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8 Ways New Parents Can Find Time for Self-Care by Emily Graham

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Having a new child is a delight, but your child can take up a lot of your time. As explained in an article on parental self-care from NYU Langone Health, finding time for personal self-care can help you develop resilience and better care for your children’s unexpected crises or problems. That’s why it’s especially important to make time for self-care. However, as a new parent, it can be hard to find that time. Here are a few ways you can find more time.

Take Power Naps

There are lots of creative ways that parents can sneak in a nap, whether it’s switching places with your partner for half an hour or watching a movie with the kids and getting in some doze time. Sometimes you have to sleep when your baby sleeps, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. What’s more, it’s okay to postpone certain tasks if necessary.

Outsource Tasks

There are some tasks that you might not have time for or are too exhausting for you to accomplish. Consider hiring help to care for your house and yard. You can hire someone who will mow your lawn or hire a house cleaner. A house cleaner can help you with some of your heftiest tasks, such as cleaning the kitchen and living area. Keep in mind that the average cost of a one-time interior house cleaning in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is between $112 and $248.

Eat Healthy Meals Regularly

One major obstacle new parents usually encounter is finding a healthy nutritional equilibrium. According to Harvard Medical School, eating small amounts of food at frequent regular times during the day and working harder to stay hydrated are simple ways to boost energy levels and make your new role as a parent easier to manage.

Get Your Body Moving

Many parents have a difficult time getting enough physical activity compared to their previous exercise levels. It can be especially difficult if you feel tired all the time. Try to move more whenever you can, whether it’s going for walks with your child or doing some quick push-ups in your living room. Any kind of movement can make a difference.

Spend Time with Your Partner

If you have a partner with whom you’re raising your children, spend a little extra time with them. It’s easy to think that if you saw them during the day that you’ve spent enough time together; however, try to get some alone time together for at least 30 minutes every day. This can strengthen your relationship and help your emotional health.

Set Boundaries

There are some things you might just have to say “no” to in order to feel some peace of mind. These stressors are individual for everybody. If you aren’t happy spending extra time on some voluntary tasks, it’s okay to cut down on them or eliminate them.

Make Time for Friends

Studies show that new parents are more likely to increase their social media use to help them transition into being a parent. If you regularly use social media, try to be active and engaged with it. Leave comments on friends’ posts and let them know you’re thinking of them. Reach out to friends in real life too, since face-to-face time is invaluable.

Work on Problem-Solving

An article in Psychology Today recommends that you write down three things that are causing stress in your life. Then, next to each stressor, write down a potential solution. This can make your life feel a little more manageable rather than chaotic.

Sometimes, just having something to look forward to can be as much of a psychological reward as the self-care activity or personal time itself. This is a phenomenon in psychology called “nexting.” If you schedule time for self-care, you’ll have something to think about, which can make a big difference in how your day goes.

* Written by Emily Graham, Creator of Mighty Moms, Emily believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms -- from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.

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