Motherhood brings us so many new joys along with so many new stressors. I welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby girl 10.5 months ago. Figuring out what this little bundle of joy needs and how to fit in some rest for myself has been quite challenging. Our mind is constantly running wondering if we are doing a good job. Some mothers including myself may have been very active before having their baby and yearn for that feeling to unwind again. Engaging in physical activity is important for our mental and physical health. However, the time we had set aside to be active before this little one joined our world seems to no longer exist. It is important to remember how much change our bodies have endured over the last nine months. We need to take it slow and listen to our bodies. Make sure to have received medical clearance from your health care provider before starting any physical activity.
Start small – Just 10-15 minutes of activity can benefit our mental and physical health. If the weather allows, get outside, and enjoy nature. The outdoors can allow us to calm our thoughts and reset.
Take it slow – Even though you may have received clearance from your health care provider, if you don’t feel ready then do not rush into physical activity. When you do get started listen to your body and adjust the volume or intensity of your activity based on how you feel. Start with low-intensity activities such as walking, swimming, or stretching.
Think outside the box – You may not be able to set aside a specific amount of time to work out like you may have before. You may have to get a little creative and fit in small bouts of exercise during naptime or plan a walk while baby takes a nap in the stroller. Activities like doing chores and cleaning around the house can count as well!
Be patient – It is important to remember that your body has just created a little human. It has endured a lot of change over the last nine months. We cannot expect it to bounce back to our pre-pregnancy activity level in just a couple of months.
Have a support system – You may have heard it takes a village to raise a child. Reach out to your friends and family for support. Support can be helpful with watching the baby while you get in 20 minutes of yoga or maybe a nap or even some errands done.
Remember to allow yourself permission to rest – There will be times where you feel like you can fit in ten minutes of upper body weights, but your mind and body are telling you to rest. Take that time to rest and maybe work on some breath work.