5 tips for mom’s mental strength
On my Instagram @Steadfast365 I posted a quick reality check my husband gave me.
On a bad day it’s amazing how something you already know seems new again. Through the journey of pregnancy and breastfeeding, my body has changed so much. You know how it goes ladies and we must acknowledge our emotional transitions too.
All of this is completely normal and a unique experience for each woman. I kept coming across hurdles in my martial arts training and I took it pretty hard.
My pre-baby body showed that I trained hard and ate well to earn the 6 pack abs and lean physique. Cardio was fun and I trained throughout my entire pregnancy.
The new experience of postpartum skin and belly fat jiggling with jumping jacks is enough to discourage you when you’ve never felt that. I was not making techniques in karate class work as smoothly as I was used to.
Karate was that friend I turned to for comfort and strength for so many years and I felt like I was losing my connection to it. My postpartum body was taking way longer than I expected for it to return to “normal” plus I was out of practice.
Karate goes beyond the physical. There’s a mental focus and healing that fuels it. I had to put extra work into something that used to come so natural to me.
That should have been the motivator but I didn’t see it that way. My husband let me vent and reminded me that days like this are never wasted. Your goal may not have been reached but you put in the effort and that’s discipline. Sometimes you have to train the mind to stay in the fight.
We’re martial artists that met at the dojo so karate analogies are how we roll lol. The lesson here is that it’s not always about winning the fight. If you’re not a martial artist like me I’m sure you can still relate.
It’s a story of mental endurance. Sometimes it’s about training the mind to persevere through the fight despite every single hurdle. So, I press on.
Building strength through endurance
5 tips I use to train for mental endurance:
- Acknowledge that circumstances are different
You got the opportunity to house a miracle! You grew a human, gave birth to it, bonded with it and now you’re taking time away from it to work on yourself.
Some new moms may have a set schedule where alone time is consistent, but if you’re like me this was just not the case. Training was squeezed in when I could and most of the time I was tired. Okay, I was tired all of the time.
Circumstances were different so my outlook needed to be different. I needed to be more forgiving. In a nutshell, I was my own worst critic and I was too hard on myself.
- Vent to someone that knows you and knows what you’re going through
Total game changer right here! I’m totally guilty of not doing this enough and I’m still getting used to it.
Being an independent woman it comes with the territory. Just like you can’t do it all, you can’t harbor it all either.
Share your burden every now and then to help you recharge and get a new perspective. Sometimes being reminded of great advice is exactly what your spirit needs.
- Listen to the positive things they have to say
I challenge you to remember the positive things trustworthy people tell you about yourself. Write them down and read them out loud daily.
- Accept the journey
This is the key point for my personal mental endurance training. Understanding that every time I left my training sessions that I had trained my mind to keep going.
Some days just getting through the workout is the actual accomplishment.
- Discover your “why” and press on
Why did you start? Name one healthy reason. Let that be what motivates you to keep fighting.
Not quickly returning to my physical activity level was honestly a challenge I did not see coming. I grew up physically active and like I said, I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy.
In fact, I went on a morning hike the night I went into labor. Everyone including my doctors told me that I would bounce right back. In their eyes I did bounce right back, but for me things just felt different.
It wasn’t the physical for me, it was the mind-body connection. It was the transition into automatic motherhood. About one full year passed before things actually felt cohesive again with my training. Every woman is different but the above 5 tips are what worked for me.
What tips do you have for getting your mental endurance back? Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.
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