Taking Care of Yourself as a New Mom
As a new mama it can be all too easy to put yourself at the bottom of your to-do list, and before you know it you haven’t showered, called a friend, or taken a moment to check in with yourself in days.
You matter mama.
I want to invite you to put yourself first. One step at a time. Each and every day.
I suggest dedicating yourself to a daily 1-minute self care practice. If you do more, great, but no pressure. As you learn to carve out space for yourself each day, over time you will be able to take more and more space. There’s no rush.
Self-care for new moms is all about learning to prioritize yourself, at least some of the time.
Below you’ll find a list of some of my favorite 1-minute practices to get you started. Feel free to add your own, or print this list and hang on your fridge as a gentle reminder. Please know that small steps over time, have a big impact and that one minute a day of caring for yourself adds up to a lot more than zero minutes a day over time.
Give one a try today and see how it goes. I hope and trust you’ll find these practices nourishing.
10 Self-Care Practices for New Moms
1. Conscious breathing
Inhale for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Repeat for one minute. Keep going if you can. (Looking for some guided breath-work? I got you – check out this heart belly breathing guided meditation).
2. Connect with your heart
Right when you wake up or before you got to bed, put your hand on your heart and check in. Ask yourself, ‘How am I feeling right now? What am I thinking?’ Just notice what your body feels like. We can move so fast in motherhood we forget to check in on ourselves. Take one minute to be with yourself.
3. Move your body
Don’t wait until you have ‘time to exercise’. Right now you are keeping a human alive and letting your body rest and recover. You can still move. Find a moment to gently stretch in bed, walk mindfully through your home or stand up and sway or shake the tension out.
Creating another human takes a lot out of us, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Take a moment today to refuel yourself by doing one of the following: drink more water, have another snack, take a nap, or make space to pray, chant, sing or dance.
5. Conscious touch
Human touch and connection is deeply healing and nourishing. Caring for a baby can be overwhelming to the body and nervous system and often keeps us from connecting with ourselves and/or our partner. Take a moment today to consciously touch and connect with yourself or your partner. Need some more concrete ideas? Bring a bottle of oil into the shower and give yourself a massage. Or try a one minute melting hug with your partner (yes it’s as easy as it sounds, just hug for one minute :))
6. Time in nature
Get outside today for one minute or more. Soak up some sunshine or watch the rain fall. Breathe in the fresh air, look at the trees and notice the heartbeat of the world around you and inside you.
7. Make your cup of coffee (or tea) a ritual
Make your morning coffee or tea into a ritual. Grab your mug and supplies, slow down and notice every moment. What does the tea smell like? What color is the mug? How hot is the water? Then take a few moments to notice the taste, the warmth, the nourishment. Enjoy!
8. Seek silence
The demands of new motherhood put an enormous amount of stress and stimulation on the nervous system. Seek silence when you can. This might look like closing your eyes and turning off your phone, the music, anything that’s adding additional noise to your day.
9. Practice gratitude
It’s super hip to practice gratitude these days. Whether you’re a sceptic or a believer, know that neuroscience offers us some pretty great insight into how and why looking for what’s ‘good’ in our world can be challenging and also super beneficial for our health and well-being. Give it a try: Grab a piece of paper (or just use your phone) and write down three things you are grateful for right now. Keep it simple if that helps (your breath, two hands, clean water, etc).
10. Put down your phone
Seriously. When you’re done reading this put the phone down and out of sight. Research shows if we can see our phone we will want to pick it up. Try putting it away for a least a minute every day or even turning it off for a while and let yourself be right here, right now.
I hope you found something on this list that will inspire you to take care of yourself today!
If you’re looking for more support and inspiration for taking exquisite care of yourself, check out my new book ‘The First 90 Days After Birth. A Self- Care Journal for First-Time Moms’, published by Rockridge Press and available on 6/8/2021.
And of course if you’re looking for holistic counseling support just reach out. Me and my team and here supporting mamas each and every day; we offer in-person holistic counseling in El Dorado Hills, CA and virtual holistic counseling for California residents. Reach out for more info and to schedule an appointment.
Kim is a licensed holistic psychotherapist with deep roots in the worlds of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. She honors the mind, body, spirit connection and supports individuals struggling with anxiety, trauma, spiritual awakening, and motherhood. Kim offers evidence-based treatment with a heart centered approach, integrating the depth of western psychology with the heart and soul of eastern mysticism. She helps her clients unravel the root cause of their suffering and to live from the heart of embodied wisdom. Kim currently offers holistic counseling to individuals residing in California. Call/text to set up at appointment: 916.467.9539.