New Mum Stress – 9 Quick Ways To Reset
New mum stress is such a tough thing to avoid when you suddenly find yourself at home with a baby all day. Nap time can become the focus of any stay at home parent’s day. Babies are hard work. They’re relentless.
If you’ve ever been a parent you’ll remember the days where all you could think about was the countdown to nap time. If you haven’t, take it from me, maternity leave is NOT a year of afternoon strolls and lunch dates with the girls. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when these happen. But, there are more days that are a constant cycle of pacing your kitchen with a crying baby, changing nappies and drinking cold coffee. Sometimes, your only break is the short time baby sleeps.
So instead of the to do list of chores all new mums store in their brains for moments of calm, here are 9 quick ways to reset when you’re struggling with stress as a new mum.
1. Make yourself an expensive coffee.
I’m talking the imported from an organic, small batch roastery in South America, coffee. The stuff you hide from guests at the back of your cupboard so you don’t have to share. Or, more likely, the coffee that usually stays on the shelf in the shop because you just can’t find it to afford yourself the luxury of the price tag. Buy that coffee and next time your baby sleeps, savour every sip… while it’s still hot.
2. Put your phone down.
You may want to use the only time of your day where both of your hands are free to aimlessly scroll social media. Put your phone down, tell alexa “Play relaxing spa music”, close your eyes and enjoy the calm.
3. Paint your nails.
While there’s no risk of spillage or the interruption of an outbreak of tears, get out your favourite nail varnish and make yourself feel fabulous. Completing this one small task of visible grooming will be therapeutic.
4. Practice mindful breathing.
A full day alone with a baby or small child can be highly stressful. Even 1 minute of mindful breathing will lower your heart rate and improve your body’s response to stress and fatigue.
5. Phone a friend.
Some days all you want is a little adult conversation to keep you going. Call your girls (or boys) and catch up. This one’s great for those struggling to ignore the pile of dishes or unwashed laundry as you can put your phone on speaker and multitask… if you really must!
6. Do some life admin.
Pay that bill you’ve been meaning to. Book that appointment that’s overdue. Change your energy supplier. Whatever it is that’s been hanging over you, get it done. Crossing off the smallest of life admin tasks will reduce your underlying angst more than you realise.
7. Have a shower.
It’s amazing how quickly the things you thought were essential to start your day, like washing, become a luxury once you have a baby. I challenge anyone not to feel instantly more alive once you’re clean. A hot shower can calm your mind and give you the space you need to take on the rest of your day.
Again, I never believed friends who told me they didn’t have time to eat some days when they were at home with their babies til I had my own. Remember
I found my time as stay at home parent as difficult as I did rewarding. I wrote about ways being the stay at home parent is harder, here.
If you’re struggling with your mental health as a new mum, the NHS has a great list of organisations who can help. You can find the list here.