I still remember how I felt right after I had my daughter. I was so physically weak from delivering a baby, exhausted from waking up every few hours to feed her and completely overwhelmed by the demands of a new born. I was just trying to survive from one moment to the next.

I was so busy attending to the baby’s needs that I completely forgot about myself. It would be mid-afternoon when I finally asked myself, “did I shower today?” or “did I brush my teeth today?” And somedays the answer to those questions would be no. I was so consumed by the baby’s needs that I completely forgot about my own basic needs.

If you are a new mother, I totally understand your struggle. I also understand how easy it is to lose yourself in your role of being a mother. Even though your urge is to forget about yourself, YOU NEED to make YOU a priority. The way that you show yourself that you are a priority is by practicing Self Care. Self-care is important at every stage in your life but it especially important NOW.

Self Care is not a luxury, it is a necessity. You need to prioritize Self Care to rest, replenish, and prevent burn-out. And, your baby also needs you to practice Self Care so that are the best caretaker for her. Motherhood is not a sprint, it is a marathon. You are in this thing for the long-haul, so you need to rest, nourish, and pace yourself to enjoy the process.

If you have just given birth (one month or less) your Self Care should consist of this: brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and putting on clean clothes (they can be pajamas but clean pajamas). Put these three things on a list and check them off as you complete them. When you accomplish all three things, celebrate. You don’t have to throw a party (that would be too much effort anyway) but just take a moment to acknowledge yourself and say, “I did this for you. I am important and I love myself for making ME a priority.”

If you have already gotten those three things nailed down, make your own list with three Self Care items. When you write your list, make sure that Self Care items you choose are not only uplifting and important to you, you also want to make sure that you will actually do them EVERY DAY. An easy way to set yourself up for success is by putting a time limit that fits with your schedule. If the Self Care items you choose are writing in your journal, meditating, and exercising, you can add the time frame of “five minutes” per activity. Adding a realistic time frame will make it more likely that you actually complete your Self Care items thus showing yourself that YOU are a priority.

How do you show yourself that you love yourself? What are your three Self Care practices as a new mom? Write your responses in the comment section below.