Moms Taking Care of Moms: Self-Care Strategies from USANA’s Newest Mothers
Each year we celebrate our moms on Mother’s Day. It’s the perfect time of year when flowers blossom and the world comes to life.
The transition to motherhood sprouts insight to a font of wisdom many of us take for granted. Great moms aren’t simply born. They evolve through hard work, sacrifice, life experience, and the choice to be that shining (yet, not perfect) example of balance, grace, and ingenuity.
Even though from the outside she looks to have indestructible Mom power, there’s a secret side to mom that must be nurtured, as well. As we celebrate and honor the moms in our life this Mother’s Day, consider these simple self-care ideas from some impressive moms in our own USANA family.
USANA Moms Cultivate Self-Care Ingenuity
Tip 1: Start Moving and Keep Moving
Keeping your body as active as your little ones not only saves your sanity, but it also helps you keep up with the hectic, daily lifestyle of today’s do-it-all mom.
Amy Zirneklis, athlete relations manager, says “Staying physically active has helped me stay the course during the steep learning curve of being a new mom. I put two athletic events on the calendar, one in the spring and one in the fall, that I can train toward. This helps keep me motivated and moving my body. When my body has moved, my mind is refreshed.”
Allie Henderson, athlete communication manager, also relies on a regular exercise routine as a form of self-care. “For me it’s been making time to work out. I go to an indoor cycling studio I really enjoy. It allows me to set my intentions and tone for the day or sweat the stress out after a long day. It took me a long time to make my self-care a priority after having my son, but falling back into a routine to give me that hour every day has helped in so many ways.”
Missy Bird, internal communications manager, also finds sanity at the gym. “Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. I was extremely active before getting pregnant and tried to keep it up as much as possible during pregnancy. Still, I gained baby weight and had a hard time losing it after my daughter was born. It was when I started exercising again that I started to feel like myself. It wasn’t just about losing weight but taking care of my mental health. I make sure to exercise 30–60 minutes every day. Though even 10–15 minutes of exercise a day can do wonders for your physical and mental health.”
Tip 2: Be You and Love Yourself
From the very second a woman becomes a mom, everyone and everything and around her becomes her top priority. Her new identity as a mother can sometimes overshadow her individuality.
Denisa Milicevic, associate marketing manager, recalls the identity shift that came with her role as a new mom. “Becoming a first-time mom and adjusting to motherhood was one of my most difficult transitions. Your whole identity, schedule, and body shifts right away—it’s just a lot of new to adjust to all at once.” This overwhelming sense of change is definitely worth it. Denisa explains, “My happiest days and moments are with my daughter.”
Elysia Yuen, project manager, experienced similar struggles with identity. “Love your body. It changes and for good reason. It created and brought life in to the world. It sustains your little one. Anything that can do that should be praised.” Elysia encourages self-love as a mother. “Be gentle on yourself. We are human and nothing will be perfect. Be true to the person you are and the best you can offer within your time/circumstances. Your best is enough.”
For Cheneil Burton, credit associate, the prevailing themes in her life as a working mom include self-love and positivity. “You have to feel grateful for your life and yourself. It takes the focus off of the hard things and reminds you to not be discouraged. Keep yourself lifted so you can lift others.”
Tip 3: Even Supermoms Need Extra Muscle
Today’s mom is expected to be supermom. Often, we feel a sense of failure if we can’t accomplish it all. Take the quote “it takes a village to raise a child” to heart, and realize there is great benefit to a community of support.
“A big self-care tip all mothers should know is it’s always okay to ask for help when you need it. We feel pressure to be the super, do-it-all working mother, but burnout is real,” Allie says. “It’s okay to ask your partner, your coworkers, your family, friends, or even physician for a little help. Women are capable of so much, but we aren’t invincible.”
Elysia echoes this wholeheartedly. “Be open to taking help. There’s no need to stress or try to do it all. There are so many people willing to help by answering questions, bringing dinner, cleaning, or watching your baby for a little bit. It was a huge help for me when I was getting the hang of being a new mom to not have to worry about smaller details.”
Tip 4: Nature Helps You Nurture
Fresh air, the breeze on your face, the vitamin D effects from the sunshine, the cool grass between your toes—Mother Nature grounds our mother within.
“I had to make a concerted effort to go outside every day (especially immediately after birth),” Elysia says. “Some days would go by that I didn’t go outside once. I noticed when this happened it was harder to cope with postpartum depression. Even just going out to get some fresh air and sunshine for a few minutes dramatically lifted my day. Most times I just took my baby with me.”
Tip 5: Girl Talk—Create a Community
The shift into motherhood is complex—your relationships change. For many USANA women, a community of women going through a similar experience did wonders to rebalance and gain support through friendship.
“Find a support group,” Missy suggests. “Most of my friends are stay-at-home moms or don’t have kids. Coming back from maternity leave, I saw other moms, especially new, first-time moms, and pregnant women needed a support group. So, I created one. We know the struggles of being a working mom and can bounce ideas and tips off each other. We meet every couple of months to talk about our favorite topic: our kids. This support system has forged many new friendships and we’re always open to including new moms.”
Denisa agrees. “Motherhood can be terribly isolating, especially during maternity leave. You spend all day, every day, with a tiny person who can only communicate through cooing and crying. It’s important to spend time with other adults to combat the loneliness of new parenthood.”
Tip 6: Don’t Neglect Other Adult Relationships
You are more than just a mother. You are a spouse, daughter, sister, aunt, friend. Each of these relationships play an important role in defining your individuality and deserve to be nurtured.
Kortney Young, administrative assistant in communications, makes a conscious effort to create relationships and experiences outside of motherhood. To nurture her relationship with her partner, “One big thing that helped was to have my kids on a bedtime schedule. Once they are in bed, I spend time catching up with my husband. Currently, we are watching the Game of Thrones series to prepare for the final season.” Kortney says she intentionally plans a monthly date night with her husband. “Whether it’s dinner and a movie or just dinner, I plan for the girls to stay overnight with family. It’s wonderful and helps me get back to myself with my husband.”
For moms, taking time out for self-care is essential to nourish the ever caring mindset.
“I treat myself to a few hours out on my own,” says Lexi Balling, paralegal. Whether it’s a massage, a pedicure, or running errands without the worry of packing a diaper bag or adhering to a nap schedule is a refreshing pick-me-up. Meeting up with other new USANA moms also gives me great advice and encouragement.”
For Roylene Jackman, marketing manager, “Motherhood is one wild ride. Self-care when you’re a new mom is so hard. Let’s be honest. You just brought a human being into the world and have been thrown into a role that requires 110 percent of your time and attention. And you are tired—like deep-in-your-bones tired. You’ve been wearing the same pajamas for who knows how long, and you can’t even remember the last time you showered. The last thing on your mind is self-care. But self-care during this incredible, chaotic, terrifying time of your life is almost essential for survival.” She explains, “Self-care, for me, was simply taking a few minutes to myself each day to do my makeup. It was like my former, less tired self was still there and I recognized her. Remember to honor and respect yourself by regularly taking care of your needs, even if it is something small—something that reminds you that you are still you and this new, beautiful version of yourself is loved and acknowledged.”
Tip 8: Create the Right Mindset. Every Day.
Cheneil bubbes with motherhood wisdom. “When I wake up, I put on soft, soothing music to help reenergize my brain for the day.” She also sets small, positive, daily goals. One example is to give compliments throughout the day. “Today I’m going to give five compliments, and I’m going to start with me.” Refraining from negativity, which often includes social media also keeps Cheneil “energized throughout the day.”
Cheneil is also a square breathing enthusiast. “During naps, I practice breathing techniques and meditation. Think of a shape, take a breath in while following a line of the shape in your mind, then out while following the next line.”
Motherhood Is Just One Identity
These impressive USANA women own their identities as mothers, and just as important—individuals. They gracefully balance the push and pull of wanting to be physically and emotionally close to this new person you brought into the world, while needing space—in the very same moment.
These self-care tips reveal an enduring takeaway: There is no ideal version of a mother. The perfect mom is a fantasy, yet all moms are perfect in their own way.
Caring for your child is the most worthwhile job one could ever have. It’s important to stay in touch with whatever makes you feel whole in this role. Balance is essential to motherhood, and very possible. Take a note from these athletes, intellectuals, social beings, mothers.