Welcoming a new bub into your little family can be a shock to the system. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and you’re quickly looking at a whole new layer of complexity.
Sharing your new mum joy with family and friends has become a challenge and there’s a general cloud of uncertainty surrounding what should be one of the happiest times of your life.
We want you to know that you’re not alone.
Here at Cushii, we’re all about those precious moments of self-care. And that’s why we’ve compiled a practical list of self-care tips for new mums, like you, facing the current challenges of COVID-19.
The tips might seem skewed towards life during this once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic, but rest assured that these strategies will still be topical when things return to normality.
New #mumlife often comes with all the things. We’re talking routines to establish, skills to master and care to give. We try to go it alone, because we think we have to. And that’s only amplified during a pandemic. Where it seems impossible to speak up or ask for help because we don’t want to become a burden.
Here’s your permission slip: It’s ok to ask for help. Because you can’t do it alone!
Caring for a tiny human means you’re often living in the moment. It can be difficult to plan further than the next nappy change as it is, and waiting for the Premier’s daily press conference can cause real anxiety.
As soon as you allow yourself to take things one day at a time, the self-inflicted weight will lift off your shoulders and you’ll free up more headspace to soak up the many precious moments with your new bub.
We all have to keep up with important developments, but venturing too far down the COVID-19 rabbit hole can quickly become all-absorbing. Work out what’s critical, and what just adds to the doom and gloom.
Make sure you stay in touch with those closest to you. At the same time it’s important to set firm boundaries to make sure you look after your headspace and mental health. Be there for those who need your support, but monitor that you’re not giving more than you can afford to give right now.
What’s your mental load like after these conversations? Do you feel uplifted and supported or do these chats turn into a minefield of negativity that’s hard to escape?
Life with a new baby leaves little room for self-care as it is, but it’s never been more important to have pockets of YOU time. Time to be in the moment and look after yourself physically and emotionally. Because you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Mindfulness and meditation can be a very powerful tool to give your mind a rest. Among all the intensity of life with a tiny human and a global pandemic, a few minutes of focused meditation can help you refocus so you’re ready for the day.
Thankfully there are many free Apps that make meditation easier than ever.Smiling Minds is one we can highly recommend. And it’s free.
Often, transferring our many thoughts onto paper is all it takes to give your mind a break. Whether you start the day with a brain dump or finish off with 5 quiet minutes to call it quits, journaling is incredibly powerful to ease anxiety and add structure to the jumbled nature of our brains.
Humans are creatures of habit and a seemingly insignificant ritual can be a great way to release stress and help our mind anticipate what’s ahead. Take time for a quiet cup of tea before bedtime, light a candle or simply give yourself a daily morning break with bub lounging in the Cushii baby lounger by your side. It’ll not only set the scene, but lift your mood. Instantly.
As new mums we care so much for our new bubs that keeping in touch with our personal dreams, desires and aspirations can quickly seem like a chore. We encourage you to pick one thing that is guaranteed to make you smile. Whether that’s a hobby from your pre-bub life or something new you’ve always wanted to try. It’ll act like an instant mood booster and will recharge your mum batteries in no time.
Many of us resort to quick fixes over healthy alternatives when stress levels go up. We find that planning ahead works a treat so you’re never caught out when those 3pm cravings strike. Make a batch of healthy grab’n’go snacks that fill you up with nutrients and ultimately will make you feel so much better in your own skin.
For all the cons, COVID-19 has also introduced the odd innovation. Nowadays, there are so many ways to find suitable workouts online. All from the comfort of your home with your tiny human by your side (in their very own Cushii baby lounger). Simply head toYouTube, search for your favourite way to exercise and off you go.
Especially during lockdown, make time to leave the house and free up your mind. Fresh air works wonders both physically and mentally. Grab your pram and find an open space in your neighbourhood where you can explore nature with your tiny human. It’ll change your perspective and allow you to forget your 4 walls for a little while.
Technology is a wonderful thing. And we’ve never appreciated it more than since this pandemic. Set aside time every day to connect with friends, family and even your mothers group online via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Zoom. Hearing and seeing your favourite people will boost your mood, give you an opportunity to reflect and stay connected with the outside world.
If you have older kids, set up a regular session for them to connect with the grandparents. Get nana and pa to read a book, tell a story or play a board game via Zoom. This precious window of opportunity gives you precious moments to focus on yourself or to connect with your tiniest human 1:1 among the chaos of homeschooling.
Sometimes we do need professional help to make it to the other side. Please know that speaking up early means you can get the help you need to feel supported. And it’s not a sign of weakness. It means that you give yourself and your little family the best chance to get back on track a lot quicker.
PANDA is a great starting point. It’s an organisation that offers perinatal anxiety & depression support for women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood. Theirmental health checklist is a great starting point.
COVID-19 has been challenging. But if we all make use of these self-care tips, look out for each other and check in with those special people in our lives, then we’ll get through this.
Please know that you’re loved and supported. Always.
Need 5 minutes of YOU time?
The Cushii baby lounger can help you to a moment of self-care with bub firmly by your side.
PhysiotherapistStacey McKenzie shares her 12-week postpartum exercise roadmap to help you return to exercise after pregnancy. Grab it now!