Elizabeth R. Lombardo, a psychologist and physical therapist in Wexford, Pa., has some basic advice for tired moms: give yourself a bedtime. “Just like your children, you need a guideline to remind you to get your Z's,” she says. “Sleep is vital for your physical and psychological health.” Dr. Tom Potisk, author of Whole Health Healing, The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages, recommends that moms steer clear of large meals several hours before bedtime and avoid taking daytime naps, which can disrupt nighttime sleep schedules.
Moms need to take time for themselves, says Lombardo. “Every week you need to do something for you: relax on the couch and read a fun book, get a manicure, have lunch with a friend. Think of how rejuvenated you will be if you do. And if childcare is an issue, pair up with a girlfriend to alternate play dates with your children.”
There’s always therapy, but exercise is also a great way to combat depression while boosting your self-confidence, ability to sleep and even your libido, Lombardo says. Tenille Bettenhausen, who suffered from post-partum depression, knows this from her own experience. “Working out and getting healthy was the way I was able to shake the baby blues,” says Bettenhausen, a franchise owner of a Baby Boot Camp, which helps other mothers combat postpartum depression.
Infrequent Doctor’s Appointments
Don’t wait to schedule them. “Remember, the better you take care of yourself, the more you can give of yourself,” says Christine Thorpe, a certified wellness coach and health education specialist. And there’s a bonus: “Being proactive about your health by going to regular doctor visits sets an example for your children.”
If you can’t find the time to schedule that doctor’s appointment or a trip to the gym, Thorpe suggests that you enlist outside help. “Get a high school student who wants to work with children. For a little money, a mom's helper can [provide] you with an extra pair of hands to get things done.”
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