From the moment you pack that hospital bag, the reality of the situation may dawn on you. Of course, you’ve been experiencing every kick, and seeing this babygrow, but while preparing for the birth, and everything that comes along with it, sometimes we can overlook the first year. Being a parent is going to change your life, but it can change your life in the best and worst ways. It makes you realise what you are capable of, but it’s also about remembering the fact that stress is something we all experience. And one day you are child-free, and the next, everything goes fuzzy due to tiredness and stress. It’s not just about caring for the baby, but it’s about caring for yourself. This is where minimising stress is crucial. But how can we do this in practical ways?
Recognise Your Triggers
The stress triggers you had before your baby arrived may very well be different now. We can talk about lack of sleep, but also the fact that the hormones are still racing around us. Sometimes we can find ourselves sick with worry because the baby has not moved for 20 minutes. And it’s all of these things that can combine to form an almighty ball of stress that weighs heavily on us. Recognising your triggers is one thing, but also thinking about what you can do to reduce stress symptoms can help as well. And these can be many things. If you are not feeding the baby naturally, you may want to try modern approaches like CBD gummies, but also so think about preserving your energy where you can. You may like the idea of exercising, but exercise can be a trigger, especially if you do too much. You’ve got to think about it as a marathon and conserve your energies, especially for the first few months. This is why you’ve got to find solace in the little things and recognise your stress triggers.
Retain a Flexible Attitude
If you feel that all you need to do is sleep, which every new parent does, it becomes a rigid part of your brain that you cannot deviate from. It’s about recognising when you need actual rest, but also remember that you will need to adapt. Babies will sleep in completely different ways to us because of how they adapt to the world. And while this means the age-old expression of “sleeping when the baby sleeps,” it’s not always possible. But being flexible and thinking that if the baby is now sleeping but you cannot, you could incorporate something called a controlled rest period, gives you the opportunity to power down. Rather than using the baby’s nap time as an opportunity to clean the house, use it as an opportunity to consolidate thought in your mind and practice being calm. But if you can be adaptable, this will make you feel less stressed. This is purely because you won’t feel so rigid in every aspect of your life.
And, as simple as it is, it’s about letting your partner know when you are able to cope. You have to remember that the first year comes with a lot of ups and downs, but so will the ensuing years. Start to prioritise yourself and learn to say when you cannot cope.