New moms — and parents in general — tend to place their children’s needs in front of their own. Just like the emergency procedures on an airplane, if you don’t take care of yourself, eventually you will not be able to take care of your children.
Parents are busy with family responsibilities, work, errands, household chores and more. The following is a list of six simple self care ideas you can do use to make yourself a priority, as well as raise your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks Consistently
When was the last time you sat down and ate a healthy meal or snack? How many times have you finished off your child’s macaroni and cheese while clearing the table because you forgot to eat earlier? Moms need to eat well to have enough energy to keep up with their little ones.
Eating healthy by incorporating whole foods into your diet and consuming small meals or snacks every three hours or so can improve your digestion, increase mental focus, and help you avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes throughout the day. By feeding your body the right food at the right time, you can say goodbye to that three o’clock slump and rev your metabolism.
Break a Sweat
You may feel tired from chasing after children all day, but breaking a sweat can actually rejuvenate your body and give you an energy boost. It also boosts your self-confidence and relieves stress. As many as 73 percent of parents reported they feel stressful trying to cope with family responsibilities, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Children model their behavior from their parents. If you make exercise a priority, then your child may follow in your footsteps. Even a ten minute workout streaming from the computer at home or a walk around the block counts as exercise.
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Drink Enough Water
Not only should you take the time to eat every few hours, but staying hydrated is important as well. Parents on the run with a full diaper bag on the way to soccer practice may have snacks and drinks packed for the kids, but often forget about their own need for water. Dehydration can occur if you lose too much water from your body and fail to replace those lost liquids.
Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps
Severe dehydration can lead to medical issues requiring immediate care such as low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, fever, delirium, or unconsciousness.
You can avoid dehydration by bringing a bottle of water with you when you leave the house. If you are home during the day, make it a goal to drink a few ounces frequently and more when it is hot outside or when you exercise. Drinking water regularly will replenish your body, eliminate toxins, and regulate digestion.
Care for Your Skin
Sleepless nights, cranky toddlers, and overwhelming household tasks can leave you frazzled and your skin looking less than radiant. Adopting a quick skin care regimen now can benefit you in the future. Take a few minutes daily to cleanse your skin of any makeup, oil and dead cells to reveal a radiant glow. Plus, when your skin is clean, it has a better chance of absorbing the nutrients from your moisturizer and/or serums.
Applying a moisturizer with a broad-spectrum sunscreen onto clean skin in the morning can protect your face against premature aging and ultraviolet rays. You can also apply sunscreen to your arms, legs, neck, and chest in case of incidental exposure. If you are going to be outdoors swimming or exercising, reapply every two to three hours to maintain protection.
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Take a Nap
Sleeping in may not be an option anymore – at least during the first few years after having children – but getting enough sleep is important to your mental health. A short catnap of 20 to 30 minutes could improve your mood, performance, and focus.
Try taking a short nap when you lay your children down for their nap. You could also ask your spouse, friend, or relative to watch the baby so you can take a much-needed nap once or twice a week.
Make Time for Yourself
Following writer Virginia Woolf’s advice of having “a room of one’s own” may not work when you have little ones trailing you to the bathroom on a daily basis. However, making time for yourself is critical to your well-being. According to Psychology Today, being by yourself allows your mind to refocus and improves concentration and productivity.
Try to spend a few minutes doing something meaningful for yourself each day. This could mean reading for ten minutes while your children nap, journaling before bed, watching a favorite television show, or spending a few minutes on a hobby while someone else bathes the baby.
It’s not selfish to take a few minutes to incorporate these six simple things into your day. Your children would much rather have a less frazzled mom – refreshed and recharged.
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.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.