Managing your stress!
Posted on February 18 2016
New babies are fantastic! But let’s be real—managing that little bundle of joy can also bring a LOT of stress.
Stress is not good. Stress is not your friend. Stress can cause low energy, headaches, cranky behavior, a short temper, depression, and so on. These things are not only bad for parents, but also bad for your ability to care for and be close to your newborn.
Well, it isn’t the baby’s fault exactly. The baby is just doing whatever babies do. So the key to managing stress is to deal with it ourselves instead of crossing our fingers that the colic or constipation or sleepless nights are going to magically disappear. As parents and caregivers, we have to take action to manage the stress ourselves.
The great news is that there is plenty of practical advice about managing the stress of raising a newborn. Here are four of our favorite tips, gathered (as always) from reputable sources around the web.
Tip #1: “Be gentle to yourself.”
That’s how Dr. Greene describes the art of cutting yourself some slack. (Mayo Clinic uses the phrase “relax your standards.”) Nobody is perfect, and now is not the time to beat yourself up because the house is a little messier than usual.
With a new child in the house, you’ll be happier and less stressed if you realize mistakes are part of parenting, and not everything can get done at the same time. Your baby and your health are the top priorities, and you’ll get around to the other stuff.
Tip #2: Avoid junk food.
Too much sugar and carbs, not enough nutrition. Healthline.com illustrates the effects that fast food has on your body, and one of the many not-great results is spikes in blood sugar. For parents with a newborn, that makes it even more challenging to feel good and to feel that you have energy.
Salad, fruit, nuts, fresh food—keep those things around so you have something healthy to grab if and when a craving hits. You’ll feel much better overall and have more energy to give to your baby.
Tip #3 :Establish visiting rules.
Love this one. Friends and family can’t wait to congratulate you and see the new addition to your family. They may drop by during your baby’s nap. Or your nap. Or at almost any other time.
It’s wonderful to have such a support group. And they will understand if you let everyone know when visits are welcome, and when they’re not.
Tip #4: Try Yoga.
Yoga is about exercise and about calming your mind and body.
Now you might be thinking something like this: “Yoga? My whole body hurts and I can barely figure out time to take a shower!” (We might or might not be quoting a friend here.)
That’s exactly why yoga is perfect. There are very simple stretches, movements and positions that work great for new moms.
Here are some from an article on Huffington Post, and others from Babble.com.
You don’t have to do a 90-minute Bikram sweatshop marathon. You can start with one position, or five minutes. Movement is good for your body and your mind.