Being a new parent is as exciting as it is tiring. First-time parents have a hard time finding the happy-medium between caring for the new baby enough and caring for themselves enough.
To help you veer off the path of burnout, try to introduce a few of these self-care tips every first-time parent should know. I’ve found that it was important to reach out to family when I was too tired—hopefully, these tips will make you feel less exhausted like they did for me. Check them out!
It Takes a Village—Use Them
They always say that parenting and raising a child takes a village, so if you have a strong support system, don’t be afraid to use them. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is expecting to do it all on their own and stay healthy.
For example, sleep is essential for parents, just as it’s essential for babies. Yet we see plenty of parents running into the dangers of driving while drowsy because they’re not reaching out to their village for help. When you reach out for help, you avoid not just the dangers of tired driving but also the overall dangers that a lack of sleep can do to your body and mind.
Design a Calming Space—Go There
Your baby has their calming nursery, and you and your partner need that same kind of space that encourages calm and relaxation. It may be your bedroom, but that may also be a place that you just want to reserve for sleep.
Instead, create a hobby room or something similar that will help you unwind while the baby is asleep. It could be a green room, a library nook, or anything else that will put you into a zen mindset. I even started just making the couch by the window a little bit cozier for me so I could turn there whenever I needed to.
Try to Add Meditation to Your Routine—Mindfulness is Key
This may seem hard for a lot of people because to some, meditation seems like a sham. However, the power of an in-tune mindset and a positive headspace can do wonders for making you feel more comfortable and confident as a parent. Even simply listening to a bedtime story that you play for your child before bed can ease your mind and release those internal tensions.
Thankfully, there are tons of apps you can use to get started on the path to mindfulness—I use Headspace, but Calm and Inscape are other wonderful options.
Take Care of Your Body—As Much As You Take Care of Your Child’s
Taking care of your body is one of the most important acts of self-care first-time parents can perform. It’s going to seem really hard as a parent to put yourself even second on your priority list. However, if you’re feeling low and drained, you need to start taking care of your body as much as you take care of your child’s.
This can be as simple as cooking yourself a nutritious meal or leaving the laundry for tomorrow so you can sleep the same time the baby does. You could also do some yoga while you let the baby have some tummy time. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
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