This is a topic near-and-dear to my heart, and it extends far beyond the parameters of breastfeeding. Let’s talk about the importance of self-care.

The importance of self-care in breastfeeding and in LIFE http://chasingayden.com/self-care

Between working PT from home, entertaining my 5 year old, keeping my 4 month old alive, making sure the dog gets walked, the laundry, the dishes, feeding my family, gymnastics, dance class, soccer and just plain life; finding even an hour a week for me can feel impossible at times. But, I am well aware that taking care of me not only preserves my own sanity, but also makes me a much more enjoyable wife, mother and human to be around. Additionally, it is directly related to my milk-supply, which is the current life-source for baby Frankie. This is a biggie for me, because the one time I offered her formula, she wanted nothing to do with it, (unlike Ayden, who I could easily supplement).

I recently experienced a drop in my supply due to a ‘fun’ combination of lack of sleep, change of diet and not taking the time to really care for myself. I have been working–yes, it is work, rigorously to get my supply back up to where it needs to be so that I can continue to breastfeed Frankie. So this post comes right on time, for yours truly.

We have compiled a list of 10 ways to practice self-care, for the people who don’t really have time to practice self-care:

  1. Take ten deep breaths every day.  Inhale counting to 4; and exhale counting to 4.  You can do this while you are nursing.  Oxygen is like a light switch for stress release. (Thank you @cherishedlifeyoga for this amazing tip!)
  2. Acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. Bottling up feelings (especially feelings of stress or loneliness), helps no one–especially you. Your body, mind and spirit are all connected, and allowing yourself to become emotionally backed up or blocked, can translate quite literally in a physical way. So find a pal, and vent when you need to!
  3. Sleep as often as you can.  I know, I know… You’re a mom; when is there time for sleep? But seriously, even if you can go to bed 30 minutes earlier, or skip folding Mt. Laundry, try and rest your eyes just a little more.
  4. Exercise, exercise, exercise. 20 minutes a day any way you can get it in, is totally sufficient. Hey, you can even use your sweet babe as a weight and do some squats and lunges!
  5. Do something you enjoy.  Even if it’s watching trashy tv and eating popcorn in your bed, try to find a bit of time in your week to do you.
  6. Find your mom tribe.  Remember tip number 2? This is where a mama-tribe can seriously save your booty. Side note; a ‘tribe’ can be a couple of close friends who you trust.
  7. Eat properly. It is oh-so important on so many levels that you are nourishing your amazing body! Remember… body, mind and spirit!
  8. Get some sunshine. Get outside and soak up some of that glorious Vitamin D; it’s amazing what 10 minutes in the sun can do for your mood!
  9. Ask for help if you need it.  You can’t save your ass and your face at the same time. Swallow that mama-pride, and ask for help! #noshame
  10. Be easy on yourself.  GIVE YOURSELF GRACE. You are nourishing another life. You are raising tiny humans. You may not be perfect, but there is NO ONE more qualified or the job, than you.

Make sure you head to my Instagram page for your chance to win another giveaway!

xo Em