New Baby – New Stressors: New Ways to Manage Stress
For a lot of women, it seems like when you are pregnant, things are so much more stressful than they were before. This could be because you have so much more to deal with, your hormones are fluctuating, and you may be more tired, have less energy and just feel less capable of handling your previous load. Though you may feel all of these things or just a few of these things, there are ways to help yourself get through it now and create a few strategies to manage your life as it gets busier.
First, you need to take a look at what you're doing with your time. Write down a list of things you do in a week or do it by the day. What are the things you need to do, have to do, and/or like to do? Is everything you do necessary? Do you think you will be able or willing to do this when your little one is born? See if there is anything that can be reduced or even cut out of your time budget. If this is your first child, there may be a lot of things that take up your time, but make sure you have extra time for rest and relaxation.
Second, grant yourself permission to relax. Find some stress relieving activities, and take some time for yourself, without guilt. There are a lot of ways to relax, but some people have been on the go for so long they feel like they should always be on the go, or at least doing something constructive. If this sounds like you, here are a few ways to unwind and still be active. Journaling your pregnancy experience may give you a way to document this special time in your life while allowing a breather from your normal activities. You can take the time to learn more about your pregnancy. There is tons of information in books or online. Looking into what your baby looks like this week, what prenatal tests you should be looking forward to, or how to simplify your life; it's all information that would be useful to you now and later. Meet people like you; pregnant moms and new moms love to talk about their pregnancies, the lives they are living, and how their lives are changing. Sometimes it helps just to know you are not alone. Sometimes, when you are feeling a certain way, if you talk to a group of like-minded people, you are sure to get some validation on your feelings, which will build your confidence about your upcoming journey. Joining a local chapter of a new moms club or going online to meet new moms is an easy and relaxing way to meet new people. Either way, a trouble shared is a trouble halved; or in this case, excitement shared is excitement doubled.
Stress is something we all have; it didn't start when you got pregnant and surely won't end when your new little one arrives. The emotional backlash of stress can range from causing you to be mildly overwhelmed to causing severe bouts of depression. You need to find ways to reduce your stress now and look at stress reducing methods for the future. If you start early and stay committed to your stress reduction goal, you won't be stress free, but you should feel a difference, and both you and your baby's health will benefit.