New Motherhood: 15 Ways For New Moms To De-stress
By: Gary Bassler
Being a new mom can be a magical time, a time when a woman may finally find her true purpose in life. A time when it is no longer about herself anymore but all about that precious child or children,
New motherhood can make a young lady feel more like a woman than ever before. She may also experience a deeper kind of love then she had ever known before.
Unfortunately, along with all of the wonderful things that come with being a new mom, there is often another side to this new life.
Parenthood can be very stressful. A new dad may feel neglected and that the baby or babies are getting all of the attention, which in turn, may cause more unneeded stress for the Mother.
Everything is new with so many fears, the first time he/she spits up, the first fever, the lack of sleep. If the mother has a job to go back to she may experience separation anxiety, then there are also doctors appointment and shots. These are all things that can cause severe stress.
Fortunately there are many methods a new mom can use to help her to de-stress, and here are just fifteen of those things.
15. Deep Breathing
When a person is stressed their breathing becomes shallow and labored. Deep breathing is very beneficial to our physical as well as mental health.
A new Mom should try to set aside ten-fifteen minutes a day to practice breathing exercises. There are many benefits to this type of de-stressor such as improving your oxygen levels, lowering blood pressure, relaxing muscles, and it also releases endorphins which help to increase the feelings of well being.
Try to set aside a fifteen minute block of time when you will not be disturbed. Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down.
When you are ready take a slow deep breath through your nose, breathing with your abdomen not your chest, let the air out slowly counting to five as you exhale out of your mouth. Repeat this process over and over again. Imagine all of your stress leaving your body with every exhale.
Your muscles should begin to feel relaxed, your mind should begin to clear, and most of all your stress should be melting away with every breath.
14. Hot Baths
Doctors agree that there are so many benefits to relaxing in a hot bath. Some of these benefits are that it helps to stimulate blood circulation, relieves aches and pains, calms the nervous system which in turn can help with sleep and of course when dealing with stress getting the proper amount of sleep is very important.
There are many things you can add to your bathtime to enhance the benefits such as Epsom salt, oils for aromatherapy, soft music, candles, baby oil, and many others.
There are so many different ways to enhance your bathtime. Some of the things listed above are great for cleansing the pores, leaving the skin soft, and giving you the feeling of well being.
Another thing a mom can add to her bath is her partner. As long as your partner is willing what could be better than a nice long foot massage in the tub,
13 Pet Therapy
There are so many benefits to owning a pet. Most pets can bring joy into our lives, which in turn reduces stress, but dogs and cats are the most beneficial when it comes to health, both physical and mental.
Dogs can help us in so many ways. Spending time talking to and caring for a dog can give us such a feeling of well being.
Exercise is great for reducing stress and dog owners are more likely to be outside walking than those who do not own a dog.
Cats can also be very therapeutic. Holding that ball of fluffiness, along with the soft purring sound it makes can produce such a calming effect.
Caring for a pet can help to reduce cortisol, a chemical released when we are stressed. Which is responsible for the fight or flight response.
12. Massage therapy
It is almost impossible to feel stressed after a full body massage either by a professional therapist or by your partner. Although when neither of those two is an option there are different ways that you can give yourself a massage one area at a time.
A temple massage is very good for relieving stress headaches. Putting your pointer finger and middle finger together on both hands, place them on your temples and with your eyes closed apply slight pressure and begin making slow circular motions. Keep this up as long as desired.
Another good technique is to place your thumbs on the bridge of your nose at the corner of your eye sockets with palms facing upwards. Trace a line with your thumbs above your eyes and below your brows. Do this several times.
These are only a few of the many self-massage techniques one can use to relax and help reduce stress. There are much more you can learn either through the advice of a professional therapist or by books, and of course the internet.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress. Exercise doesn’t always have to be strenuous. It could be a peaceful walk through a park, a nature trail, walking a dog, or for new parents, an excellent form of exercise would be taking the new baby for a walk in a stroller.
Exercise in any form also increases the production of endorphins in the brain which gives you that feeling of well being.
Sleep is often disrupted by stress and even a small amount of exercise will improve your sleep.
Deep breathing calms you down and is good for relaxation and of course, exercising causes you to breath deeper and in turn helps the body and mind to relax bringing the stress levels way down and it is so much easier and enjoy going through your daily activities when you are not stressed out.
10. Quiet Time With Partner
Spending quiet time with your partner is very important for both of you. Not to mention that often times the man may feel neglected due to the fact that the new addition to the family is needing more attention than anyone else.
It may be hard to find that quiet time together but it will be very beneficial to the both of you when you do.
One good way to have that time together is at bedtime, just laying next to each other and embracing one another is a very relaxing and a great stress reducer.
Another way to spend quality time with him, provided your baby is content for a while is to cuddle on the couch and watch a family type movie together.
If you can find yourself a trusted babysitter, going out to a restaurant can be very relaxing. You don’t have to cook or do dishes. You can just enjoy a good meal and conversation with the one you love.
9. Alone time
You should never feel guilty for wanting some time to yourself. There are so many demands on a new mother and a little bit of alone time is needed and well deserved.
Hopefully, your partner is helpful and respects your need to have some time to yourself. Also, you should have a good support team with other family members.
There may be some feelings of guilt over leaving your little bundle of joy with someone else but if you let all of your stresses build up too much you will not be much good to your baby or your partner.
Once you do find that alone time there are so many ways that you can enjoy it to your benefit so choose what best suits your needs and then you can get back to motherhood refreshed and de-stressed.
Journaling is the cheapest form of therapy. Keeping a journal has so many benefits including slowly learning from ourselves better ways of dealing with the stresses in our lives by keeping a record of those things that do and do not work.
A gratitude journal is a good way to learn how to keep more positive thoughts. At the end of each day write in your journal all of the things that you are grateful for, after a while of keeping this practice it will be easier to bring those things to mind in times of chaos.
Start a baby journal. It’s obvious that as a mother your day never really ends, but find a little time in the evening to write a little about your day with the baby. What things caused the most stress, and what things were the most enjoyable and why, and what you can do to make things work better. This will help in many ways. You may come up with ways to make better use of your time, and what you may need to change, not to mention someday you will be able to share these moments with your child.
7. Get Outside
It’s hard enough changing, feeding, burping, cleaning, and so the list goes on. Spending that time with your baby is so important and so precious but those four walls around you can sometimes seem to close in on you.
Spending too much time indoors can be very depressing at times. Taking your baby outside for some fresh air will do the both of you a lot of good. Leave all of your stress and worries back inside of those four walls and take in the beauty of nature.
Spending time outdoors increases the levels of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to regulate our moods.
Take notice of all of the wonderful things that nature has to offer. Develop a relationship with the outdoors. Pick up a leaf, smell a flower, lean against a tree. Being hands-on with nature will help you to let go of all of the negative and stressful thoughts that you may be carrying with you.
It is pretty obvious that getting enough sleep can help with many problems including stress. But being a new mom leaves little time for sleep, yet sleep deprivation causes all sorts of issues.
A screaming baby can bring your stress level up high and when you add a lack of sleep to that it can seem almost unbearable.
Hopefully, you have a partner who will take on some of the responsibilities so that you can both get a decent amount of rest.
Grandparents are another good source of help. If the baby has grandparents willing to take over for a few hours, and even overnight if they wish, then you can use that time to catch up on some much-needed rest.
The bottom line is that if you can manage to find a way to stay rested then you will be much better equipped to handle the stresses of motherhood.
A hypnotherapist is a great help provided you have the money and even more so the time. Unfortunately, the time it takes to visit a professional is time that most new mothers cannot afford.
Self-hypnosis is a great way to de-stress and it doesn’t take up too much time. You can use guided hypnosis through the aid of tapes, cd’s, or even the internet. Youtube is a good source for that.
With guided hypnosis during that small block of time, you are letting go of all outside obstacles. Although it is not a good idea to be listening to anything with headphones on when you need to be keeping an ear open for your baby. This is where your partner can help by being your ears for a little while.
After a guided hypnosis session you will be able to bounce back to motherhood feeling refreshed and de-stressed.
4. Parenting Groups
Being a mother is a learning experience from day one. You will quickly learn what works and does not work, what to do and what not to do, and of course, some things will just come naturally.
Joining a parenting group whether in person or online will help in so many ways. Not only can you share with other new moms some of the things that you have learned, but you can also learn a lot from other mother’s experiences.
Not only will you gain some meaningful relationships but you will be able to share stories, pictures, tips, and so much more. Just being able to go through the tough and stressful times with other women going through the same thing will make it so much easier. Not to mention some new lifelong friends.
3. Herbal Teas
There all sorts of herbs that can help to reduce stress and anxiety. One good thing about using herbal teas for stress is that unlike many other methods of reducing stress although many are very effective drinking a cup of tea doesn’t require you to find a good block of time in your busy day. You can sip on some tea whilst taking care of your motherly responsibilities.
Yogi honey lavender is a good choice because it has a special blend of herbs to create a relaxing and calming effect. It contains Passion flower extract with organic Chamomile and Lavender flower.
There are too many different kinds of herbal teas to mention. It’s a good idea to talk to a nutritionist for advice on the best type to suit your needs.
2. Have A Plan
Before your baby even arrives you should already be working on a plan with your partner. And if your other half is working you will need to plan around that as well.
When it comes to feeding, bathing, burping, and waking up in the middle of the night you need to have an idea as to who can do what and when. How can the two of you best share the responsibilities?
If for whatever reason you are a single mom it may be a little more difficult planning. You may need extra help from willing relatives. Single parenting is one of the toughest jobs I can think of, but it doesn’t have to get the best of you. Never be afraid to ask for help.
The more prepared you are before the baby arrives the less you will be stressed later on.
1. Ask For Help
As a new mom, some things just come natural but that in no way means that you can handle everything that comes your way. You will not have all of the answers and will more than likely feel overwhelmed at times.
Whether you have a significant other or you are a single mom, motherhood can be hard and it’s ok to ask for help.
Even if you have someone who is willing to sit with your baby for just a couple of hours, you can get caught up on some of your other chores or even get an hour or so of some much-needed rest.
Just a little bit of help here and there will go a long way in helping to keep your stress level down. So if needed, swallow your pride and ask for help.