It’s nearly twelve months postpartum and life has started to settle into a new normal. The baby is no longer a baby, the house is no longer EVER tidy and I’m no longer really capable of pulling off the ‘but I’ve just had a baby’ line. It’s time to stop focusing on everything else and practice a little self care. It’s time to get back to me. But where do you start with reclaiming your body (and mind) postpartum? Here are a few tips to help you along the way…
Carve out some ‘you’ time
Since becoming a parent, ‘me’ time has become a thing of the past. How can one tiny person take up so much time and energy? And once they’re in bed, there’s always a mountain of jobs to get through, meals to eat, things to sort and a bed to fall exhaustedly in to! But carving out a bit of me time is a hugely important part of reclaiming your body postpartum and your mind. Remember what you used to do pre-parenthood? Maybe it was reading a book? Perhaps it was zoning out in front of the TV watching trash? Or it could be having a good soak in the bath in peace! Set aside half an hour in the evenings to do just that, put down the washing pile and step away from the hoover, some things are more important.
Give yourself a health MOT
As a parent, we ofter prioritise everything other than ourselves, including our health. It’s easy to overlook minor health complaints or keep up with routine check ups when you’re running around after others, but this can lead to bigger issues in the long run as you fail to pick up complaints and niggles early enough. Don’t forget we’re not just talking about dental check ups here; an overall health check up is certainly worth performing covering all aspects of your life from cholesterol levels to weight and even women’s health screening – all of which you can do at home if you need to. Find out what your health is like currently then set yourself a plan to tackle or treat any areas you may be concerned about – trust me, you’ll feel better for having the whole picture!
Find your exercise
Whether it’s going for a walk, hitting the weights at the gym or stretching it out on the yoga mat, finding the exercise that suits you is 90% of the battle. Whether it’s with friends or alone, exercising releases endorphins which help to boost your mood, not to mention the calorie burn/toning that’s happening along the way. If you’re unable to find some child-free time, why not incorporate them into your workout, either with baby-wearing (extra resistance) or having a dance party workout with them in the lounge. This month I’ve been hitting the gym twice a week with a friend, it’s short, sweet and always straight after we’ve done bedtime so I’m not missing out on family time!
Supplement your life
I’ve always been a skeptic of supplements but they’re a quick and easy way to make sure your body is getting the extra nutrients it needs to keep you healthy and looking at your best. There are many different types on the market at all sorts of price points, I’ve been trialling Lumity Life recently. Lumity is aimed at women over 30’s, helping to boost our energy and hormone balance to improve sleep levels… exactly what I need (they also list supermodels amongst their fans so I’m hoping some of that glamour will rub off by association). Whatever supplement you go for, be sure to do your research as some can contradict other medication you may be taking.
Supersize your sleep
If you’re getting less sleep than you used to, then you need to be getting the most out of that limited snooze fest. Try some of our top tips for getting a good night’s sleep or my favourite tips from the experts to help you out in the bedroom. I’ve found since opening the window each night to create a cooler room, I’ve slept far better!
Create your own diet plan
Food food food. Breastfeeding failed to help me shed weight but did succeed in making me ravenous. Being at home during the day, running around after small people and juggling a hectic home life, often means that we’re grabbing food on the go. Planning your meals for the week and having healthy snacks on hand helps stop that fridge raid. If diet plans work for you then now is the time to find one that you can honestly stick to, there’s no point in signing yourself up for a juice plan right now if that’s going to leave you in a grump all day long! I’ve found going back to basics helps, with plenty of yummy healthy options available as we come into summer – a yummy salad, anyone? Give yourself a treat at the end of the day to look forward to as well, for me that’s a curly wurly or two!
What are your top tips for taking care of yourself?