How to Relieve Stress During Pregnancy
Relieving stress during pregnancy is much like relieving stress during any other point in your life -- except for a few twists. From the moment you realize you are pregnant, no longer is it just you, but a future baby and you. With all the worries that a child brings, stress relief during pregnancy requires you to bring the focus back to you and your own needs. Keep yourself healthy first, and your baby will be just fine.
Sometimes it’s hard to resist eating half your body weight in chocolate, but eating well really will make you feel better. Avoid the jittery sugar high or the heavy feeling of fatty foods and opt for more fruits and vegetables. As always, drink lots of water to keep you feeling fresh and hydrated! You’ll have more energy and feel better about eating for baby too.
Go for a brisk walk or do some light pilates or yoga exercises. The goal is to get your heart rate up, but not to over-exert yourself and leave yourself exhausted. Getting your blood pumping will release endorphins and help you clear your mind of negative thoughts and anxiety. Another great idea is to take a dip in a nearby pool. Swimming gives you a great workout that you can do throughout your whole pregnancy. It’s a great alternative to running if that puts too much strain on your body.
Take the time to pamper yourself with other relaxation methods, such as getting a massage, taking a bubble bath, playing some calming music, or even aromatherapy. Sometimes you need a little extra help to get in the right frame of mind, and these things can improve the health of your mind, body, and soul.
Be In the Know
Read up on all the aspects of pregnancy that you are unsure about, but don’t overdo it! Obsessing over the unknown will leave you anxious and mentally unhealthy. Instead, get advice from your friends who have had kids and get a more realistic view of the entire process. Be knowledgeable and prepared, but don’t let worries control your thinking.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
Communication is key to letting those around you know what’s going on. Don’t let yourself be trapped in stress. Reach out to your husband, best friend, mom, or other mentor. They’ll be more than happy to support you and help you with errands if need be.
Cut Down on Extra Responsibilities
You might still have to work full days and crank out some major projects in the office before maternity leave, but cut yourself a break everywhere else. Take a break from leading that committee or take a few less shifts at your oldest child’s snack bar for soccer. People will understand that you’re going through a lot of change and just need to take a few things off your plate.
Get Enough Sleep
You hear it all the time but can’t seem to get those golden eight hours. During pregnancy though, you really should! Your body is going through so much change that you need the extra rest to compensate. You’ll feel more tired as your pregnancy approaches full term, and you should listen to your body. Try to grab a power nap in the middle of the day if at all possible.
Take More “Me Time”
This is a time to not feel so guilty about taking time for yourself. Set boundaries with your other children, husband, friends, family, or even co-workers. Even if it’s just five minutes a day to close your eyes and meditate, do it! Once the baby comes, you’ll no longer have any time for yourself, so make sure to squeeze it in now.
Do Something New and Fun
Perhaps you need a little distraction from your everyday life and are looking for a little excitement. Take your mind off daily stressors and take an art or a cooking class, or explore a new part of your city. The novelty of breaking from your normal routine will help you re-center your life.
Jot It Down
Sometimes you might not want to share your thoughts with others and would rather keep them to yourself. However, if you’re seeking clarity, a good idea is to write down how you’re feeling in a journal. It’s a good way to analyze your thoughts from a new perspective. You can always look back during later pregnancies to see how you were feeling and how you coped during tough times.
You may have your baby’s health on your mind at all times, but don’t forget about your own as well. Taking measures to relieve your own stress will make your pregnancy easier and even make you a better mom later on!