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It’s a well-known fact that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others, the hard part is actually practicing this and prioritising yourself, especially when you have a new-born soaking up all your time. Self-care may seem like an unachievable goal when you’re a new mama but something you know you need. During these early months you may need to lower your expectations from a 30 minute meditation, bath, home-cooked meal from Yotam Ottolenghi or a mani-pedi to some more realistic options.
Don’t have time to meditate when you get home, but have a walking commute? Meditation apps like Headspace now have walking meditation which encourages you to discard autopilot behaviours such as making a call, listening to music or dwelling over your workload and instead encourages you to engage in your scenery with the idea to sync body and mind. Just to clear up any confusion, this isn’t a closed eye meditation, that may be hazardous, the idea is focus the attention on the environment and home in on one aspect for a period of time. For example, focusing on your posture, followed by observing your gait, appreciating any trees you see or listening to particular sounds and so on. The benefit is that we tune out of our heads and tune in to our environment which when we have up to 80,000 thoughts a day is a welcome respite for our brain.
For some, cooking is therapeutic but can be restricted by time. That’s where Jamie Oliver comes in handy, opt for his 30-minute cookbook or even the 15 minute one if you’re really pressed for time. Cooking a meal for yourself is a form of self-care which when paired with music, a glass of wine or with a friend/partner can be very rewarding, especially if there’s left-overs for lunch.
If you don’t have a bath or the time to soak in one, DIY bath with a bucket and Epsom salts. Simply run hot water and pour in Epsom salts which promote muscle relaxation and sit on the couch, with your home-cooked meal and indulge in your favourite TV show while your feet receive some much-needed loving.
Any new mama will tell you that your skincare regime becomes simplified very quickly, but I’ve learnt to improvise and like to massage a nourishing natural oil like RosehipPLUS Rosehip Oil into my face before I breastfeed and just after the feed, while my little one is milk drunk, roll a rose quartz roller over my skin. This helps improve skin tone and elasticity, which is desperately needed with the minimal sleep I’m getting.
You can do this if you’re doing your last Instagram scroll for the evening or reading a book. Simply lie on your bed, rest your legs up against the wall and tuck your bottom in so it is close to the wall. This helps drain the circulation from your legs which is beneficial if the day is mostly sedentary. This also helps soothe the nervous system and may even ease you into sleep a little quicker. Perhaps you’re in need of an endorphin hit? Lean Bean Fitness holds Baby Mumma classes daily, so new Mama's always get a chance to workout without having to think about childcare. Win! Book a class here. All welcome after 6-week postpartum check.
Lizzie is an ex-professional dancer and founder of female fitness studio in Bondi Beach, Lean Bean Fitness and Lean Bean Retreats.