11 Ways New Parents Can Look after Themselves During the Newborn Haze

As a new parent, self-care might seem like a pipe dream. Any mum or dad will agree that welcoming a new baby into their world is a huge lifestyle change, and as you navigate the early days in the newborn haze, it can be easy to forget or neglect yourself. But self-care can be simple, and it doesn’t have to involve much or take too much time. These five-minute self-care ideas can help you to prioritise your own needs alongside your baby’s, so that you can be your best, most present self.

  1. Stretch!

Beyond the physical benefits of increased flexibility and a range of motion, stretching can also promote an improved mood and focus. This is because stretching has been shown to increase serotonin, which can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you’re unsure about where to begin, there are plenty of gentle stretches that can be carried out before sleep, after waking, or even while sitting down. These movements can still be highly efficient and will take just a few minutes of your day.

  1. Step Outside

Sunlight has an abundance of benefits, including improving sleep, enhancing cognitive function, and lowering blood pressure. And with the warmer weather, now marks a perfect opportunity to make the most of these sunnier days - even if this means spending five minutes in your garden soaking up some vitamin D.

  1. Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can be a great tool for taming your inner critic and boosting your self-esteem. Whether you say them out loud or write them down, affirming positive beliefs about yourself can be a speedy and effective means of self-care. It might feel a little unnatural at first; it can be difficult to focus on everything you’re great at when most of your attention is solely on your new baby. But in time, positive affirmations can be a habit you incorporate into your daily routine.

  1. Make Yourself a Drink

Making yourself a cup of tea or grabbing a glass of water might seem a simple act. But the process of taking a few minutes out of your day to look after yourself by staying hydrated or taking a moment to enjoy your favourite beverage is a form of self-care. In doing so, you’re also allowing yourself the opportunity to pause, relax, and reflect.

  1. Read Some Good News

Sometimes it can get overwhelming reading and hearing about the bad in the world. And over time, it can become detrimental to our mental wellbeing. Why not consider subscribing to positive news outlets or searching for stories that put a smile on your face? It’s actually scientifically proven that those who read good news are more likely to mimic the generous actions they read about! Not to mention, in your baby haze, it might be nice to pop up and reconnect with the outside world.

  1. Retail Therapy

Being a new parent can be the most fulfilling and happy time of your life but that’s not to say it doesn’t come without its challenges. For your hard work, why not consider treating yourself? This doesn’t have to be an extravagant purchase at all, but just a gift to yourself to acknowledge the sacrifices you’ve made over the past few weeks or months.

  1. Journal

Journalling can be highly therapeutic, offering a moment to reflect, solve problems, and be an outlet for creative expression. More generally, journalling can be an amazing form of self-care because it provides a safe space for emotional release. Being a new mum or dad can come with many mixed emotions and sometimes getting them down on paper is one way to process this big life change.

  1. Apply a Face Mask

…or enjoy a steam facial. You might not be able to head out to the spa in the early newborn days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate your own pamper session at home. Even if it’s just five minutes, the process of applying the mask to momentarily step away from the demands of parenting and caring for your partner can be a chance to practise mindfulness, focusing on the present.

  1. Music Break

Consider taking a few minutes to listen to your favourite song. This can support in reconnecting with your sense of self, which might be something you are struggling with, or help get you into a positive mental state. Not only can listening to music you love boost your mood but supports you with maintaining your individual identity and moving your body.

  1. Take a Quick Call

Friendships can change after having a baby and it can be a delicate time for both you and your close friends. Priorities change and communication can break down as a result. But putting a few minutes aside to catch up with loved ones can help in maintaining a friendship, while also offering emotional and social support.

  1. Write Down Your Weekly Aspirations

Writing down weekly aspirations can provide a better sense of direction as to how you’re going to achieve them and hold you more accountable for committing to do something for yourself. No matter how big or small you consider these to be, this 5-minute self-care idea can be a great habit to get into weekly.

The above is not intended as medical advice and is only intended to offer points you may wish to consider in 'non-emergency situations'. You should consult an appropriate medical professional if you have concerns about your or your partner's mental health. Dial 999 in an emergency if someone is in a life-threatening condition.