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How To Take Care of YOU

Woman writing in wenatal journal

Mama if you are reading this you are most likely: tired, hungry, possibly un-showered, knee deep in snuggles and somewhat overwhelmed.  There is also a good chance you are in need of some YOU time…some self care. Yet when you are responsible for a little human being - self care seems out of reach. 


What comes to mind when we typically think of “self-care”? Indulgence. Luxury. Selfish. Spa day. “Treat yo self” (to all my Parks n Rec fans). 


Yes AND….. absolutely not. Because while self-care can be sexy (hello hot stone massage, two hours spent at the nail salon or a pretty new purchase)  More often than not though, self-care is less sexy (and less costly). 


Self-care, while a trendy topic, is still slightly elusive when it comes to defining. Why? Well, self-care is self-defined. It encompasses holistic health, prevention and wellness. It is an active, mindful, deliberate and self-initiated practice 


Read that part in bold one more time—because it means you get to decide what self-care means for you & that is so important.


Self-care is as much about what you do, as it is about what you don’t do…


Lying down or napping? = Self-care


Saying “no” or setting an authentic boundary = Self-care


Scheduling a break for reflecting or taking a few intentional deep-breaths = Self-care.


Self-care is authenticity. It can be a brief stretch or moving your body for 15 minutes a day. It can be journaling, by free-writing or by using prompts, or maybe jotting down 5 things you’re grateful for that day (because gratitude, like pregnancy, can change that brain). It can be showing up honestly, instead of people pleasing, sharing your true feelings and capacity. It can be spending time with those who revive and rejuvenate you. It can be time outdoors, meditation, therapy, prayer or community engagement.


Self-care is what you need it to be and your needs now, as a new mama, are as important as ever (even though that may be tough to believe). We all know (& likely tell others) “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Now is an opportunity to practice what we preach.


I encourage you to intentionally set aside a few minutes to check-in with yourself and ask “what would self-care look like today?” Maybe it was reading this article. Maybe it’s time to call on your support system and have a few minutes of alone time. Maybe it’s time to take a walk with the baby & soak up a bit of nature. 


Look, we all know self-care is not always easy to build into the day. Remember we said self-care is an active, mindful, deliberate and self-initiated practice. But maybe you don’t always have the mental or emotional bandwidth to be quite as active and deliberate as you’d like since a new baby will take up a good chunk of your time (...putting it mildly!). 


Here’s where the value of “set it and forget it” comes into play (though not entirely). Think of it like setting your bills up on auto-pay so now you have one less thing on the To-Do list. When we build a self-care routine, it can take a bit of the mental labor out of the equation. Consider mentally manifesting the day you want while you brush your teeth in the morning. Maybe while the baby naps and you fold the endless amount of laundry, you try to focus on your breath in that moment (and not focus on the endless To-Do list running through your mind). 


I know some of these examples may feel impossible and maybe, right now, they are. However, I can confidently say that there is some type of self-care that we can all do once a day. As of late, a staple self-care activity of mine has been hydration- feel free to tag that as your self-care activity for tomorrow!


This is your invitation to prioritize you…so you can be your best self for you, for your baby & for your loved ones. 

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Amy DeBlase, LMHC, LPC, PMH-C

Amy is licensed therapist and passionate about maternal mental health, specifically postpartum anxiety, OCD, and depression, as well as women’s issues, including empowerment, advocacy, boundary setting and self-care. If you're interested in learning more about the work Amy does, or connecting further, check out her website at amydeblase.com

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