How to Reduce Stress during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time and a new adventure, but it’s not always smooth sailing and I find that it comes with a host of new worries and anxieties. How have I been combating these negative thoughts? Read on for a few tips on how to reduce your stress during pregnancy.
Go for a walk –
The simplest and easiest way to clear your head is to get outside and stretch your legs. It is the perfect way to take your mind off things, while also giving yourself some gentle exercise and releasing lots of lovely endorphins. If you’re a runner, step it up a pace and blow away the cobwebs with a quick jog/run.
Have a hot drink (be careful of herbal teas – check that it is a pregnancy safe one) –
I’m British, I can’t help the fact that I firmly believe that anything. Absolutely anything, can be made better with a good cup of tea. Since finding out that I was pregnant, I switched myself to decaf PG tips. But that doesn’t change the fact that the soothing routine of putting the kettle on and making a good brew can really change your mindset for the better.
‘There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be diminished by a nice cup of tea’ Bernard-Paul Heroux
Read a book (but not a Pregnancy book that could increase your anxiety rather than reduce it) –
Getting into a good book is the quickest way to help transport me to somewhere completely different! Immersing myself in a great storyline for 20 minutes or so is guaranteed to lift my mood or, at the very least, distract me from whatever was stressing and bothering me.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY READING: The Pregnancy Diaries: Month One
Diffuse some relaxing essential oils –
While essential oils are not recommended during the first trimester, there are some that are safe for second and third trimester. Lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang are all safe and known for their calming and relaxing effect on the body.
Calm meditation app –
A meditation app can be a really useful tool to calm the thoughts buzzing around in your head. I love a full body meditation, starting from my head and working down to my toes, I consciously make an effort to relax each and every part of my body in turn. I find it so relaxing, I’m often asleep before the end, but that’s no bad thing!
Have an antenatal massage (not suitable until 14 weeks) –
Is there anything as relaxing and pampering as having a massage? I often struggle not to fall asleep! With all the changes to our body – it can leave us with new pains as our weight increases and balance shifts. Once your first trimester is over it is safe to have an antenatal massage – just be sure to let your massage therapist know that you are pregnant (if it’s not immediately obvious!)
Attend a yoga class (be sure to let your instructor know about your pregnancy) –
All those new aches and pains that pregnancy causes could probably really benefit from some gentle stretching. Plus, all that deep breathing is going to help center you. I started yoga (for the very first time) when I hit week 10 and it was really helpful, especially the meditation session at the end (so far I’ve only fallen asleep during meditation once, I told you I was tired!)
Have a warm bath –
We know that hot-tubs and saunas are out thanks to the dangers of overheating while pregnant, but a warm bath is still allowed. Light a candle, turn the lights down and just let yourself soak for a few minutes.
Sadly I don’t have a bath tub at home, but I’m finding that a good float in the ocean achieves a similar result. There’s something very soothing about having the water around you and the feeling of weightlessness.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY READING: My First Trimester Favourites
Practice some relaxation breathing –
This is a great one as it can be done anywhere, and at any time. Take 5 minutes to focus on some relaxation breathing and feel some of that stress just melt away.
- Consciously control your breathing, take deep breaths in and out. Slowly inhale and then exhale.
- While slowly inhaling, feel your rib cage expanding and allow your lungs to fill completely.
- While slowly exhaling let your chest fall and feel your lungs empty as you prepare for the next deep breath.
- Try holding your nose and breathing in through one nostril and then out through the other. Then switch.
Chat to a friend –
A problem shared is a problem halved. It can be great to have someone to sit down with and talk through any pregnancy anxieties. If you’re lucky enough to have a few close mum-friends (like I do) chances are they have all felt the same way at some point, or had very similar experiences.
What do you do to help reduce stress either during pregnancy or in general? Any additional tips for me? Please leave some suggestions in the comments below!
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