As we close out this incredibly challenging year and resolve to make 2021 better (it has to be better, right?), we wanted to give you some mindful resolutions that—even if you keep just one—will make this coming year as a parent more joyful and healthy.
If we have learned anything from 2020, it is to slow down and be present in the moment. We have learned how to take great delight in the simple things—the tiny snore you hear from the bassinet, the way your baby smells after a bath, the first giggle you hear after a long afternoon nap. As we head into 2021, take this sense of being present with you—put down your phone, spend less time scrolling through social media, and create space in your schedule by making time to rest, read and connect with your family.
Get Some Sleep
I can’t say enough about the importance of sleep—especially for new moms. After all, your baby needs you to be at your best, both physically and emotionally. Instead of focusing on how many hours of sleep you are getting, I want you to instead focus on the kind of sleep you are getting. Stop using technology at least one hour before you go to bed, avoid caffeinated beverages, create a bedtime routine such as drinking herbal tea, or reading a book. And, it’s true—sleep when the baby is sleeping. Forgo the household chores tasks and catch some extra zzz’s when your little one takes a nap.
Show Yourself Some Love
It is easy to focus on what your baby needs that you forget about another important person in your life: YOU. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if your cup is empty. Just as I encourage you to shift your focus regarding sleep, I also encourage you to change your definition of what it means to practice self-care. Although self-care can mean long, luxurious bubble baths and all-day spa treatments, it is also choosing healthy foods that make you feel good, drinking plenty of water, and opting to move your body instead of sitting on the couch. Small changes make a big difference.
There is something to be grateful for even during the most overwhelming days—too little sleep, fussy baby, piles of laundry, etc. Make a habit of spending a few minutes each day (I recommend the evening but take the time when you can get it!), writing down those things you are grateful for in your life, even if it is something small such as “I took a shower today.” Keeping your mind in a state of gratitude will not only help you stay present in the moment but has also been shown to reduce anxiety, increase resilience, and boost happiness.
Keep Your Doctor’s Appointments
You probably have a calendar filled with all of your well-baby visits to the doctor during your child’s first year of life, but what about you? Although you may feel as if you have had your share of doctor’s visits lately, it’s important to not skimp on your own health and wellbeing. In addition to your postpartum checkup, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as well as your dentist and eye doctor. Be sure to talk openly with your doctors about any concerns you may have–both physically and mentally. Your body has gone through a lot of changes bringing this beautiful new life into the world.
Here’s to making 2021 the best year yet for you and your baby!
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and medical issues and is provided as an entertainment and informational resource only. It is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. This blog is opinion based and these opinions do not reflect the ideas, ideologies, or points of view of any potentially affiliated organization. The information on this blog may be revised and/or otherwise managed.