Being a mother is one of the most rewarding roles a woman can have. It’s also a role that necessitates time for self-nourishment. One of the biggest challenges a mother faces is allocating this time for herself.
After dedicating most of my adult years to holistic self-care rituals and attending to myself physically and emotionally on a daily basis, it was a shock to discover how hard this lifestyle was to maintain when my son came into the world. The daily pressure of attending to my child’s needs was exhausting and resulted in initial anxiety and depression.
It didn’t take me long to realise how crucial it was for me to cultivate balance. I knew it was essential for me to look after myself while I nurtured and managed the life of my beautiful new baby.
Here are a few things that I found to be my saving grace…
Yoga – If you can’t get to a class, make time to practice at home – buy a yoga book or DVD, do a class online or simply take 20 minutes to do some gentle stretching. Yoga isn’t just wonderful for your body, it also has a subtle way of helping you deal with change and life’s challenges. Yoga Nidra is a wonderful practice to give you a quick recharge after a sleepless night.
Massage – Massage relieves tension and balances your entire nervous system. Treat yourself by scheduling a professional massage. If this is not financially possible, try self-massage using Perfect Potion massage oils, or try my Mother Earth Massage Blend
Spend some time each evening massaging this oil into your ankles, calves and thighs, using firm kneading strokes up and down your legs. Alternatively, use this mixture as a nourishing bath oil. Afterwards, be sure to do some gentle stretching for five minutes and then spend at least ten minutes lying down with your legs up the wall ( this improves circulation).
Bathing – Make time for a bath either late at night, or before sunrise. Bathing is a classic way to dissolve stress and tension. It can also help relieve the physical strain a mother holds in her body from all that lifting and bending. Take a bath using Perfect Potion bath oils and diffuse essential oils such as bergamot, german chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, neroli, lavender, petitgrain, sweet marjoram, sweet orange, sandalwood, jasmine and ylang ylang – these are perfect for keeping busy mummies happy and chill.
Play some Tunes – A house filled with music is a house filled with fun! Play music that uplifts and inspires you. My favourites are jazz, old school classics and world music. You could even pick up a second-hand keyboard, ukulele, or mini guitar and encourage your baby to get musical!
Child-minding Swap – Create a structured child-minding roster with someone in your family or circle of friends. You can look after their children for an hour Friday mornings while they go to yoga, and they can return the favour on Saturday afternoons while you get a massage!
Aroma Ambiance – To ensure sound sleep and tranquil evenings, burn or diffuse pure essential oils that relax the whole family. Lavender, mandarin, frankincense, german chamomile and sandalwood essential oils are ideal choices. For invigoration, fill the home with the scents of ginger, sweet orange, black pepper, cypress, cedarwood, frankincense and clove essential oils. These will promote a cosy feeling of refuge and joy.
Alternatively, if your family struggles with productivity in the morning, diffuse oils like lemongrass, cinnamon, sage, basil and bergamot to get you all feeling enthusiastic and energised for the day ahead.
Best Post-Pregnancy Foods…
Simple, organic, wholesome, home-cooked food is best for you and your family. Eating a balanced diet of fresh and nutritionally sound whole foods will support you greatly in your professional and home life and is essential in helping you fulfil your greatest potential. A healthy and nourishing post-partum diet is vital for new mothers. There are certain foods that supply a woman with many of the nutrients she needs to help heal and restore as she embarks on the journey of motherhood.
Ghee – Traditionally used as a post-natal healing food in Ayurvedic medicine, ghee, being entirely made of healthy fat, helps in the production of digestive enzymes and absorption of minerals.
Greens – Nutrient-dense greens like spinach, kale, broccoli and celery are full of essential immune-boosting minerals. Green juicing is great for alkalising and cleansing the body.
Eggs – This nutrient dense, wholefood will keep mum satisfied all morning long! Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are vital for energy and total health.
Oats – Oats are especially good for you! They are said to be soothing for the nervous system, helping to ease anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia.
Salmon – Provides a good source of quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is an excellent source of selenium (an important mineral that decreases joint inflammation and keeps the immune system and thyroid working well).
Good Fats – Eating numerous healthy fats like avocados, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, organic grassed meat and nuts help stabilise blood sugar, improve digestion and regulate blood pressure. With lack of sleep and increased stress, mum will need all the help she can get absorbing the nutrients her body needs for sustained energy.
Fresh Dates – Since ancient times, women were given dates after labour to strengthen their bones and muscles. The precious date contains vital minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.