In the months after your baby is born, in addition to honouring your baby's needs, keep this self-assessment nearby as a daily reminder of your self-care needs.
I will aim to take a hot shower or bath today or tonight.
I will eat at least one nourishing meal while sitting down at a table and taking my time.
I will keep myself hydrated throughout the day and night.
I will make sure I laugh today. I may need to call a friend who can find humour in anything or watch a funny show or video.
At least once today, even for just a few moments, I will ground myself by connecting with gratitude or making a spiritual connection—maybe through meditation, prayer, yoga, deep breathing or a centring exercise like writing or reading.
I will move my body today by taking a short walk around the block or up and down the stairs, doing 10 minutes of stretching or yoga, or dancing in the kitchen while heating up a bottle.
I will connect with my partner about something other than the baby. Maybe I will send a thoughtful text, hug or kiss him/her at least once during the day or night, or share a glass of wine or cup of tea after kids are in bed.
I will do something for myself today that makes me feel special and ignites inner joy. Maybe I will treat myself to a manicure when grandma watches the baby, buy a new fun-coloured lipstick, or meet a friend for a walk or lunch.
I will honour my body's need for sleep by forgoing cleaning, laundry, emails and cooking (dinner will just have to be later or I will ask my partner to cook) if I can grab an extra hour of sleep when the baby is sleeping.
Would you deprive your child of eating healthy foods, moving their bodies, getting enough rest, playing with friends, drawing, painting, reading, exploring, signing, dancing or spending quiet time alone?
Of course you wouldn't. So why would you deprive yourself of those things?
Self-care is not selfish.
Self-care is the belief that you are worthy of a healthy and joyful life.