As a new parent, all your attention and energy goes into taking care of your baby, especially in the first few months. Throw social distancing into the mix and before you know it, you realize you haven’t been out of your house—or even out of your PJs—for way too long.
While you and baby are happy and healthy, you might find yourself coming down with a case of cabin fever.
Follow these 5 simple tips below to relax, refresh, and reset.
1. Set small goals
Even if you aren't ready to (or can’t) get out of the house just yet, you’ll be surprised what a shower and clean clothes can do to your mood—even if you’re staying in.
- Find time to shower while your baby is asleep—10 minutes is all you need!
- Put on a face mask, some makeup, or do your hair—looking your best will help you feel your best.
- Change into something that makes you feel good—whether that means a pretty sun dress or just a clean pair of sweats!
2. Create some structure
If you’ve got your baby on a nap schedule, use it to your advantage and give yourself some structure, too! Setting aside time for yourself while your baby sleeps can alleviate that "baby brain" and give you a chance to focus on other things:
- Clean the house: tidying up can make you feel more organized and in control
- Call a friend: talk to someone besides your baby
- Catch up: binge a good show or read the book you've been dying to finish
- Take a nap, too: many parents lose sleep in the first few months with a newborn - so when baby naps, try to get some shut-eye yourself
Think about what you’d like to accomplish and set a simple schedule for yourself. Every Monday, tidy up. Every Tuesday, phone a friend. Every Wednesday, do a workout. You get the idea.
3. Prioritize alone time
Do this at least once a week and take turns with your partner. One of you spends time by yourself, the other is on baby-duty. Make a grocery run sans-kids. Take a walk for some fresh air. Or don’t even leave the house—just close the door to your bedroom for an hour. And don’t feel guilty about it.
4. Find a hobby
Bonus points if it’s non-mom related. When you become a parent, especially for the first time, it has a way of taking over your identity. And while you love being a mother, you’ve probably got other passions, too.
Pick something that helps you relax or try something you’ve always wanted to. Cooking, painting, fantasy football, running, movie-watching—whatever floats your boat.
5. Mix it up
It’s good to be on a schedule—but don’t let it get monotonous. Feeling like you need a refresh? Switch up your routines. Do something spontaneous, with or without baby in tow. Try learning a new skill.
Introducing something new to your day or week can help you get out of a rut.
6. Get prepared
Going out with a newborn can seem daunting. A good way to alleviate some of that stress is by preparing ahead. Have all the essentials ready-to-go, already in the car. Don’t forget to:
- Assemble the car seat or stroller: knowing you won't have to fiddle with those tricky straps will take away from the hassle of leaving the house.
- Pack all the essentials in a baby bag:
- Change of clothes
- Remember your Zen PJs: for cry-free car rides and easy on-the-go napping.
If you’re already packed, when you get the itch to go for a drive or have to run a last-minute errand, you just jump in the car and go! Just remember to re-stock your baby go-bag when you get home.