Motherhood

5 practical ways to (realistically!) make self-care a priority

3 min read

May 7th, 2021

When you’re pregnant there’s a lot of mum-focused love and attention (which is great!).

Family, friends and midwives want to know how you’re feeling, whether you’re eating well, getting enough rest, finding time to unwind, etc. After baby is born, everybody (including mum) is so focused on this beautiful, teeny tiny new addition to the family, that mum’s needs often take a back seat. And most of the time, that’s how it continues to roll.

It’s easy as a mum to get so focused on looking after our babies that we forget (or don’t prioritise) care and attention for ourselves.

You may roll your eyes at the term “self-care” (I used to, until I had my second baby), but trust me, when your physical and emotional energy tank is running on empty, being a mum feels so much harder.

Think about self-care as servicing your car. You don’t service your car only when there’s a problem. You service it in order to keep it running well. Same goes for you! Use self-care to keep your body and mind running well. You’ll enjoy the journey of motherhood so much more if you always have enough left in your energy tank.

Five Practical Ways To Make Self Care A Priority

 

1. Write down a list of self-care actions or activities that a) you enjoy and b) are realistic. Here are a few ideas (bear in mind, we’re all different, and there’s no right or wrong – do what fills YOUR cup):

  • 30-minute massage
  • A walk alone
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • A nap
  • Intuitive eating (listen to your body, what does it want and when?)
  • A long shower or bath
  • An hour on the beach
  • Time alone with an audiobook or podcast
  • Exercise with or without baby
  • Book that Women’s Health Physio appointment

2. Share with your partner your need for regular self-care. Often, if we as a mum don’t state that we need time out or a break, other people won’t think that we need it until our tank is already empty (“you look exhausted, do you need a nap?”)

3. Schedule in regular self-care. Find a day and a time that fits in with you and your family’s schedule. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it most likely won’t get done.

4. Learn to listen to your body and mind for triggers. Can you tell when things are starting to build up and feel overwhelming? Do something small that fills your emotional energy tank before the overwhelm builds into something more challenging to wind down from.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as and when you need it. If you don’t have family close by, make it a priority to find a supportive network of other mums or people who can help to support you when you need it, and vice versa.

You can also get help and support from these online services:

www.PANDA.org.au

www.beyondblue.org.au

You may not be able to control the ups and downs of motherhood but you can control other things such as eating nutrient-dense meals regularly to keep your energy up, staying hydrated with water and finding an accredited mums’ fitness professional to help you safely get active again. All of our trainers are accredited, experienced and partnered with Women’s Health Physios so you know you are in very safe hands. Click here to find a MumSafe trainer in your area.

5 practical ways to (realistically!) make self-care a priority

When you’re pregnant there’s a lot of mum-focused love and attention (which is great!).

Family, friends and midwives want to know how you’re feeling, whether you’re eating well, getting enough rest, finding time to unwind, etc. After baby is born, everybody (including mum) is so focused on this beautiful, teeny tiny new addition to the family, that mum’s needs often take a back seat. And most of the time, that’s how it continues to roll.

It’s easy as a mum to get so focused on looking after our babies that we forget (or don’t prioritise) care and attention for ourselves.

You may roll your eyes at the term “self-care” (I used to, until I had my second baby), but trust me, when your physical and emotional energy tank is running on empty, being a mum feels so much harder.

Think about self-care as servicing your car. You don’t service your car only when there’s a problem. You service it in order to keep it running well. Same goes for you! Use self-care to keep your body and mind running well. You’ll enjoy the journey of motherhood so much more if you always have enough left in your energy tank.

Five Practical Ways To Make Self Care A Priority

 

1. Write down a list of self-care actions or activities that a) you enjoy and b) are realistic. Here are a few ideas (bear in mind, we’re all different, and there’s no right or wrong – do what fills YOUR cup):

  • 30-minute massage
  • A walk alone
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • A nap
  • Intuitive eating (listen to your body, what does it want and when?)
  • A long shower or bath
  • An hour on the beach
  • Time alone with an audiobook or podcast
  • Exercise with or without baby
  • Book that Women’s Health Physio appointment

2. Share with your partner your need for regular self-care. Often, if we as a mum don’t state that we need time out or a break, other people won’t think that we need it until our tank is already empty (“you look exhausted, do you need a nap?”)

3. Schedule in regular self-care. Find a day and a time that fits in with you and your family’s schedule. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it most likely won’t get done.

4. Learn to listen to your body and mind for triggers. Can you tell when things are starting to build up and feel overwhelming? Do something small that fills your emotional energy tank before the overwhelm builds into something more challenging to wind down from.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as and when you need it. If you don’t have family close by, make it a priority to find a supportive network of other mums or people who can help to support you when you need it, and vice versa.

You can also get help and support from these online services:

www.PANDA.org.au

www.beyondblue.org.au

You may not be able to control the ups and downs of motherhood but you can control other things such as eating nutrient-dense meals regularly to keep your energy up, staying hydrated with water and finding an accredited mums’ fitness professional to help you safely get active again. All of our trainers are accredited, experienced and partnered with Women’s Health Physios so you know you are in very safe hands. Click here to find a MumSafe trainer in your area.

Article by

Strong Mums

Louise runs Strong Mums in Gosford, NSW. She has a background in clinical and research psychology and became a mums’ fitness professional after having her first baby.