Magazine article USA TODAY

New Moms Come out of Hibernation

Magazine article USA TODAY

New Moms Come out of Hibernation

Article excerpt

When the winter winds were howling outside (while your baby was howling inside), you might have been experiencing a touch of the winter blues. After several weeks or months of caring for your new child, it is easy to become stuck in a rut of wearing warm, baggy clothes and staying indoors. Now that spring finally has arrived, you may feel like you are coming out of hibernation--perhaps a little sluggish and sleepy-eyed, wondering how to get into the swing of things again.

The idea of starting a new phase for yourself can feel overwhelming," indicates Princess Ivana Pignatelli Aragona Coretes, a featured blogger at Modern Mom and coauthor of A Simple Guide to Pregnancy & Baby's First Year. "Don't get hung up on the idea of a major overhaul; take small steps instead. Little changes can make a surprisingly big impact. Remember, at the end of the day, it's important to feel good about yourself, because that's what will make you the best mother.

"Start to plan some spring resolutions," she recommends. "They make more sense than those at New Year's because springtime is what really feels like the new year. With more hours of sunlight, warmer weather, and vibrant colors to brighten your days, you'll naturally feel more energized and motivated to refresh yourself and reenter the world, baby in tow."

Here are some suggestions:

Take a step (or two or three or more) toward change. "Instead of vowing to start a huge new exercise routine, which, of course, you don't have time for, develop a new attitude instead," advises Coretes. "First, accentuate the positives. Look into the mirror and say, 'Hey, you're looking pretty good for the end of the winter.' Then, start burning calories in baby steps. As you build up stamina, you may want to lengthen your routine--and, if time is in short supply, remember, a 10-minute workout is better than none. Also, with warmer weather and sunny days ahead, load up the stroller and hit the local park or walking trail."

Spring clean your closet (and be sure to include a dose of color therapy). You likely are sick of wearing the drapey, frumpy winter clothes that have been hiding the leftover baby weight. "It's perfectly okay to go out and buy some new pieces that actually fit you now. Don't spend the entire spring and summer season in clothes that don't fit or don't make you feel good just because you are 'waiting to lose the weight.'

"Whether we had babies or not, most of us have spent the past several months covered up head-to-toe in heavy grays blacks, and browns. …

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