Last Updated on May 23, 2021 by melissanreynolds
Some essential mindful habits have really been saving my sanity amongst sleep deprivation, baby reflux, three busy boys, a still in training puppy and life. I’ll admit, transitioning to four kids has been rough.
We don’t seem to get those newborns that are sleepy or give you a few weeks of easy nap times. It’s straight to the sleep struggle.
If your baby doesn’t seem to settle, be like those you read about or respond to those lists of how to settle- you are not alone!
I still can’t believe I am a mama of four. Or how hard it has been, but reflux is never an easy addition to the newborn period. Especially when you have pre existing health issues in the mix.
So how am I coping? With these 5 essential mindful self-care habits…
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At first I was so grateful to be able to take a full breath it was second nature to revel in just breathing. Now, each day, I purposely take a moment to sink into my breath. Noticing how it feels as my lungs fill, the expansion. Then the release as I exhale. That is really all you need to do to “do” mindful breathing. Simply taking some deep breaths can calm the nervous system – and mine was on high alert after months of pain from my pelvis issues, delivery and the sleep deprivation that comes with the newborn territory.
When you’re exhausted, your baby has long crying jags and pain you had managed is flaring its hard to stay positive. So I dug out my old gratitude Journal (does anyone else have several guided journals that they start and stop?). Simply writing three things each day that I I grateful for really helps me to count my blessings and remember the good stuff. Like how well my body is coping, how much I love these boys, how thankful I am for my husband.
Movement is really helpful for managing tricky muscles and general health and wellbeing. There are a great many yoga poses I cannot do due to my pelvis issues and I still must be quite careful in how I move, but I am so happy with what I can do again.
These are some of my favourites:
I made a little sequence of mountain, swaying mountain, twists and cactus arms.
Just a few minutes here and there is really helping to counteract the tension caused by holding a baby nearly constantly. I’m doing everything very mindfully and checking in with myself because it’s been several long months of near immobility plus labour is pretty hard on the body. Its been through some things!
I made you a free 10 minute Yoga for Fibromyalgia series that will help you begin your yoga practice, that you can sign up for here.
In those early weeks when I was stuck inside, simply stepping out onto our deck, lifting my face to the sun and breathing was so grounding. I then began wandering through our yard when settling the baby in the wrap. Around four weeks postpartum I started walking (slowly, mindfully) to the end of our street and back. Paying attention to the natural world is calming.
I adore meditation, particularly guided meditations like Yoga Nidra. But when the baby is too fussy to allow me a proper rest with my earphones, heat pack and 30 uninterrupted minutes, self-guided meditations have been such a blessing.
These are tasters that you can do for free using YouTube. If you would like to really get into using meditation (and yoga) for fibromyalgia, then do join us in Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual yoga studio.
So these are my five essential mindful self-care habits, what are yours?