Self Care for Moms
As momma’s we are so busy taking care of our little one’s, making sure that their health and well being is number one, that we sometime let ourselves slide. Below I’ve outlined the 5 Pillars of Health that every mom needs. These are things I encourage my patients to build every day. For each Pilar there is a tip or two on how to incorporate this in a mom-friendly way. As a mom and a naturopathic doctor, I understand both how important self care is and how difficult it can be to accomplish with little one’s underfoot! In this article I hope you find the one thing you can put into place that will help your mood and energy starting today.
With so many things that need to be done, sometime eating regularly gets overlooked, especially when your babies are small. But nourishing yourself is the most important thing you can do to maintain your health and your mood throughout the day! In order to make this happen successfully you can Prepare and Prioritize. Set yourself up for success by buying food that’s easy to eat and by preparing food in advance. If you wait until you are hungry to make food it’s very challenging to make great choices. Try cooking in bigger batches so you just have to heat up leftovers for lunch, or have your partner help you by cutting up fruits and veggies or making you a copy of their own packed lunch. The second tip is to prioritize eating. You need to eat, the laundry can wait until after you have fed yourself or you won’t have the energy to move it later.
Sleep can be challenging especially with little ones at home and so my advice is do what you need to to get good sleep. Sleep when you can. Take a nap. Go to bed if you are tired. Let your partner get up with the baby so you can get an extra block of sleep on a Saturday. Sleep Train. Safely Co-Sleep. Whatever that looks like for your family embrace it without the guilt. Just with as much sleep as you can fit into these fleeting years.
It can be so busy being a mom that when you finally get a minute to yourself, sometimes you just want to shut down and turn it all off. While everyone needs a break, I want to challenge you to think about this: what’s most restorative to your mind and body is not “tuning out” but “tuning in”. Rather than get lost in your phone, take a minute to focus on what you are feeling in the moment. What’s your emotion? How does your body feel right now? Taking that inventory brings you to the present and is very restorative and beneficial for your mental health. One helpful mindful activity is mindful breathing. If you want to give it a try I have 3, two to three minute mini-meditations you can access here (www.tranquilmindnaturopath.com/mediationdownload) They are mp3 files so you can store them on your phone and listen to them when you need them.
Moving your body is THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH. Sorry for the caps but really, I know of nothing nearly as awesome. This doesn’t have to be going to the gym, but if that’s what you love go for it. Sometimes the solution is to have a trainer come to your house so you don’t need a sitter. Sometimes the solution is to exercise with your baby. Take the longer route to the park. Take the dog for a walk. Join a stroller fit class (www.guelphmomsandco.com). Anything that gets you out of the house and moving your body, your mind and body will thank you for.
One of my missions in life is to help individuals live authentically. A big part of that is about feeling like yourself as you move through your day. This is something that modern motherhood puts under strain. Sometimes, we give so much to our kids, we can forget that we are also humans with our own needs and purpose on this earth. So remember to hold onto yourself through this journey we call motherhood. Maybe that means staying a part of your scrapbooking club. Maybe it means only listening to music you actually enjoy. Maybe that’s finding a way to play with your make-up every morning. Only you know what makes your spirit sing; make sure to hold on to it. The light it brings you will shine into everything else you do.
Before I leave you, I believe that lifestyle medicine is the key to achieving sustainable wellness but I also know as a mom that the demands placed on us while we are caring for our little people sometime leave us needing more support for our health and wellbeing. If you’d like more energy and an improved mood, an individual treatment plan can help you get there. Book your complimentary meet and greet session today (https://norfolk.janeapp.com/#/staff_member/2) and find out if naturopathic medicine the right fit for you and your family.
Dr. Katie is a mommy to a busy 15 month old so she knows what is means to learn to take the time to look after yourself. She is a great resource and has amazing ideas on natural health and well being for everyone in your family.