Creating and maintaining healthy habits is one of the biggest challenges we face—especially when life gets extra busy. The truth is that certain seasons of life, whether they involve changing jobs, moving to a new home, or becoming a new parent, make it harder to stay on top of our health, and the irony is that this is usually the time when we need those healthy habits the most!
Because we know many members of our community often face these life transitions, we got inspired to kick off a new series of health posts here on One Lombard, all focused on how to navigate those extra-busy, stressful chapters in life. We’re calling it the “How to Stay Healthy As…” and starting this month we’re offering you some tips on How to Stay Healthy As a New Parent. Yes, that’s right new mom’s, dad’s, and grandparents, we’re hoping this post gives you some valuable advice (or at least motivation) on how to stay healthy during a period that’s notoriously known for being full of joy…and no sleep.
Take Time for Yourself Each Morning
Starting your day with a crying baby is, well, stressful. Becoming a parent is a whole new level of demands placed on your time and your abilities, and being reminded of that before you’ve even opened your eyes can feel ultra-draining. Our advice? Once your babe’s morning wakeup time becomes a bit more predictable, set your alarm for 10 minutes before they wake up. Even having 10 minutes to yourself can help you clear your mind, take a few deep breaths, or even make a cup of coffee to enjoy in silence. If you do this with your partner, try not talking during this sacred quiet time, and enjoy each other’s company in silence…it will end all too soon!
*On those days when your little one wakes up unusually early (this happens), take those 10 minutes at a later time in the day. Put away your phone, maybe step outside for some fresh air, and just be by yourself for 10 minutes.
Go Big on Gratitude
It’s proven science that we can become happier by reminding ourselves of what we have to be grateful for…and there’s always something! When you’re feeling overwhelmed and sleep-deprived, try to write down a few things you’re grateful for. Start with one that’s not baby-related, because let’s be honest, your adorable little one is probably the source of most of your stress and sleep deprivation. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather or a friend who has been helpful during this period. Maybe it’s your breakfast! Then shift to something that’s more baby-related…like having a healthy baby to love, or not being pregnant anymore! Cultivating gratitude will improve your mood.
Find Social Connection
It can be hard to keep social commitments when you have a baby whose schedule seems to rule your day, but do your best to make a weekly date with a friend for coffee, a walk, or just a house visit. One of the biggest reasons new parents feel so isolated is that they’re with a little human all day who can’t communicate yet (other than by screaming!) So try to have some adult conversation with a friend, or even a stranger, just to keep your sanity. We hope you know the Bay Club is your second home, and you can always come here just to see familiar faces and interact with people outside the house (even if it’s just for an hour).
Use Baby Naps to Rest
This one can be tough for parents who are used to always checking off to-do items around the house…but it’s essential. Being a new parent is draining as it is, and when the baby finally decides to snooze, it’s time for you to also! Don’t use naptime as a window for dishes or laundry—go lay down and shut your eyes. This is especially for breast-feeding mamas, who need a certain amount of physical rest to produce enough milk. The time to take care of yourself is so fleeting when you become a new parent, and the household chores can wait.
We All Need Somebody to Lean On: Stop by the Bay Club
We are proud to be a weekly or even daily resource for busy parents. Once your little one is 3 months old, he or she is able to come to the Bay Club and nap, hang out in one of our baby swings, or have a bottle while you go have some time for yourself. We’re happy to help you carve out a little you-time, whether than means getting back to your favorite Group Ex class, spending quiet time in the sauna, or watching your favorite show on the treadmill (no shame in that!).
We all need a little “me” time. Whether you’re going to the Sanctuary Spa for a massage, or taking your favorite group exercise class—you can find it all here at the Bay Club! Learn more about our brand-new family programming space, The Clubhouse, here.