Becoming a mother is a wild transformation like no other. Yes, it is an absolute blessing and gift for a child to come into your life. But because this new little being needs so much love, care and attention, it is very easy for us to lose ourselves and become depleted. I hate to use this analogy, but it really hits the point home: just like on an airplane, we need to first put on our own oxygen mask so that we are able to actually help those around us. The same goes for motherhood. Many of us are trying to put those masks on everyone around us including our children, partners, parents and even co-workers … but we’ve neglected ourselves.
Luckily Ayurveda is like a handy toolkit with simple pointers that will make a world of a difference in your energy levels and overall wellness. Here are some of my favorite tips and tools for rejuvenating through motherhood.
Set a bedtime and stick to it
We all know that children thrive on routine, but the same is said for adults. Of course those early newborn days (or teenage years) will probably mean sleepless nights anyway, but the more you can get yourself in bed at a set time, the more you will be taming the wild beast that is known as vata dosha. Vata is responsible for the flow of prana throughout your body, mental clarity and mood stability. It thrives on regulation. And while you’re setting a bedtime, try to wake up at the same time every day too. It’s worth it, I promise.
Ojas is said to be your luster or glow. It’s also responsible for your immunity. In women, ojas is depleted through giving birth. You can restore it through consuming ghee with dates, saffron or homemade almond milk. You can protect what you have by covering your head and neck on windy or sunny days and avoiding toxic chemicals in your beauty and cleaning products.
Stoke your agni
Undigested food particles bypass the digestive system and turn to ama (the Sanskrit word for metabolic toxins in the body) which causes fatigue and mental fog. The simplest thing you can do: chew each bite to liquid mush. The next easiest thing you can do? Stop eating when you feel full. And finally, the biggest tip of all: avoid technology or multitasking while eating and pay attention to the present moment. The suggestions are simple, but that doesn’t mean easy… especially when the kids are around. But attempting to practice mindful eating sets the tone for the meal and models healthy habits.
Restore the body with a rasayana
Rasayana is the Sanskrit word for a rejuvenating tonic and the purpose is to renew, regenerate and restore cells in the body. Chyavanprash is a classical formula with the primary ingredient of amalaki. It is said to kindle agni, build ojas, tone the reproductive system and support elimination. Typically one teaspoon a day in the morning can be very helpful for depleted moms.
These simple suggestions can be applied one at a time or more as you’re ready. Ayurveda is the path of moderation and small, sustainable shifts will sustain you in the long run.
Written by Angela Perger