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Self care needed more than ever amid COVID pandemic

It has almost always been true that the person who cares for everyone, the person we can all rely on, is mom.

This past year, with COVID-19, mothers have, in many cases, taken on the roles of teacher, employee and even nurse at times as families endured isolation forced by the pandemic.

Mothers take care of everyone – except themselves. So, as Mother’s Day approaches, two health care professionals offer some simple steps for mothers to make the pressures of everyday life a little easier.

Pause, breathe, love, and be kind.

Mom is ‘caretaker for everything’

Dr. Nancy Blatt, a primary care physician at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Center for Women’s Health and Wellness, said those are principles to live by.

“I have coined a term for this stress mothers are under,” said Blatt. “I call it working momma syndrome, and that means so much more than 9 to 5. It means constantly. We women wear a lot of hats. We are mom, spouse, parent, sibling, worker and boss. What we need to do is invest in ourselves. A lot of people are relying on us and we will have more to give when we are present ourselves.”

“Most moms are stretched to the highest degree,” said Dr. Bridget Marvinsmith, a family physician with Portsmouth Regional Hospital. “They are stretched so thin, especially with the pandemic. There is so much stress on the family and mom is often the caretaker for everything.”

Dr. Bridget Marvinsmith, a family physician at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, offers self-care tips for mothers, who are stretched thin, especially now during the pandemic.

What can moms do to relieve stress?

Marvinsmith said going back to basics is the best place to start.

“Eat good, healthy, real food, not junk,” she said. “Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Exercise, even if that means dancing in the living room with the kids. Do what is fun and helps you feel good.”

When patients tell Blatt they have no time for self care, she tells them to start small. 

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