve all been there — trying to make sure that you make all the right choices for this new human that you’re now responsible for on a bare few hours of sleep can be stressful in itself. Here are a few ways to help you combat the stress of being a new mom.
Put it Off
You’ve got a ton of projects that need to get done — we know how it is. It might be tempting to try to jump on some of those big projects while you’re home with the new baby. Resist the temptation, especially for projects that might take a lot of time or energy.
Chances are, you are sleep deprived. A pool done by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that upwards of 76% of new parent’s report sleep problems. This isn’t surprising when you consider the new little human that is waking you up every couple of hours. Skip the projects, and sleep when your baby sleeps. The projects will wait and you’ll feel much better if you pick up some extra sleep while your baby naps throughout the day.
You might not want to even get out of bed let alone go to the gym, but it can be a great way to help reduce your stress and get you started on the path toward losing that baby weight, if that’s what you want to do. Exercise can also be a great tool to help beat those baby blues and help with the treatment of postpartum depression.
First, make sure that you’re cleared to start exercising — usually your doctor will let you know at your 6 week postpartum appointment whether you’re cleared to exercise or not. It might take a bit longer than those 6 weeks if you delivered by C-section.
If you’re up to going to the gym, consider trying a full body workout like a barre class. These classes are based around the movements that ballet dancers learn to carry them across the stage. While you might not be planning to become a dancer in the near future, this workout is still ideal because it combines cardio, body-weight strength training, and stretching into a full body workout.
If getting to the gym isn’t an option, either because of childcare or financials, there are plenty of options for working out at home. Sites like Amazon have a huge variety of exercise videos, as do other sites like YouTube. Find the workout that works best for you, and the one that you have the energy to do.
Take a Break
You probably don’t want leave your new baby with anyone, especially if you’re exclusively breastfeeding. It’s understandable, but it could also lead to you being terribly sleep deprived and burned out after a couple of months. If someone you trust offers to watch the baby, even for a couple of hours so you can take a shower — an actual shower — and take a nap, take them up on it.
Just because you’re a new mom doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a break. If you’ve got someone offering help, take it.
Eating well is important, especially if you’re breastfeeding, but even if you’re not it’s important to keep yourself full of the right nutrients so you can keep up with your little ones. If you’ve got friends or family nearby, chances are your fridge is full of tuna casserole dishes from concerned family members who want to makes sure that you’re eating. While this is a great option, there’s only so much tuna casserole you can eat before you can stand it anymore.
If it’s an option with your financial situation, consider a meal delivery service. Everything is prepped and ready to cook, all you need to do is put it together and you’ve got yourself a fresh and healthy gourmet meal.
Takeout menus are also an option, if you’ve got any restaurants in your local area that deliver. We’d recommend using those sparingly though — they tend to not be the healthiest option.
Having a new baby is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Take a break, have a good meal, or just take someone up on their offer to help. You are just as important as your new little one and you’ll be a better mom overall if you take the time to ditch some of your unnecessary stress.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.