Initially, pregnancy is a joyous and exciting time. You’ve just found out you’re going to be giving birth to this little miracle you’ve created. However, that initial excitement can soon turn into stress and worry. As the side effects of pregnancy start to kick in, it’s normal for women to feel increasingly stressed as they progress through their nine-month journey.
The trouble is, too much stress isn’t just bad for you when you’re pregnant – it can be really bad for baby too! So, if you want to ensure you have a healthy, happy pregnancy, getting to grips with your stress levels is crucial. Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to reduce stress during pregnancy.
Take A 5-Minute Time Out
When you feel yourself getting overly stressed, taking a 5-minute time out can be really helpful. Focus on your breathing, taking slow, long deep breaths in and out. It sounds silly, but this tip alone can make you instantly de-stress. The only trouble is, it can take a while to train yourself to recognize when you’re becoming over-stressed and need to take the time out. So, be patient and consistent at looking at for the signs you’re stress levels are reaching overwhelming status.
Just the act of focusing on something else for 5 minutes can really snap your brain out of its stressed state, leaving you feeling much calmer. When you’re focusing on your breathing, ensure you de-clench your jaw and feel the breath going in and out of your body. This will relax the muscles as well as the mind.
Cut Back On Your Daily Chores
These days, it’s common to feel like you have to carry on as normal for as long as you can into the pregnancy. Women feel a lot of expectation for them to be able to do everything, regardless of whether or not they are pregnant. However, you need to remember that although pregnancy doesn’t make you an invalid, it does take its toll on your body. So, you’re going to need to take it a little easier while you’re pregnant if you want to avoid burnout.
Cut back on your daily chores and make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. Splitting your tasks down into smaller ones throughout the day will ensure you still get everything done without overdoing it.
Partake In Gentle Exercise
Although you won’t be running marathons or be able to do intense workouts when you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising completely. In fact, a little gentle exercise can be great for you and baby. Think yoga or walking – both of these are gentle on the body but great for stress relief.
You could also sign up to local pregnancy exercise classes. These ensure you’re doing safe, gentle exercise, while also helping you to socialize a little more too.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Coping with your daily responsibilities and the side effects of pregnancy can easily become overwhelming. Therefore, it’s important not to isolate yourself. Inviting friends and family over can provide a welcome distraction, plus they can help you with anything you’re struggling with. Your friends and family are there to help and they’d love to see you. So, don’t isolate yourself – make sure you’re spending plenty of time with friends and family.
Try To Maintain A Healthy Diet
As well as partaking in gentle exercise, it’s a good idea to maintain a healthy diet too. You might not realize it, but what you eat can directly impact your stress levels. A diet full of sugar for example, will spike your stress and anxiety levels. You’ll also suffer that well-known sugar crash which leaves you feeling tired, stressed and irritable.
Eating a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will ensure you and baby stay healthy and happy.
Keep A Journal
When it comes to stress relief, journaling can be really effective. It’s become quite the trend at the moment, but it is said to work wonders. You could either use it to document your thoughts and feelings, or you can start a gratitude journal. Both will prove effective at combating stress. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time journaling, a gratitude journal would be your best option. Simply write at least 3 things you’re grateful for every day. It’s said doing this for 21 days in a row will do wonders for your stress and happiness levels.
Join A Support Group
Sometimes, it can really help to talk to others who are going through the same things you are. You’d be surprised how many pregnant women suffer with excessive stress levels. Joining a support group can therefore help you to see that you’re not alone and connect with others who completely understand.
Now, this isn’t like AA. While there very well might be a pregnancy support group, they’ll more likely be advertised as pregnancy forums on the internet! You can use them to connect with others and open up about the stress you feel. You’ll typically find other pregnant women have all kinds of tips you can try out so it could be really useful signing up to these groups.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If none of the tips above help and you’re still suffering with excessive stress, it could be time to talk to your doctor. You may need medication, or they may recommend talking therapies. So many pregnant women experience the same feelings as you so there really is no shame asking for help if it’s needed.
While some amount of stress is normal during pregnancy, too much of it can prove harmful to you and baby. So, it’s really important to follow the tips above and try to reduce your stress levels as much as you can. If nothing works do go to your doctor as there is always help available if you need it.