2020 proved how resilient we all are. And 2021 is showing us that we have even more untapped strength to get through this ongoing pandemic. But it’s still hard. We know your physical, emotional, and mental wellness is being tested, so we’re working with our experts to create even more wellbeing support for you, mama. We want to arm you with tools and techniques to help you overcome whatever lies ahead and live your happiest and healthiest.
We are so excited to announce that we are working with the wonderful Lou Murray to bring a brand new program to the Baby2Body app dedicated to your wellbeing. It will teach you how to build your own Self-Care Tool Kit, so you can navigate everything that motherhood (and life…) throws at you with simple techniques and strategies.
Lou is an Integrated Health & Mindfulness Coach and one of our amazing experts. You’ve probably seen her on our Instagram, where she’s shared micro-meditations and easy recipes that even the busiest of mamas can make time for. She’s a mother of 4 herself and gave birth to her youngest in the middle of lockdown last year, and she practices exactly what she teaches. We can’t wait to get Lou’s Self-Care Tool Kit on the app for all of you soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates on our social channels!
Now, if you think “I don’t have time for self-care” or if it seems like too ethereal of a topic, we’re glad you’re here. Self-care doesn’t have to feel like another item on your to-do list, and it doesn’t have to be hours in a meditative state (no one has time for that…). Self-care can show up in small moments throughout the day where you decide to tend to your needs in simple ways. In times when you think “I deserve to feel better than this”, self-care techniques are there to help. To get you started, here are 5 easy ways you can introduce self-care into your daily routine.
Take care of your physical needs
Our bodies were made to move and stretch and recover. If you’re not giving your body the time and space to do that, it will let you know with aches and pains. This is where we always recommend people get started with self-care because it’s so simple but so impactful. Here are some suggestions:
- Do a morning 5-minute stretch. Before you start anything on your to-do list, set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and dedicate it to stretching. Let your body guide you in what it needs, don’t worry about following a routine.
- Go on a mid-day walk, without distractions. No phone calls, music, podcasts — just you and the world around you. Take in everything you see, smell, and hear. Be fully present in the moment and the movements of your body.
Take care of your mental needs
We always talk about treating your mind like a muscle. The more you use it and nurture it, the stronger it gets. But the same goes for rest and recovery. If you tried exercising for hours on end, your muscles would fatigue and start to fail you, and the same goes for your brain. If cognitive fatigue, a lack of focus, and forgetfulness are disrupting your days, make your self-care about taking care of your mind. Here are some suggestions:
- Commit to a daily breathing exercise. Our brains only make up about 2% of the body, but they use around 20% of the oxygen in our blood supply every day. Breathing is one of the simplest and quickest ways to get you in a better headspace. Even 1 minute for a guided breathing exercise can help (and they’re free on our app)!
- Give yourself permission to daydream. You know those times during the workday when you find yourself drifting off into a reverie, and then suddenly snap back to reality? Maybe after you feel guilty for losing time on whatever you were working on. But research suggests those “unfocusing” moments can actually help reduce strain and fatigue, making you more productive in the long run. So why not use them strategically? When you feel yourself struggling to focus, set another 5-minute timer to let yourself disconnect and dream away.
Take care of your emotional needs
We’re all emotional creatures (even if some of us don’t want to admit it). While everyone experiences emotions in different ways, it’s equally important that we take the time to recognize, process, and honor whatever it is we’re feeling. Here’s our top suggestion:
- Start a weekly gratitude journal. At the end of each week, no matter what you’ve been through, write down 1-3 things you are grateful for and why. It’s so simple as you really only need to do it once a week, and the benefits are profound. Read on for all the good that gratitude journaling can do here.
Before we go we want to remind you that these are just a few examples of self-care practices. There are so many different forms of self-care. Whatever you do to meet your own needs (whether they’re physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, spiritual, etc!), that counts as self-care. Part of the trick is recognizing that the moments you take for yourself are self-care and that you are deserving of that time and attention. We’d love to know what self-care means to you: do you practice it regularly; what’s your favorite form of self-care; does it make a difference in your life? Join the conversation in the comments below!