7 Relaxation Tips for First-Time Parents
Having a child is one of the greatest joys in life. It is also easily one of the most stressful – something many new parents are not yet prepared to take in. Newborns need a lot of attention, make a lot of noise, and cause a lot of concerns that can be hard on even the most patient of parents. No one said raising a child should be easy, but unless you have had children before, it’s hard to imagine the amount of pressure and anxiety you may experience.
It’s not uncommon for new parents to develop anxiety disorders simply because they were unprepared to cope with the stress and tension. So to help, here are several relaxation tips to help you clear your mind so that you can more easily focus on raising a healthy and amazing baby.
In the following slides, you’ll learn strategies for staying calm when you have a newborn.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is get a good night’s sleep. Without sleep, your body experiences a great deal of stress and anxiety and your tired brain will struggle to handle your thoughts and worries. Don’t be concerned about keeping to normal hours either. Sleep when you can get it, so that you’re alert and happy when you take care of your child.
Take Quiet Breaks
You’re not a bad parent for wanting to spend a little bit of time away from your child. Newborns are adorable, and they’re the new baby you brought in this world; but they still scream and cry and demand all throughout the day. It’s natural to want a little break now and then. Try to have your partner, or have a friend come by, for half an hour a day and take a break away from your child – somewhere calming, like a park.
Learn Your Reactions
Stress doesn’t come all at once. Rather, it increases gradually. So learn the signs of when you’re starting to feel that pressure. Then take a short break (just a few minutes) to take some deep breaths and do something calming, and then go back to caring for your child. That will help prevent you from experiencing too much stress, because when you reach that level it can be hard to remove it later.
While a child’s cry can be very loud, they are inventing more effective noise-blocking headphones every day. If you find that your child’s crying is starting to affect you, listen to some music while you care for him/her, using one of these advanced headphones.
Use Effective Relaxation Strategies
here are many different quick and effective relaxation strategies. From progressive muscle relaxation to yoga to visualization, many are useful at relieving stress. One of the easiest methods is deep breathing. Take slow, controlled, deep breaths with your back straight. Each inhale should take roughly five seconds, then hold, and then exhale for seven seconds. Repeat this 10 to 20 times in a quiet location before getting back to work. There are several different types of deep breathing and other relaxation exercises you can try in order to find one that works for you.
If the initial six weeks have passed and you can get yourself in the mood, don’t let your relationship go sour. Lovemaking – and other methods of spending time with your partner in a comfortable, romantic setting – is both an important stress reliever and something that will keep your relationship strong. Even if the stress is putting you out of the mood, try your best to find something that gets you going, and spend some time being romantic. It may be hard, as studies have shown having children can alter your sexual desire; but if you can find a way to enjoy it, you should take advantage of the opportunity.
Multitask with Things You Enjoy
Some new parents find that putting too much focus on their child is part of the reason they experience stress. But don’t forget that you are allowed to have a life that you carry out in between raising your child. A creative outlet, like art or writing, can be a great way to cope with your emotions, and spending time with friends (even in between baby cries) is also highly beneficial. Any method of controlling these attacks of anxiety is worth exploring.
Being a Parent is Harder When You Ignore Your Needs
Perhaps the most important take-away lesson from this is the importance of caring for your own mental health. Living for your child is great, and one of the true joys of being a parent. But your child needs you to maintain good mental and physical health, because your emotions (as well as your judgment and energy) are all dependent on you caring for your own needs.
So when you are bringing a child into this world for the first time, don’t forget that in many ways taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your child, because your child needs you to be the best and happiest you that you can be.