Tips for self-care

Updated June 7th, 2018

Pregnancy, and having a new baby can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. You may be surprised by the time and energy it takes to look after your baby, even if it is not your first child. There are many ways of taking care of yourself that promote well-being and good mental health. Doing simple things every day can have a big impact on your well-being. This can help you prevent mental health problems, cope with mental illness, and improve your quality of life overall. Many things that are good for our mental health and well-being are free and only take a few minutes!

Here are some simple things that you can do:

  • Take short breaks. Set aside time every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to care for yourself. Do something you enjoy, such as going for a walk, taking a bath, or reading. Even a short break can make a difference in your ability to cope.
  • Build rest into your day: When you lack sleep, is it harder to function. Try and rest/sleep when baby sleeps. Even a short rest can help improve your day. For more tips click here.
  • Be kind to yourself. At times you may feel exhausted, frustrated, angry or irritable. It is normal to feel this way. Try to be patient with yourself and your baby as you are both learning. There are no perfect parents or babies, so try not to compare yourself to anyone else. Caring for your new baby is a process of learning—take it one day at a time.
  • Breathe: Breathing is an amazing coping tool. Take 3 to 10 slow deep breathes in and out through your nose. This can help you feel calm and better able to handle tough situations.
  • Think positive thoughts. Celebrate your accomplishments, even minor ones like bathing the baby. Keeping a positive outlook can help you bounce back from disappointments and challenges. Negative thinking tends to wear us down. Try keeping a journal to keep track of your accomplishments.
  • Stay connected. It can be a challenge to get out of the house with a new baby. Many new parents feel isolated and lonely. If you are feeling this way, make a list of the people you can connect with. Reach out to others for company and support. There are also many parenting groups available. Check with your local Public Health Nurse, community centre or see Community Support Programs, Healthy Child Manitoba.

For more tips on ways to well-being check out:
Well being guide
Canadian Mental Health Association – Manitoba Division