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Young mom relaxing.

New Mom Self-Care

Self-care is important, especially as a new mom, but who has time for it? Make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps. Remember to eat well. Don’t forget to reconnect with your partner. Working from home and keeping a household running, when baby goes down for a nap or the night, I have no downtime, that’s when I get things done.

Add in the limitations caused by the pandemic, and self-care feels nearly impossible. When I was pregnant, I had dreams of my first post-baby pedicure or night out with girlfriends (neither of which have happened and my daughter is almost 1), but with COVID-19 lurking around, those activities do not feel safe and would probably add to my stress level rather than reduce it.

So how are we supposed to take care of ourselves?

While I am still not doing much out in the world and I am constantly trying to keep up with the house and work, I have learned that self-care is as essential as everyone says it is. More importantly, I have learned that self-care can be little things. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity or routine and it can even mean NOT doing something.

When it feels like there isn’t enough time, here’s what helps me:

  • Taking a hot shower with products that smell good and make me feel good – it may sound silly, but even just the time alone is worth it.
  • Eating my favorite foods: This does not always mean making the healthiest choice.
  • Taking a walk with or without baby: All the experts will tell you that fresh air and sunshine are key to good mental health.
  • Playing some music in the background of our day: Some of my best afternoons are dancing around our kitchen with baby to jams from the ’90s.
  • Let the dishes pile up in the sink, skip the laundry for another day, and order in dinner: This one is especially challenging for me, but I am working on it. Using the time I would normally spend on chores to call my mom or just sitting still can make a big difference.

When there is time for a little more:

  • Having a virtual get-together with family and friends: This has been a lifesaver for me during the pandemic. I get to connect to loved ones and in the process feel a little more like myself again.
  • Spending an hour doing a hobby: For me, right now, this typically involves reading a book or watching some form of reality TV (not sure if that qualifies as a hobby). You don’t have to run a 5K or paint a mural, just do something that you enjoy and will take your mind off of things for a bit.
  • Attend a therapy session: Now that almost all healthcare providers have gone virtual, this is even easier to manage, and it is always nice to talk to a professional. Sometimes baby even sits in during my appointments.

When it comes to self-care, it’s easy to feel like you are being self-indulgent, but YOU ARE NOT. In order to be our best for everyone in our lives, we need to take steps to stay healthy—emotionally, physically, and mentally. Start small, and hit that high note with Mariah Carey when you can.

Interested in connecting virtually with other moms? Register for CHKD Mindful Mom Monthly Group. Find details and registration here.

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About Danielle Vigueria

About Danielle  Vigueria Danielle Vigueria is a new mom, step-mom, wife, and freelance writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia and a Master of Professional Studies in publishing from George Washington University. She recently traded her beach life in coastal Virginia for the mountains of Idaho. When she isn’t writing, Danielle relaxes by hanging out with her family, reading lots of YA fiction, and watching the deer wander in her backyard.