There are few people in the world who are more in need of self-compassion than a new mama. It's an easy time to fall into the trap of feeling like you're not doing enough, comparing your mama life to your prebaby days, or wondering why you're not bouncing back from pregnancy the way you expected to.
But taking care of yourself is one of the most productive things that you can do. And what we're talking about goes beyond "self-care" to "self-compassion." Because the postpartum season (through that first year, and beyond) is a time to be especially kind to ourselves. You are learning so much each day. Nurturing new life. Navigating a new role. And feeling every bit of the hormonal shakeup happening within.
When you're in need of a reset to restore peace within, give these self-compassion practices a try.
Be kinder to yourself
You deserve to actively show yourself some love and kindness. Use the voice inside your head to compliment yourself on what a loving mother you are. Celebrate your growth and this beautiful phase in your life through journaling. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself—whether it's telling a joke, putting on makeup, or baking a batch of your famous chocolate chip cookies.
Practicing mindfulness will help get you more in tune with your body and emotions. You can be more cognizant of important things, and be more present. You can practice mindfulness while nursing, emptying the dishwasher, or during a guided mediation while baby naps. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can totally reframe your thinking.
Seek out an expert
Postpartum may be the perfect time to hire a life coach. We are all capable of learning self-compassion, but having someone to help you with it can make the experience even more successful. Even if you don’t want to hire a coach per se, you can still find an affordable way to speak with someone, thanks to telehealth options, or even just a 20-minute podcast episode. Having the support of someone who has been there and understands will help you see the bigger picture and find that self-compassion you’re craving.
Tune in to your heartbeat
Place your hand to your heart and tune into your heartbeat. Try to push anything else out of mind and just focus on the sensation of your heartbeat from both the outside of your body (through your hand) as well as the inside of your body (looking inward).
Fill your own cup with affirmations
Whether words of affirmation are your primary love language or not, speaking positive mantras to yourself will fill your cup in a major way and expand your capacity to be compassionate with yourself and others. Because words are what you value, use words to build yourself up. Whether that be via daily affirmations (consider signing up for our 40 days of affirmations texts!), journaling, writing yourself love letters or engaging in positive self-talk.
At the beginning of each week, set aside some time to write a letter to yourself. (It doesn't have to be a big thing—you can even type a note in your phone!) Focus on using words to build yourself up, to document your accomplishments and feel-good moments, and to be your own biggest cheerleader. Refer back to that letter throughout the week whenever you need a reminder that you’re doing an amazing job.