Life as a new mom can be extremely challenging.
You go from caring about yourself and your spouse to taking 100% responsibility for growing a human being.
Your new baby is dependent on you for their survival.
You likely used to think of self care as a two hour morning routine. Now, as a new mom, simply taking a five minute shower seems like a luxury.
This is normal. It’s something most new moms experience.
And yet, you don’t have to suffer through it.
Yes, there will be hard times, but also, there are things you can do to help yourself relax into this season, so it’s not something you just need to “get through.”
How To Relax As A New Mom
If you’re not getting enough rest or downtime as a new mom (even just for a few moments to yourself) this can create strain on your mental health, postpartum depression, cause anxiety, and make it harder for you and for the baby.
Below is a list of specific tips to help you relax as a new mom that will make a difference in this early stage. The key is to actually do them, even if they seem simple.
Tip 1: Say “yes” to help that’s offered.
First and foremost—say YES to help when it’s offered.
Why is this so hard for us?
Speaking from personal experience as the “woman who does it all” I know this doesn’t come naturally. And yet, it’s something you can practice, like any other skill, and get good at.
When you start saying yes, you open up room for people to give you their time and effort, which will lighten the load during this transition. Plus, people love to help. So everyone wins.
- Reducing Overwhelm (podcast)
- How To Support New Moms (blog post)
- How To Become A More Mindful Mom (free class)
Tip 2: Ask for help when you need it.
As if accepting help that’s offered isn’t hard enough, it’s often twice as hard for new moms to proactively ask for help—almost like it’s a sign of failure or weakness.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
So often, people don’t know how to help or what to offer. By asking for help, you’re opening up opportunities for people to help in the way you need it most. It’s okay to ask for help or for someone to watch the baby.
Like Tip #1 above, this one takes practice if you’re not used to asking.
I find it helpful to go from thinking “I’m the woman who has to do it all” to shifting into the mindset of “we’re all here to help one another and that’s a good thing.” This makes it a much more community-focused mindset that will serve you during this time.
Tip 3: Give yourself three minutes of silence.
Many mom stresses you experience during this new phase can be worked out when you manage your mindset and connect with your body.
One of the best ways to do this is to coach yourself (something I teach in Grow You) and to meditate. A simplified version of meditating is practicing 10 minutes of silence every day. But for the new mom, just get in three minutes of silence. This will be enough.
Simply sit in silence for three minutes every day at the same time in the same place (when possible) and connect with yourself. You’ll start to feel better and reduce some of the frantic stresses that come with new mom life.
Tip 4: Schedule showers.
Once the baby is born it’s hard to do simple things you used to do. The most common example is taking a shower. Instead of falling into this trap of never having time to shower, plan it ahead of time.
Decide when you’re going to shower daily and create a plan to make it happen. This may mean getting creative with your spouse, where he watches baby while you shower every night from 6:30pm—6:45pm, or something completely different. But there are always options you can think of when you put your brain to it. You just need to think about it and decide, then give it a try.
Up Next: CLICK HERE to download my Podcast Directory.
Tip 5: Have self compassion for your emotions.
Self compassion means you’re kind to yourself. And if you’re anything like most of my clients (and myself), this doesn’t come naturally to you. Instead, you likely have a mean inner critic that is harsh and critical. This is not great as a new mom when you’re learning how to do something you’ve never done (i.e.: take care of a human being).
Start by noticing how you talk to yourself and adding in some supportive thoughts that help you have your own back.
If you do something wrong or can’t figure something out, instead of beating yourself up, be gentle with yourself. Be kind and compassionate. You’re doing your best and that is good enough.
Tip 6: Take deep breaths to calm down your nervous system.
When your brain gets stressed it goes into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode, and your nervous system is activated.
To calm yourself down and get out of this state, take a deep breath. Then, continue to take deep breaths as you allow the feeling to move through you.
Only after you’ve processed the feeling, can you use the most rational part of your brain—your prefrontal cortex.
This is something I teach in the Processing Feelings Course inside Grow You.
Tip 7: Don’t overthink being a mom.
It’s easy to get into your head and stuck in negative thinking as a new mom.
This makes sense if you understand how the brain works. Your brain just wants to be right, do it all perfectly, and make sure your baby is healthy and happy. All of this perfectionism can lead to spiraling down a path of negative thinking.
The first step is to notice this. Notice yourself doing it. Then, shift your mindset.
Take my How To Cope With Negative Thoughts As A Mom Free Class to get started (I show you four steps to stop negative thinking).
A Final Note
While becoming a new mom is filled with so much joy, it’s unlikely that you’ll describe it as the most relaxing season you’ve ever had.
That said, if you use the tips above, you can find space to relax in small ways. And it’s oh so very important that you do in order to make sure that your mental and emotional health aren’t sacrificed. This is important for you and baby.