We all need a break every once in a while. Even if it’s just a few minutes everyday!
The last few months have been challenging for me.
I can’t believe that I still have the baby blues some days. For the last 2 months, I have had short mood swings throughout the day where I feel so sad and unmotivated, that my husband literally has to pick me up off the floor. Is this normal? NO! Please talk to your local physician, breastfeeding consultant, mental health professional, or seek as much help from the friends and family around you.
I have been doing lots of research on Post-partum depression, anger, irritability, and anxiety. Instead of taking a medical approach with drugs and anti-psychotics, I have been looking into certain vitamins and herbs to take, coping methods to learn, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Check out: Natural coping methods for post-partum depression.
As we recently celebrated Easter, it was also the 185th session of LDS general conference, good Friday holiday, a trip to my mother-in-laws, and Beckett was sick the whole weekend. The stress leading up to Easter, knowing that it would be busy, lots of driving, planning, cooking, and a sick baby, was overwhelming.
As the days got closer to our trip, I could feel my body wanting to relax.
Instead of ignoring this feeling like I normally do, I decided to listen to my body! I did as little as I could to keep the house tidy, laundry washed, and dishes cleaned. I let Beckett walk around naked (HE LOVES IT!) and I wore lazy clothes all day long. That consists of no bra, loose T-shirt, and some awesome leggings or sweatpants. I read some parenting/sleeping books, watched some TV, baked goodies, cuddled and snuggled with my baby all day long, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I did not keep a to-do list or have any expectations.
Recently, I have discovered a new approach to parenting. It is called ‘present parenting’. Check out my new article on Present Parenting With A Baby or Toddler. Being able to observe my child play, experiment, and learn has been an incredible experience. Getting caught up in social media and using smart phones for entertainment, can take away the priority of bonding with our children. Taking time to ACTUALLY sit down and play with B, has been ever so relaxing for me. As women, we know how hard it is to clear our minds and not think about anything! Well, this was it. All I was focused on was my child and bonding with him. Making precious memories that will last a lifetime and show him how much I care about and love him.
Taking a break is important for our mental, physical, and spiritual health!
Are there days when the struggles of everyday life are just too much to handle? Do you ever want to just ditch your life and go start over new somewhere else? What about locking yourself in a room to have some breathing and thinking time? Well, you have come to the right place. There are many ways mothers can take breaks throughout the day!
Taking a break is mentally relaxing.
I like to think that I am in control of all my actions and thoughts. When I’ve had a rough couple weeks (or even just a hard day!) I find that my emotions build up and start controlling my life. Breastfeeding has my hormones haywire, so having my emotions be in control of my life is not such a good thing.
Our mental health is JUST AS important – if not more – than our physical health. Just as we take vitamins, exercise, shower, clip our toenails; we need to be taking care of our minds! The riggers of motherhood constantly keep us busy and on our toes. The problems of the day will only fade once babies are sleeping. Then, the next morning we still awake to a messy house, unfolded laundry, and junk everywhere. Clearing our minds, for even just a few minutes, can help us to find peace. The house can be tidy and not spotless clean. There can be a few dishes in the sink. The laundry hamper can be half full. These things are NORMAL!!
Discover ways that help you mentally relax. I like to sit down with a warm blanket and slippers on my feet, while I write in my bullet journal, or read a book. Yeah, it’s true, sometimes there is no time to read. Even if I read 1 paragraph at a time, it is still something that helps me mentally relax. Oh, and a cup of hot chocolate too!
1 Take a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils. I always bathe with B because he has so much fun with me in the tub. He also lasts a lot longer too!
2 Sit on the couch and read/goal set. Having a daily to-do list is something that helps me thrive. Sometimes when I make the list too long, I am left feeling disappointed when I haven’t been able to complete it. I start with simple tasks and only have a few each day. This helps keep me mentally focused as well.
3. Go on a walk outside, or in a public space. If it is winter, I like going to the library with B and going on a nice walk through the bookshelves before we go play with toys. Since the weather is getting so warm out (jokes, it just snowed again yesterday) I have been able to take B on a walk almost everyday! This allows me to clear my head and enjoy nature. I don’t listen to music, as I need to be able to hear B if he needs something. Instead, I like to think about ways I can make my life more interesting, different sewing ideas, or exercise ideas for my Instagram account.
Taking a break is physically rewarding!
Wait… What? Taking a break is physically rewarding because it allows our bodies to recover and rejuvenate. Breastfeeding literally takes so much energy out of us. B has been nursing non-stop for days and days because his first molar popped out! Exciting and all, but its truly exhausting for me. I am constantly eating all day long to replenish my bodies food intake and nutrient levels. Taking a break on the couch to just chill and eat some food helps me to feel more energized and ready to keep up with a busy baby.
Exercise in itself, is a GREAT way to take a break. I see my workout time as a time to clear my head and focus on taking care of my body.
Okay moms, working out at home with babies crying, crawling over you, running around, sucking your nipples, banging stuff or getting into who-knows-what can make life exhausting! Working out is great, but sometimes it is so hard to get anything accomplished. Truth be told I have discovered a SECRET! Stop planning a specific time for your workouts! Yes, having structure is important. I find that other things always get in the way when I assume a certain time is the perfect time for a workout.
What I do instead is incorporate exercise into my tasks throughout the day. For example, While I fold laundry in our bedroom, I let B play on the bed or with toys around the room while I fold the clothes. I stand at the foot of the bed and do all kinds of exercises while I fold. Check out my personal fitness routines!
1 Find time to replenish your energy levels by resting and also getting physical exercise. Throughout the day, take time to sit and relax while you clean up toys or sort socks. Running around the house chasing kids can be tiring. Take a nice walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the fresh air and some light exercise.
2 Take time to plan your meals for ultimate nutrients and energy! Don’t eat foods that are going to bog you down and make you pack on the pounds. Eat wise by keeping a balanced diet. Don’t by unhealthy food in the first place! This is the hardest part… Trust me, I understand. Having good and wholesome food in the house will allow you to replenish your nutrients and energy. Especially when breastfeeding. Drink lots of water too!
Taking a break is spiritually uplifting!
Our souls are just as important to feed as our bodies are. Feeding our souls by reading in the scriptures, listening to good music, or reading a recent conference talk can help boost our spiritual awareness and help us feel better! When we have the spirit in our hearts and in our homes, we have the happy and comforting love of the Savior always with us.
I don’t like to admit this, but every other week I feel stuck in a spiritual plateau. Never knowing what I can do to strengthen my testimony and learn more of Christ and our Heavenly Father’s gospel. Reading the scriptures on a daily basis can be challenging, but I can testify of its importance. I LOVE receiving the ensign every month and reading stories that have blessed the lives of people in our world today. Praying daily is great way to keep spiritually uplifted and connected to our Heavenly Father.
1 Make time to study the scriptures and pray. If you have time to check social media, you have time to read the scriptures. If you bring your phone to the bathroom, then you have time to read the scriptures.
Having a healthy habit of study and prayer will bless your life exceedingly. I know of this truth because I see if in my life everyday. I feel happier, comforted, and more accomplished when I make the effort to study the word of God.
2 Have some quiet time while your baby is occupied to get to know YOU better. Having a personal identity is of utmost importance. After having a baby, it is easy to lose yourself in the midst of taking care of another human being 24/7. Take time to get to know yourself again. Find hobbies and skills that make you happy and enjoy life. That is what this life is meant for! To gain knowledge and skills that make us better people. To serve those around us, and to spread the word of God.