Self Care Tips for New Mums
Rebecca Saunders is the Founder of Seekology, the destination for independent beauty + wellbeing brands. She launched Seekology with a store in Richmond in 2019 and has featured over 70 brands so far; now she is running the Seekology website along with looking after her two young children in lockdown.
How did you create a self-care routine when your children were born?
I spent the first few days of my son’s life - in mid March - figuring out how to close the Seekology store which had been my pride and joy. Those first few weeks are now a blur, but as a second time mum I was definitely better equipped to know what I needed and when to ask for help. I can’t stress how important this is: my views on self-care are informed by my own experience, and if you think you might have post natal depression you should contact a professional for help.
So, my top tips are as follows:
1. Get Some Rest:
They say "sleep when the baby sleeps". Any new mum will know this is not always feasible, especially with older children in the equation. There’s definitely a sinking feeling when the baby has just fallen asleep after a feed and the toddler wakes up for the day! Make sure you have a schedule that enables you to catch up on a little bit of sleep at some point (spoiler alert: you’ll never, ever catch up completely). This could be having lunchtime naps at the weekend, or a couple of really early bedtimes during the week. I’ve also found aromatherapy to be really helpful at this point when I’m trying to wind down for a quick nap – these essential oil roller balls or diffusers instantly transport me to a calmer place.
2. Let it go
Its important not to beat yourself up about things that used to seem important. House hasn’t been cleaned? Never mind. Older kids having way too much screen time? So what. The only really important thing is that everyone’s eating something vaguely nutritious. And remember, what you see on social media is not real. For every perfect picture someone else is posting, they are probably spending several hours in slobby house clothes, covered in baby sick and binge eating dairy milk. If you don’t believe that, I’d recommend taking Instagram off your phone for a while to stop the unhelpful comparisons that we’re all prone to making.
3. Treat yourself
It’s important to be kind to yourself, and sometimes that includes a little treat. Times are obviously tough for many, but think about where you can save money to spend it on something you’ll really enjoy – for example all that cash you used to spend on evenings out. Buying a delicious smelling, luxury soy wax candle such as this amazing Wild Mint one by Ardere may seem like an indulgence, however, with a burn time of 64 hours it will last for an entire year if you burn it for 10 minutes a day. Everyone is different – so whether it’s a magazine subscription, luxury bath oil or new coffee machine, don’t feel guilty about buying something that makes you happy.
4. Get outside
Fresh air and exercise genuinely make a difference; your body has done something amazing in creating a new human so be easy on it! This is definitely not a competition. At the moment I love going for a gentle walk on my own in the evening. I listen to podcasts, call a friend or simply go to the river and watch the birds – one unexpected advantage of lockdown is a newfound appreciation for the simple things in life. And another treat to yourself could be some new workout gear, like these eco-friendly leggings from Zola Eve, which are made using recycled plastic bottles.
5. Make time for you
One of the hardest things about becoming a mother is that suddenly your identity is usurped by a tiny human. Going from an independent woman with a career, active social life and plenty of hobbies to being focused on feeding, changing and cleaning up can be really hard, and only exacerbated by the challenges we face in lockdown at the moment. When my daughter (now two) was born, it was easy to be social and I spent most of my time in coffee shops, graduating to music classes and swimming once she was a few months old. Now I’m spending my time changing two sets of nappies, trying to work and wondering when I can get a supermarket delivery slot.
If you can, think of one or two things that make you feel like yourself again. As well as the occasional solo walk, mine is playing the violin, a hobby that I’ve had for many years. One of my mum friends loves cooking. Another spends time creating beautiful paintings. Find whatworks for you and see if you can do these activities just once or twice a week – I can guarantee it will make a huge difference to your state of mind!
You can shop Seekology’s range of beauty + wellbeing from independent brands at www.seekology.co.