It would be wonderful if pregnancy was all kicks and glow and sweet baby dreams, but let’s face it: between the doctor’s appointments, the aches, the fatigue, and everything else, pregnancy can be stressful.
Some stress is normal, but too much can be a problem during pregnancy, so it’s important to have a plan to manage it. We’ve compiled our top 5 keys for managing pregnancy stress below. Scroll down to read!
- Pregnancy massage
What’s more relaxing than a massage? When done by a licensed prenatal masseuse, a nice massage can be just the thing to help you manage your stress. A pregnancy massage is quite similar to a regular massage – they’ll still be kneading away at your achy muscles! – but a prenatal masseuse is specially-trained to work with pregnant women, so you’ll know that you’re in safe, strong, oh-so-heavenly hands.
- Know the signs
With all the you have going on in your life, it can be tough to differentiate between normal, healthy stress and the stress that might be taking a real toll on both your body and mind. The Bellabeat Leaf is a self-tracking device that can help clue you in on when your stress levels might be unhealthy, as it tracks your breathing and sends you a helpful warning if you become too stressed. The sleek Leaf also tracks your activity and sleep, giving you the power to read your body’s signs and make real adjustments to help make yourself as healthy as possible.
Working out might feel like the last thing you want to do when you’ve got a million things on your plate, but the physiological benefits it creates can make a huge difference in how you’re feeling. Not only is exercise a great way to help take your mind off of your busy life and step into your own world for a little while, but its also proven to make a real biological difference in helping to reduce stress. Exercise helps your brain produce more endorphins (neurotransmitters that help put you in a good mood), and promote quality sleep (another stress-buster; see #5 below), so you should talk to your healthcare provider about an exercise regimen if you haven’t already.
- Breathing exercises
A staple of yoga and other exercise classes, controlled breathing is an excellent way to help manage your stress. Supporters believe relaxation breathing can help your body achieve a deep sense of calmness, overcoming the stressors of everyday life. There are many different strategies and programs for relaxation breathing, so you should look into them if you believe it may work for you. A few you can check out include guided visualization, equal breathing, and abdominal breathing.
- Optimize your sleep
As you probably know from experience, sleep and stress levels are very closely related. The better your sleep is at night, the better you’ll perform during the day! Whether it’s the trouble finding a comfortable position, the constant bathroom trips, the vivid dreams, or anything else, a good night’s sleep is often hard to come by during pregnancy. You might want to try exercising, buying a pregnancy pillow, trying a cooler temperature in your bedroom, or cutting back on fluids at nighttime in order to help promote a great sleep and a better, stress-free day. And when the unavoidable bad night of sleep happens, don’t worry! Research suggests that dwelling on the fact that you didn’t sleep enough makes you more tired, so if you can forget it or convince yourself that it wasn’t too bad, you’ll actually feel better.
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