The saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ is never more applicable than the early days of parenthood. Happy Melon’s Meditation Lead, Sacha Stewart, supported by Corporate Wellness Lead and mama-of-three Sally Murchie share seven tips for maintaining a healthy mindset as a new parent.

Use these practical tools to stay uplifted and to tap into your positive potential to move with confidence through the newness of parenthood and to continue mindfully parenting with a sense of peace and ease for years to come.

Happy Melon’s Meditation Lead, Sacha Stewart shares seven simple tips for a healthy mindset as a new parent.

Keep A Good Routine

Kick start your day with some good habits that will set you up for success. Setting a regular wake up time, starting with a refreshing shower (baby in the bouncer or bassinet watching is fine!) and getting dressed (yes, out of your PJ’s!) should be your AM routine go to’s.

Throughout the day, make sure you get lots of fresh air. Walks are your new best friend! Then be sure to wind down and go to bed at the same time each night.

The most important thing during this time is to be kind to yourself and constantly remember that you are doing your best in every moment. Perhaps after a ‘bad’ night, the best thing for you is that extra hour of sleep while bub sleeps. It’s all okay.

To keep yourself on track, write down 1-3 intentions for your day. These can be anything at all that you would like to commit to that day. In this way, you can look back on your day and see that it has some structure which will give you a sense of fulfilment.

Not only have you cared, nurtured and unconditionally loved your beautiful little bub, but you have also walked around the block, taken a bath, nourished your body with good food, or in some other small way been kind to yourself!

Breathe

With so much going on in your world and the long list of adjustments you’ve had to make in welcoming your little one into your life; with the severe lack of sleep and the rollercoaster of hormones, it’s understandable that stress and anxiety can, and almost undoubtedly will arise. One of the best tools you have to keep calm is your breath.

Simple Breathing Exercises: 

  • Breathe into your belly for a count of 4, and out for a count of 6. When you exhale for longer than you inhale you bring yourself out of ‘fight-flight-freeze’ and activate your calmer, more rational neurological response. You’re signalling to your mind and body that you are safe and everything is okay.
  • Another great tool is to simply S.T.O.P. Stop (in the moment, whatever you’re doing). Take a breath (long inhale for 4, longer gentle exhale for 6). Observe (ask yourself ‘how and what am I feeling?’). Proceed, a little calmer, perhaps a little more in control, with gentle, compassionate self-awareness.

Be In The Moment

We’ve never needed meditation and mindfulness more than we do now. The more you can be in the present moment, the more you will feel a bit more at peace and a bit more at ease in your life. Now could be the perfect time to give meditation a go if you’ve never tried it before, or commit to making it a part of your regular routine.

Happy Melon offer 25min Meditation classes throughout the week that can help you to develop your practice. Our Monday 8.45am class is complimentary each week if you want to dip your toe in to see how it feels.

Get Outside

Taking a walk not only moves the body, but gets you out into the daylight, which raises your serotonin levels, the neurotransmitter that increases feelings of positivity, boosts your memory, and helps to regulate your mood.

A brisk walk to get a coffee or simply around the block will have you feeling revitalised, will get the endorphins flowing and help you feel a sense of accomplishment in your day. Even in the midst of Winter the warmth of the sun on your back or the fresh wind on your cheeks can be the gentle reminder you need to feel into the nourishing power of nature and the benefits of being in the present moment.

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Get Your Body Moving

With sleep deprivation and life pretty much completely turned upside down, it can be easy to park exercise well and truly at the bottom of the to-do list; but movement might just be the one thing you need to feel alive again. It can be hard to know where to start, especially when life revolves around the baby’s schedule.

Happy Melon offers live online Fitness, Yoga and Mat Pilates and Meditation classes via HM Live, plus our On-Demand platform means you can do a recorded class whenever works for you. If online classes aren’t your thing, check with your MCHN or community boards for group fitness sessions in the park – babes and toddlers are always welcome. These classes are often followed by coffee (thank goodness!) and cultivate a great sense of community amongst new mums.

Stay Connected – It Takes a Village

While you might think you’ve got this or you’re “fine”, now more than ever is the time to stay connected with friends and family, to accept help when it is offered and ask for it when you need it. Vulnerability in this time strengthens the bond of your village, helps you maintain calm in the moments when you need it the most, and often helps support the people around you too. Your friends and family will be chuffed they’ve been able to help – trust me!

Staying connected doesn’t just have to be with family and friends. Exchange a smile or hello with a stranger, or stop to ask your grocer how their day has been. Kindness is contagious and the world and your babe can never have too much love!

Finding an online class you love is a great way to incorporate body movement around your baby’s schedule.

Practice Gratitude

When we’re grateful we feel more resilient, it boosts our immunity and helps increase positive emotions and feelings of happiness.

Even in the most fragile of moments, try to remember all the good in your life and what is still going well. You might even like to make writing down 3 things you’re grateful for part of your morning or evening routine. Include your partner in this practice by asking them to do the same, or check in with something that went well for them today.

While right now you may be struggling to adjust to your new normal, know that in a blink this time will pass, and you might look back on it fondly. It is a time to create new potentials, cultivate more calm, and embrace confidence. It is a time to build fantastic new practices and routines that you can carry with you throughout your parenthood journey.

Most importantly right now, be kind to yourself, acknowledge and welcome all emotions and feel good knowing that you are doing your best during a challenging time. Trust that what you’re doing is right. Be OK with making mistakes or making it up on the fly, or simply making do.

Celebrate the amazing being you are and what an incredible job you are doing on this rollercoaster of a ride called parenting.