As we hit autumn and the days get colder and shorter, being a new mum makes it particularly hard to get motivated to get outside and be active. Here we look at a few tips to give your mood a boost on even the most miserable of days.
It is a commonly known fact that as we approach Autumn and Winter and the days get colder and much shorter, most people generally feel less happy. With less day light and longer evenings, if you're not careful seconds, minutes and hours can pass by before you realise you are yet to see any daylight. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can be rife during the colder months, and if you are on maternity leave or a stay-at-home parent, unfortunately you are amongst those who are most vulnerable.
It can be so easy (especially after a tough night) to open the curtains, see the rain drops against the window and think Ah – crappy weather again? Let’s have another day in front of the sofa watching Cocomelon and drinking copious amounts of coffee (we’ve all been there). And while this can be lovely every once in a while, it can be really important for your own mental health that this doesn’t become your norm. If you can, rally yourself, grab your wellies and get outside. Toddlers love this season as they can jump in puddles and play with the leaves, so why not make it even more magical for them by joining in the fun? And if your baby is still tiny, you'll be amazed how the fresh air can help them sleep.
So, as we hit the week when we all have started to turn the heating on, these are our top tips for beating the Winter blues:
Be social at home if you really don’t want to head outside.
If you look out the window and you really can’t face getting soaked again, why not invite some friends and their littles ones round your house for coffee, cake and a play date? That way you’re not isolating yourself from others, still catching up with friends and the kids are entertained, win win! Even if your little one is too little to play, we all know who play dates are really for (hint: its not the kids).
Plan fun outdoor things
Sounds simple, but just grab your wellies and get out! Little fingers love leaves so why not head out and do some exploring? Failing that, you could also just head to a garden centre. Garden centres are great at the best of times, but in the lead up to Christmas (yes we said it), they’re extra exciting. With so many trees and twinkling lights your baby will be in sensory heaven and toddlers just run around for hours. Plus they have cake...
Wellies wellies wellies
If you don't yet have them, buy them! Wellies are a must! You then won’t be worried about getting cold, wet feet and the kids can jump in puddles without a worry in the world. Team it up with a waterproof onesie (them not you!) for extra protection from the elements. As my grandmother would say, its not about bad weather only bad kit...
We know its easy to live off hot chocs and cake in the colder months (guilty!), and whilst that’s fine every now and then, you need to fuel your body with goodness too,
so that you’re not picking up every bug and illness that the kids bring home from school/nursery. This is a great time to get the slow cooker out and fill it with hearty stews with loads of veg to keep your vitamin levels up and your body nourished.
Now this one is super important! Whether you brave the outdoors or do one of our ‘Workout Wednesdays’, just get your body moving, you’ll feel so much better for it. It’ll also motivate you to be more active overall. If outside exercise is something you really can't face on the colder days, or you don’t want to head out in the dark, find a great at home workout programme to get you moving. We love CARiFiT(workout with your baby) and the Bump Plan’s Postnatal Plan both of which can be streamed online.
Get out early in the day
The best thing to do is try to get up and out as early as possible. That way you’re not spending the whole day waiting for the rain to stop or for it to warm up, as you could be waiting all day, and before you know it, it’ll be dark. Often half the battle with heading out is the thought of it – make yourself do it and with the right warm, dry kit on you’ll wonder what you ever procrastinated about!
Get yourself some stylish, comfy postpartum/nursing clothing
Let’s face it, we all like to look and feel nice and we all want to feel warm and cosy too. Just because its colder, doesn’t mean you can’t still be a super stylish mum. Even if you’re breastfeeding, get yourself an Autumn/Winter wardrobe that makes you feel great. Our hoodies have already been flying of the shelves this autumn – with plenty of room to layer even warmer layers underneath, they are an Autumn/Winter must have.
Join a Facebook “mum” group
It may sound silly but you’ll be surprised what the power of a group of mums bonding over the same daily concerns about their babies, can have. If you’re struggling for ideas on ways to entertain the kids, a community group will get you plenty of fab responses. It’s also a great way to find new people in your local area.
And finally, the most important one…
Get a coffee holder for your pram!
You’re going to need something to hold that Pumpkin Spiced Latte after all!
We hope you find these tips useful, and of course, if you have other ideas, do share them with us. If you’re suffering from SAD or an kind of low mood pre or postnatally and you're not sure where to turn, always contact your GP for help or advice.