We all know the best ways to take care of ourselves, right?
Like getting at least 8 hours of sleep. Eating a healthy diet. And meditating 🧘🏿.
Trying to get 8 hours of sleep with a newborn is impossible. Eating a healthy diet is hard when pregnancy cravings, nursing cravings, and uhh every-other-time-in-your-life cravings happen! And meditating while your toddler throws their toys at you is kind of hard.
Sometimes, as humans, we overthink things. We have this all-or-nothing attitude. Well, I ate that cookie so I’m quitting my diet. Or I don’t have time to go to the gym, so I’m just not going to exercise. But there are ways to take care of yourself with the tools you have available. Kind of like a some-or-nothing attitude.
Consider this the mom’s guide to better self-care. We will go over the science-backed ways to take care of yourself and then we will go over how you can do the mom-version of it 🙃.
6 Ways For Mama’s To Self-Care
- Sleep. When it comes to taking care of yourself, getting quality sleep is probably at the top of the list.
The Science: Your body needs time to rest, restore, and rejuvenate. It’s actually critical for us to be able to retain information and learn new skills. It’s recommended to get anywhere from 7-9 hours at night. Quality over quantity!
Mom Version: Okay, ya know what you need to do. But it’s just not possible sometimes. Teething toddler. Late-night shifts. Just can’t turn off those thoughts. Try these ideas for some mom sleep.
- Leave a notebook by your bed and write down all your worries, dreams, and tasks you didn’t finish. You can start over in the morning.
- Nap more. Quality sleep at night is probably not happening when you have a baby, so make napping when your baby naps a priority.
- Make your room a sleep sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool, and add some white noise.
- You’re guilty of screen time before bed, don’t deny it!! The best thing would be to shut off all screens a few hours before bed but your second best thing is to dim the screens and add some blue light blocking glasses to your nighttime attire.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse/friend/family member for a little help. Weekend naps, a night off from nursing, or just some alone time can do wonders for your attitude.
- And probably the most important advice of all. Create healthy sleep habits for your kids. When your kids sleep, you sleep! If your kids need some help falling asleep, you might want to try some melatonin.
2. Play Games. When was the last time you played a game? Or solved a puzzle? As a busy mama, you’re running around playing make-believe with your kids but it might be time to play some games yourself. Think puzzles, Sudoku, board games, and card games.
The Science: Want to enhance your cognitive flex? One study suggests that playing games (cards and board games) can help you stay mentally sharp later in life.
Mom Version: Have you ever tried playing any type of board game or cards with a toddler running around? It’s a disaster. Put the babies to bed and pull out a game to play with your spouse, friends, or older children. It’s a great, screen-free way to connect, relax, and have fun!
3. Prenatal. A good prenatal can provide essential nutrients to both mama and baby and can be taken before, during, and after pregnancy.
The Science: We’ve already written an entire blog on why we think women should be taking a prenatal supplement so I will just repeat one very important thing. According to the CDC, between 50-70% of birth defects could be prevented each year if a mom took enough supplemental folate daily. Having a good Prenatal Support that you can take before, during, and after will help you take care of yourself and your future baby.
Mom Version: Taking anything every single day can get annoying if it’s a big horse pill or tastes gross. Our Prenatal Support comes in a tasty, melt-form and provides essential nutrients for baby AND mama!
4. Meditate. Taking a few moments to get centered and to focus on, well, not focusing, can do wonders for your overall health.
The Science: Meditation has been shown to be helpful with a variety of conditions, helping both the body and the mind. Here are four elements that most forms of meditation have in common:
- A quiet location with very little distractions
- A comfortable position
- A focus of attention
- An open attitude
Mom Version: Just practice deep breathing. If you can find time for meditation while mommin’ then definitely go all in. If you’re looking for the benefits but can’t go full meditation quite yet, just work on your breathing.
5. Healthy Diet. A healthy diet can affect the way we think, act, and sleep.
The Science: The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that you include 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables in your daily diet. And most health authorities recommend the 8×8 rule, which is eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Mom Version: Nothing beats a healthy diet. If you want to get more fruits and veggies in your life (and in your kid’s life) you need to make it convenient. Maybe that means chopping them up so they are ready to eat anytime. Or maybe that means you find new recipes that include fruits and vegetables. While adding more fruits and vegetables, you can also find a good daily Multivitamin to help you get more of the vitamins you need. And last, but not least, find a cute water bottle that you love and keep it filled with water so you can sip on it throughout the day.
6. Exercise. Regular exercise helps boost your mood, helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss, and can improve your life.
The Science: The Department of Health and Human Services recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. And it recommends that you do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least 2x a week.
Mom Version: That could be 30 minutes of walking every day during the week (and taking the weekends off). Or 15 minutes of running every weekday (with weekends off). You figure out what works best for you. But guess what? Anything is better than nothing. So, if that means you take a walk 1-2 times a week, then that’s great! Just start somewhere!
Helping Moms Stay Healthy
It’s easy to get an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to health and goals. Well, if I can’t work out every day then I just won’t work out at all. I’m too busy to meal prep healthy meals, so I’ll just keep eating whatever I want.
We know you are busy and stressed and strapped for time. So, just do your best! Make a goal to meditate once a month! Start a game of tag with your kids–your kids will love it and you’ll get some exercise.
Anything is better than nothing.
Mom-style self-care is still self-care, so remember to take care of #1 (YOU)!