Hey mamas, welcome back to the Birthing Bestie Blog where we talk about real topics pertaining to birth, pregnancy, motherhood, partnerships, and just real life. Here on the blog, we don’t shy away from talking about the hardships of motherhood. Instead, we encourage you, we validate you, and we welcome you with open arms.
Today we’re talking about something that is… honestly, probably talked about a little too much… and that is self-care. In this self-care-culture craze, the idea of self-care is really jammed down our throats. And it can be overwhelming just in itself.
The fact of the matter is, self-care does look different for everybody. And while you may be someone who enjoys self-care that looks like taking long bubble baths, or getting your nails done (those are wonderful, wonderful ways to show self-care), what I really like to teach here at Erin Brier Birthing is that self-care is actually easy.
Prefer to watch, Mama?
Here’s the video for you!
Oftentimes, the self-care that we really need is the stuff that is easiest to dismiss and push away. So what I’m going to share with you today is what I call, the BASICS of self-care. These BASICS are things that you can come back to time and time again, no matter what point in your parenthood journey or just life that you’re in.
These BASICS are a wonderful acronym to help you when you are, maybe trying to conceive, and whether that’s going really well or it’s feeling stressful, come back to these BASICS.
You can come back to the basics when you are pregnant and, you know, just feeling a little tired from growing a person, BASICS.
If you are in labor and you’re starting to find your rhythm and tune into your body during contractions, go back to the BASICS.
Especially when you are postpartum, and in the new postpartum phase, home with your baby, these BASICS are so important!
But you can also use these long after you bring your baby home… Maybe a couple of years down the road and you are feeling good and more like yourself, and ready to rediscover this new you as a parent, come back to these BASICS.
All right, so what are the BASICS? So again, this is an acronym. So B. A. S. I. C. S. These words describe the things that are usually part of our everyday life, but are really easy to push to the back burner and forget about, especially when you’re caught up in the overwhelm and the hustle and bustle of life.
B – Bathe
Especially when you’re early postpartum or even when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, it can be so easy to not want to have to drag yourself into the shower. I get it! But at very least, pop in the shower, rinse off, wash your face, dry off… Just doing that alone can make you can feel like a new person.
A – Alone time
I realize that depending on where you’re at in your parenting journey, this may or may not be an easy one to accomplish. But I want you to really strive to squeeze in 5 to 10 minutes of alone time each day.
That can be when you are lying in your bed, just in the quiet by yourself with your own thoughts. It can be stepping outside to get some fresh air. It can be watering your plants… there are so many little ways that we can squeeze in some alone time where someone is not lying on us, cuddling with us, or needing something from us. Just take 5 to 10 minutes. Talk with your partner about this so that they can help you facilitate this one.
S – Stretch
When we are early in our mothering/parenting journey, and in that fourth trimester, chances are a lot of times you’re holding your baby, you’re looking at and adoring your baby, looking down with your neck crooked. We have a tendency to sit at our desks, to sit on our phones, to slouch, to hunch over. A little stretching goes a long way.
And this doesn’t have to be a full-on yoga class or workout. It can really just be taking a few minutes when you notice that you are feeling a little tight or you maybe have a crink in your neck or your shoulders. Take some time to sit up straight, roll your neck around, and reach your arms up to the sky. It does not have to be involved. Just take a few minutes to stretch those muscles out.
I – Inhale
This one is just a reminder to breathe. This is something that you can do at any time. While it might have to be something you need to intentionally think about doing, you can do it while you’re doing anything.
Driving in the car, holding your baby, feeding your baby, sitting on the couch… literally any time provides you the opportunity to breathe. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, when you’re feeling maybe a little stressed out, whatever that emotion is that’s creeping in, take a minute to pause.
Take maybe even just three deep breaths to calm and reset your nervous system. All the way in, and all the way out. Three times. Takes less than 30 seconds, and it can make you feel so much lighter, clearer, and better.
C – Consume
It is easy to forget to eat, to drink, to nourish our bodies. And I know how silly that sounds.
Even as someone who loves food, as I’m sitting here recording this, I realize that I’ve not eaten yet today and I feel hungry, but I also haven’t given myself the chance to even notice that until I’m running through these BASICS.
It is easy to just get into a routine of go, go, go, and that doesn’t matter what your day looks like. Sometimes you forget that you need to drink water, you need to hydrate, you need to replenish and nourish your body.
S – Stroll
This is the reminder to go and move your body. Even though that first “S” stretching is a great way to move your body, with this “S” I really want to emphasize walking. This full-body movement allows you to get a little break and to connect with your body.
Again, this doesn’t mean that you have to do a full-on workout. You don’t have to walk for miles and miles.
Stroll down to the mailbox. Grab the mail, stroll across the yard, stroll around the house, even. Next time you stand up to do something, take a little extra time to do that task. Stroll around the house before you come back to sit down and get back to doing whatever you’re doing. Move your body.
The BASICS that we’re talking about here are not huge, massive undertakings of self-care. This is the easy stuff. Go through those BASICS in your head and see what things you can add to your day today.
At any time, at any point in your life and your parenting journey, if you are feeling like you’re going through it and feeling overwhelmed, come back to the BASICS.
Send this to your partner. Send this to your village, to your loved ones, the people who are checking in with you. All you have to remember is to take it back to BASICS.
All right, Mama, I am sending you out into the world for some self-care BASICS!
I would love for you to share this with a new mom, or someone that you know who could really use the reminder to implement these easy self-care tactics.
And I would love to know which one resonates most with you?! Which one do you find the most beneficial?
And if you have questions about this or anything else on any part of your parenting journey, I am always inviting you and encouraging you to reach out to me.