There’s a reason you need to put your oxygen mask on first on a plane: In the event of a crash, you have to keep your strength to keep taking care of your little ones. That same concept applies to your life as a parent as well. You have to take care of yourself to avoid a serious crash. However, fitting in self-care while caring for a new baby can be challenging. If you’re a new parent struggling for the time for self-care, here are some hacks you need to know.
Get Rid of Gyms and Exercise at Home Instead
If you are caring for an infant, getting to the gym can be impossible. Not to mention, many gyms may not be accessible if you need a wheelchair. But maintaining a regular exercise routine is essential for keeping your energy levels up and can even help you manage stress. That can be a real lifesaver for new parents, so instead of going out to the gym, bring your workouts home. Setting up a home gym is fairly simple as long as you have some key pieces of equipment. A yoga mat, some weights, and a few resistance bands will help you stay in shape between diaper changes and naps. If you want to add equipment tailored to your needs and abilities, you can also look into accessible gym equipment to use in your at-home workouts. An arm or FES bike can be major upgrades to any home gym and give you the edge you need.
Do Some Healthy Meal Prep One Day a Week
Sticking to a healthy, balanced diet is enough of a challenge when you’re only caring for yourself. Add a new baby to the mix and you’re lucky to have time to eat at all. All the stress and time constraints of being a new parent can cause you to reach for convenient processed foods and snacks. While those starchy foods may fill your tummy, they will do nothing to replenish your energy. Fast food, breakfast cereals, and energy drinks are known to drain your energy levels, leaving you feeling more tired. To avoid crashing during the week, try to set aside some time on the weekend to meal prep healthier options. If you don’t have the time to cook, you could also look into meal delivery services to keep nutritious food in your belly and loads of energy you need in your body. Most services provide fresh ingredients, and you should be able to find one that offers healthier (or quicker) foods to prepare during the week.
Spend Some Time Outdoors with Your Little One
We tend to shy away from spending time in the sun, but being outside can be so good for your overall mood and health. For both adults and children, getting outside during the day lowers feelings of stress and enhances overall mental health. If you start feeling a bit down, try stepping outside for a few minutes. Take your coffee outdoors or take a walk with your baby. If you’re worried about taking your infant outside with you, you really shouldn’t! Experts agree that spending time outside is also beneficial for your baby, so long as you take steps to keep your little one safe. Pick up a hat and some essential sun gear to protect that delicate skin, but be mindful of not dressing your baby too warm when it’s sunny outside. You could pick up a stroller with a shade so you can go on outdoor walks and take your baby along for the ride.
So much of parenting is about putting your baby’s needs first. The truth is, however, you cannot keep taking care of your little one if you are not taking the time to care for yourself. Self-care is essential for new parents. So, make sure you put your self-care oxygen mask on first so you can put the rest of your energy into caring for your new baby’s needs.