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How can soon-to-be-moms reduce stress during pregnancy?


Pregnancy can be a very stressful time in your life, and that stress is usually not good for you or your baby. If you’ve been feeling stressed during your pregnancy, here are nine ways that you can destress.

1. Work remotely

If it’s possible in your profession, see if you can work remotely. Although working remotely can sometimes create difficulties, 82% of telecommuters reported lowered stress levels in one study. By decreasing the stress caused by your job, you’ll be able to relax in other areas of your life as well. Stress often feeds on itself, so by cutting down on stress in one part of your life, you’re helping all of your stress levels.

2. Talk through disagreements

Americans argue 19 times every month on average. If you’re stressed during your pregnancy, it can be easy to snap at your friends, family, or partner about small issues. When you feel like you are getting close to the point of snapping at someone, try removing yourself from the conversation to get control of your emotions again. You can try some deep breaths or just take a moment to think through what you want to say. Giving both of you the time to cool down can be very helpful in a disagreement when tensions are running high. Having a calm conversation where you talk things through creates much less stress than a full-blown argument would.

3. Try breathing exercises

Meditation and breathing exercises can be very helpful in decreasing stress. There are many online resources that have helpful destressing breathing exercises, and many of them can be done anywhere and at any time for just a minute or two. Meditation usually needs to have at least five minutes dedicated to it, but once you are in the practice of meditating regularly, it can be easy to tap into the calm that comes with meditation.

4. Talk positively

It may sounds cliche, but the way that you talk to yourself and about yourself matters. If you are constantly talking down to yourself, you will begin to actually believe what you’re saying, even if at first you think you’re being dramatic or hyperbolic. You should try to speak positively about other people as well since the way that you treat others often is indicative of the way that you treat yourself.

Aside from talking to yourself positively, you should also try to look at other situations positively. When you’re stressed it can be easy to think of the worst-case scenario in every situation, but realistically the worst thing will not always happen. Think about what the best possible outcome could be, and focus your thoughts on that outcome instead of a negative one.

5. Find time for your hobbies

Setting time aside in your day to do the things that make you happy is a great way to reduce your stress levels. If, for example, you own one of the 200 million copies of Minecraft sold as of May 2020, you can make some time to play the game. When you’re stressed and busy, making time for your hobbies might feel less important, but in reality, it’s when it’s most important to take time to do things you enjoy. You don’t need to set aside hours of time for your hobbies, but taking just ten to fifteen minutes to do what you enjoy could help you destress and have a more positive mood overall.

6. Drink someH herbal tea

Although you should be avoiding caffeine during your pregnancy, you can still enjoy a nice relaxing cup of herbal tea. If you already have a favorite calming type of tea, like chamomile, you can brew yourself a cup and spend a few minutes thinking just about drinking it and enjoying the taste. Peppermint is also a popular choice for stress relief since it contains menthol, which has properties that make you calmer and more relaxed. It can also help with indigestion, which some women experience during their pregnancies.

7. Make time for yourself

Similar to making time for your hobby, making time to spend with just yourself is also important. If you already have kids, this may be a little bit more difficult, but just taking a few minutes to do something like a face mask, write in a journal, or take a hot shower can really help you destress. If you want to write in your journal and don’t know where to start, you can either write down the things that are causing you stress and brainstorm some solutions or you can write down a few things you’re grateful for.

8. Talk to someone

Sometimes it’s hard to find the difference between stress that is warranted and stress that is caused by our own overactive imaginations. This is when talking to someone else about what’s stressing you out can be very helpful. If you feel like your stress is unmanageable or constant, going to therapy and speaking with a professional can be extremely helpful. A therapist will help you work down to the root of what is stressing you out and give you tools to deal with those stress factors. A friend could be a better option for something more spur of the moment or if you just need a quick rant.

9. Get moving

Exercise does two things that help your mood: releases endorphins and lowers cortisol levels. Endorphins are what makes us feel happy and, on the other hand, cortisol is what makes us feel panicked or stressed. Depending on your activity level before your pregnancy, you will have a range of options while exercising. A walk around your neighborhood or park is good no matter what your level of activity is usually, while a jog could be good for someone who was running or jogging consistently before their pregnancy.

Yoga is also a popular option for pregnant women. There are tons of online resources for yoga flows and classes specifically designed for pregnancy. Certain poses or exercises won’t be suited for pregnant women, so make sure to check with your doctor before you begin any form of exercise.

What’s your favorite way to deal with stress during pregnancy?

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