Add these easy tips to your daily routine and finally get rid of new mom overwhelm!
Disclaimer – This is a post about ways of dealing with overwhelm as a new mom. These tips have been written based on personal experience only. These tips are not meant to substitute any medical treatment or therapy that may be required if you are suffering from postpartum depression or other perinatal mood disorders.
As a pregnant woman, all you want is for time to move faster and for the baby to be in your arms sooner. Yet, a few days post the arrival of the baby, you may begin to feel overwhelmed.
The frequent diaper changes, struggles with breastfeeding, lack of sleep, the endless list of pending household tasks mixed with the guilt of feeling negative all the time may leave you feeling frustrated. Amidst such mental chaos, staying sane as a new mom may seem impossible.
Check out these great tips from Vrushali Ketkar of Mumbaikar Mom to discover how you can stop feeling overwhelmed as a new mom and start feeling refreshed and relaxed so you can enjoy time with your new baby.
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8 ways to help you deal with overwhelm as a new mom
Here are 8 tips that will help you sail through this challenging phase of new parenthood.
1 – Practice deep breathing
I understand that you may have absolutely no time to meditate, to pause, and to analyze the many thoughts racing through your mind or write down your worries on paper.
But what you can definitely do is take a couple of really deep breaths.
Deep breathing instantly slows down your heart rate. It also helps pump in more oxygen into your bloodstream.
You will immediately notice more clarity in your thinking and the stress-causing thoughts will slowly begin to subside.
2 – Exercise
Exercise is the best and the most effective way of quickly feeling positive. Even in my post on how to be a happy mom, I have emphasized the importance of working out.
Endorphins known as the ‘feel-good hormones’ are released during a workout can immediately put you in a positive mood.
Therefore, if you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed too often, make sure you squeeze as little as ten minutes of exercise into your crazy schedule.
It might feel like a struggle to make time for exercise when you don’t even have time for a proper nap or shower. But if you can find time to add exercise to your schedule, you will notice that within a few days you will start feeling much better.
(Of course, check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.)
3- Prioritize sleep
“Sleep while your baby sleeps” – is a piece of advice that you must have read in every parenting book and heard from every well-meaning acquaintance.
Yet, when the baby actually sleeps, all you can think of are the hundreds of household tasks that need to be done. You may also catch yourself checking your Instagram or Facebook feed when the baby sleeps.
But try to completely forget about everything that holds you back from sleeping. Lack of sleep is the biggest factor contributing to overwhelm as a new mom. The only way to tackle it is by sleeping every single time the baby sleeps.
Absolutely do not neglect this advice.
4 – Eat wholesome meals
You may find yourself struggling to find time to put together a proper meal and eat in peace. In such situations, you may either start under-eating or eating anything that you can lay your hands on!
However, lack of proper nutrition during the first few weeks after delivery can result in fatigue. You may not be able to cope with the strenuous breastfeeding demands of your baby and your milk supply may suffer resulting in more mental agony.
The best way to come out of this cycle is by eating wholesome meals. You may not be able to cook something elaborate every single time. But whenever you eat, make sure that the food is wholesome, healthy and nutritious. If you find it hard to stay disciplined on this front, put somebody else in charge of it.
5 – Limit social interactions and visitors
Your family and friends are usually just as excited as you are about the addition of your newest family member. They all want to come and visit you to see your little bundle of joy.
However, the first few days after delivery are tough on the body. Your body needs rest to heal itself. The fastest way to help your body recover is by spending as much time relaxing as possible.
In order to facilitate that, you need to limit the number of visitors who come and see you in the hospital or at home during the early postpartum weeks.
Ask someone from your family to talk to your friends and family about your need to rest. It’s not rude to turn down visitors. The only way of dealing with overwhelm as a new mom is by prioritizing your need to heal over the need to live up to societal obligations.
6 – Get help
While it is prudent to turn down a sea of visitors in the first few weeks after delivery, it is okay to call a few of your close friends and family to help you out.
Given that you will be spending most of your time awake looking after the baby, you will need someone to help you out with household tasks. Whether it is doing the laundry, washing the dishes or running errands, there is no shame in asking a friend or a family member to help you out.
Every new mother goes through this stage and the only way of coming out of it without breaking down completely is by being honest about your feelings and asking for help without any hesitation.
7 – Connect with other new moms
Connecting with other new moms is such a great way of dealing with new mom stress. Knowing that you are not the only one feeling overwhelmed is in itself very reassuring and can help calm you down.
Find hashtags similar to #newmomlife and follow those on Instagram. Join mom clubs of babies born in the same month as your baby. Find mom groups on Facebook. Use your time breastfeeding to scroll through these groups and connect with other moms.
At times when you feel nobody understands you, the vast online community of new moms will prove to be extremely comforting.
8 – Trust your instincts
No matter how much you prepare for motherhood, once the baby finally arrives, you will end up feeling lost. From wondering why your baby keeps crying to not knowing how to bathe your baby the right way, you may be constantly leaning on the advice of others. Alternatively, you may be frequently Googling your problems to find solutions to them.
While reaching out to others or trying to educate yourself is excellent, as a new mom, it may leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. You may wonder why what works for other babies does not work for your baby.
However, instead of getting worried about it, learn to look within.
You, like every other mother on this planet, is blessed with a motherly instinct that knows what’s best for your baby. Learn to tune in to this instinct as often as you can.
Learning to trust your instinct even when you are relatively inexperienced in the motherhood department, will gradually build your confidence. In fact, instead of fumbling around in panic, you will start taking better decisions.
Remember that the new mom phase only lasts for a couple of months. Try to enjoy this phase as much as you can.
But when you find yourself crumbling down under the pressure of your added duties, try out a few of these tips to help you calm down, relax, and banish overwhelm as a new mom.
What tips do you have for getting rid of stress and overwhelm as a new mom?
Leave a comment below with your favorite way to manage stress as a new mom and help out all of the other moms looking for ideas and support.
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Born and brought up in Mumbai, Vrushali is a corporate lawyer and company secretary by profession. She is also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and an Indian classical vocalist and the founder of Mumbaikar Mom.
Vrushali is a mommy to a beautiful little girl and is passionable about helping other moms to achieve that perfect balance by sharing her experiences and insights with through her posts about parenting, home management and lifestyle. She also shares her views on all the baby products, gadgets and lifestyle goods that she uses with the hope of making your life easier.
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