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Mom Self Care 101

Alright, so postpartum recovery is long.

I’m not talking about the actual battle scars on your body from the day.

You may have healed quickly physically, but it’s a long road back to your most sane self.

Emotionally you are both high and low.

I find it particularly challenging how one moment you are basking in the miracle that is your family you have created. You are applauding yourself for having such happy and awesome kids. You are sure you are the luckiest person in the world.
Then in two hours the whole mood can shift.

Winter is coming.

Your house can get so messy that it’s a natural disaster that even the red cross can’t help.

Your children are whining. Not crying. Just whining over every possible movement.

You count how many hours until bed time. You feel guilty for counting. You look again to make sure you were correct on the amount of hours until bedtime. You feel like your drowning.

Everyone’s pooping. Someone may have taken off their pants and peed on the dog. We can not be sure.

Mayhem.

In walks the Husband.

“Hey! Looks like hurricane Britt blew through here today. HaHa! How was your day honey?” 

Really dude? Read the room.

READ THE ROOM.

They are both hanging off my body. But they won’t let me snuggle them. They are like giving me stiff arms, pulling my hair, and wiping boogers on my shoulder. The toddler has his little peanut butter fist in the back of your hair. Holding onto your hair like he is your pimp. Do I look like I am in the mood for a joke about my tendency to create large messes?

I’m drowning. So shut your beautiful mouth and grab a kid.
Then one hour later you and that same husband are sitting on the floor reading to the boys. Everyone is fresh out of the tub and they smell like baby powder. Your toddler is dealing out books for everyone to read. The baby is biting on the side of your husbands face. Again, happiness all over.

The change is quick and often.

But exhausting.

The highs so high and the lows so low.
A very long story short, there are many ways you need to take care of yourself during this time, and all the time.

If you ruin your body… you die. Boom.

Science. 

So I thought I’d share with every one my two favorite simple ways to be nice to yourself in your every day routine.

#1   PUT YOUR LEGS UP ON A WALL.
No, seriously. Get off the couch. You can read the rest of this on your phone while having your legs up on a wall. I know this because I do it, all the time.

Proven benefits:

  • Relieves tired leg muscles
  • It gives you all the benefits of inversion without the effort
  • It is super calming for the nervous system
  • It helps quiet the mind
  • It reduces edema in the legs and feet
  • Relieves low back pain
  • Calms anxiety and stress
  • Gently stretches hamstrings, legs and lower back
            Do this sound like anything you can use?
Of course. You were just a human hotel. Letting all that blood flow back into your hips feels like magic. I try to do it for 20 minutes everyday. But set an obtainable goal for yourself.
Start by saying, I’m going to challenge myself this week to put my legs on the wall for 15 mins every single night.
Do it before you go to bed. Do it as you watch TV. Do it as you lay on a mat with a baby. Do it as you read your email. Do it while you listen to music early in the morning. It seems like such an odd thing to add to your daily schedule. But everything is only relative to what you are used to.
Anything seems normal if you are used to it.
Well Brittany, I’m just far too busy, you say.
That’s nonsense. Don’t say that. People prioritize what’s important to them.
Prioritize yourself.
You can find 15 mins in your day for 7 days.
I did it the other day while a toddler sat on my chest and made animal noises at me.
I find it the most calming to do it at night before bed. It’s a very easy way to teach yourself to relax.
I usually set my alarm on my phone and then put on some music. If you are someone who does not think you could ever possibly meditate this is good baby step #1 towards it.
I never thought I’d be able to teach myself to calm my mind down. It typically goes and goes. But this is how I started. Google it if you don’t believe me. You will find so many articles on the benefits of this. Especially when your hormones are crazy. It’s very calming.
TRY it. What do you have to lose?
#2    WATER WATER WATER WATER WATER WATER and MORE WATER.
     Every morning I fill a 64 oz pitcher of water. The rule I make for myself is that I have to drink the whole thing everyday before I go to bed.
I can drink it in the morning. I can drink it throughout the day. But no matter what, by the time I go to bed, the whole thing must be empty and inside my body to ensure I am functioning to my highest potential.
Again, do it as a challenge to yourself. See if you can drink the whole pitcher of water everyday for 7 days straight. If you do not regularly reach the recommended water intake for the day, I promise you will feel a big difference.
Lack of water in your daily routine results in:
Fatigue
Headaches
High stress level
Low cognitive function
Bad skin
To just name a few.
But when your body is properly hydrated you receive so many benefits.
Higher energy level
Healthier joints
Nourishes your skin
Essential for good digestion
Revs your metabolism and makes you feel full. Aka. Helps with weight loss.
AND SO MUCH MORE!
Why would you not want these aspects of your body to improve?
Fill that pitcher up.
Add lemon.
So good for you.
       Low energy and high stress levels can feed into depression. Obviously.
Take care of your postpartum self. You may feel fine for a while, but it’s important to continue on with good habits for the whole first year.
You never know when the darkness could slip its way in. Hormones be cray my friends.
So let us be careful of how we treat our body both physically and mentally during these months of healing and life identity crisis.
      If you don’t put in the work to take care of yourself, then how are you supposed to take care of everyone else? Being Super Mom and putting everyone’s needs before your own happens so easily. It’s the most natural thing in the world. You get so caught up in what everyone else needs that one day you stop and look in your bathroom mirror and you’re like…
“Whoa I look like a troll who should be guarding a bridge.”
  You aren’t doing any favors to yourself or your family in the long run.
You have to be a happy Mom to raise happy kids.
         We all have these dramatic goals of losing baby weight. Sometimes we forget to just start small. Ya we would all like to call Saturdays “Mom spa day” and get hot stone massages once a week. But that just isn’t in the cards.
So I start with little things I can change about my day. The little things add up and become the big things. I promise you if you are drinking the correct amount of water that you should be then you will not be eating as much.
You will be peeing all the time! But that is just something you have to get used to.
The good things that will happen to your skin, mind, brain, attitude, are very much worth it. You are worth it.
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