By Jen “Fit Lovin’ Mama” Dean
The “postpartum period” in a mom’s life can be long, challenging & hard on both physical & emotional health. Recently, The American Academy of Obstetrics & Gynecology released a statement from the Committee on Obstetric Practice stating that postpartum care should become an ongoing process. Simply acknowledging the sheer fact that a tiny, amazing, human being that was once inside you, is now outside your body, can understandably bring waves of emotions & adjustments.
The methodology of how moms recover from birth, care for the baby & care for themselves can be quite a miracle. Many moms are now more astute at tapping resources in their community, from family, doulas, moms groups & utilizing fitness, yoga & meditation for help.
But what do we do during those times (that can come often) where you’re going through an extra challenging phase with your baby or child? (from weaning to teething, from potty training to positive discipline & everything in between!)
1. Go to gratitude
When you’re in the throws of it...dishes piled up, work demands, crying baby, exhaustion...it can seem impossible to think gratitude (& it might be impossible in those moments!). That’s why it’s important to establish a brief, effective, consistent daily gratitude practice. This can be as simple as stating 3 things you’re grateful for every morning before you roll out of bed & as you lay your head down at night. This takes the energy & focus away from the negatives and puts it promptly back to the many positives you have in your life. When you focus on the positives you create more of them!
anyway & time you can! Quick morning run with baby/kids to a coffee shop, lunchtime mini workout in the gym at work, evening walk or yoga flow/breath while at the park with your kids. Again, a hard one to sometimes do on the fly when you’re exhausted, but remember what a tool it can be to boost your mood & confidence. Studies show that fitness & yoga can decrease anxiety, decrease stress hormones, increase your rational thinking (moms need that!) & increase your feel good hormones.
3. Check your brain feed
Do a scan of what input is entering your life. How much are you on social media/the news/tv & what messages are you receiving there that are not serving you? Who’s in your circle of friends & are they uplifting, positive & strong in mind & body? Shift friends and/or set up boundaries with those you may need to in terms of negative friends, family & coworkers. What books are you reading or audiobooks & podcasts are you listening to? Feed your brain with good positivity!
4. Lastly: give yourself a break
Motherhood is hard! Let yourself rest, physically, mentally and emotionally. Take breathes, take a bath, a date night, dance night, a beach weekend. Laugh, smile, play! Be a kid again yourself. How would you mommy you?