I think many of us never fully appreciate our mental health, or have even thought about it, until we become a mother. Becoming a parent changes your life completely. And in a sleep deprived and hormone filled state, it can feel quite overwhelming, and you can feel like you have never felt before. But you also learn that because there are some people in your life that are completely reliant on you, that you need to make sure that you’re feeling well and able to help them. If you’re not yourself, then each day can be a struggle and can feel harder and harder. So you need to make sure that your needs are met, just as much as your baby’s. But what can you do to make sure that you allow time for yourself? Physical rest is important, but so is mental rest and time out. Here are some things to think about and to start applying in your life, especially if you’re a new mom.
Acknowledge That Your Health Matters
It can be dangerous to think that motherhood is all about give, give, give, without any taking. Ever. While there is a lot of giving when you’re a mom, there needs to be some take too, especially if you want to be physically healthy and take care of your mental health at the same time. You need to take the time to acknowledge that your mental health does matter. You won’t be in a fit state to be caring for others if you aren’t caring for yourself. You children will get to see the best version of you if you know that your health matters just as much as theirs.
Take Time Out
We are all different. But I can pretty much guarantee that we all need some alone time at some point. Away from the kids; away from partners and the chaos of everyday life. You can’t fully relax if you have the kids with you. So where you can, aim for time without and away from them. Do something you enjoy or even just time to chill, reevaluate, and take deep breaths. When you’re dealing with tantrums, tiredness or stressful toddlers, then having some alone time can be just what you need to keep yourself same or from flipping out. So find some time and make sure that you take it.
Date Your Partner
If you have a romantic partner, then it is so important to make sure that you still spend time together after becoming parents. It can lift your mood and give you some much needed adult conversation. You can discuss dreams, plans, and any issues to resolved, just like you will have always done. A lot of self-value can come from a close physical relationship too. You had a relationship before you brought a tiny human into the world, and it is important not to forget that; for the sanity of both of you.
Seek Professional Guidance
Some days can feel never-ending and quite bleak. And if you feel like this a lot of the time, then it is time to do something about it. Baby ‘blues’ are a real thing, but if they are lasting for a while, then it could be something else. So read up, learn more, and seek any professional advice that you might need. Medical professionals can help you to deal with any mental health struggles so that you can go back to feeling more like yourself again.
Ask For Help
The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is still true. Except these days, there are more and more of us without said village. Family might be far away and you may have moved somewhere completely new due to work or finances. But it is still a good idea to look for people that you can trust and rely on. Make an effort to go to parent and baby classes to get to know others in the area. Talk to other moms at preschool or the park; whatever age your kids are. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others when you need it.
When you take care of yourself, you will be in a much better position to take care of your children. Motherhood is one of the hardest but most rewarding things that you will ever do. And when it comes to your health, you need to make it a priority. Hopefully, these tips will help you if you feel a little low at the moment or are about to become a parent.