Having June off from real goals really helped me. I wasn’t as stressed (granted, I wasn’t as productive either), but I was happier. I did have some health issues and lot of blood work done. On the one hand, the blood work and my physicals all came back normal, on the other hand, we still aren’t sure why I’ve been so overly exhausted, sleepy, and weak lately. But, I’ve started to feel better. I’ve also done better with just being present with my kids and enjoying watching them and reading to them without the distraction of electronics. You may have noticed that I haven’t really been all that active on social media lately–that was needed. I didn’t feel the passion for it. But, now that’s it’s July, I’m ready to get back to the grind of things. I’m ready for a renewal, just like last year (I love Danica for always doing these half-way-through-the-year checkups–they are so inspiring to focus back on your resolutions).
Recently, I talked about how my anxiety is getting ahead of me during this pregnancy sometimes, even though I’m on top of my medication. I gave a few ways how I personally begin to de-stress. I feel that it is very important to take notice of when life seems to get the better of you, especially when you are pregnant. That is something I didn’t really do, notice, or understand with my first pregnancy (of course, I was teaching a new subject at a new school with a 50 minute commute and didn’t really even have time to think!). This pregnancy, I’m trying to pay more attention to my own needs and self-care, and thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who has completely supported me in doing so.
Get Enough Sleep
There is a special time after your kids go to bed–you and your spouse’s “happy hour.” However, it’s important to listen to your body and get enough sleep at night. I try to go to bed round 10 pm because I’m usually up (because of either my husband or my 2 year old) by 6:30 am. Also, take naps when you can. Last pregnancy, I didn’t have any kids, but I didn’t have any opportunity to nap until dinner time…which meant that sometimes I napped past dinner and got up at 8 pm starving! This time, I take a nap with my son if I’m feeling exhausted. Or, I’ll plop him down in front of the TV while I close my eyes for 20-30 minutes.
Get Clothes That Fit
Last pregnancy, I didn’t gain a lot of weight. But, I still stretched out my shirts a bit. I mainly got maternity slacks and wore a ton of maxi dresses and skirts while I taught. Which meant, this time round, I didn’t have a lot of leisure maternity clothes. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money since we had just paid for a move, but I was tired of either feeling slouchy in my husband’s tees or showing every line and bulge with shirts that weren’t maternity. I finally convinced myself it was ok to spend money on maternity clothing. Thank goodness for Old Navy and Target having cute, inexpensive maternity wear! I didn’t know you could be this comfortable while pregnant, and I am so grateful that I spent the money to do so. It definitely has helped me to feel more confident!
Be Healthy, But Spoil Yourself Sometimes
Last pregnancy, we ate out a lot and didn’t have a ton of real meals for dinner. I was getting home at around 4:45 pm and my husband after that. Neither of us really felt like cooking. I ate like crap, and although I didn’t gain a lot of weight, it was definitely hard to recover after giving birth. This time round, I am trying to eat healthier and exercise. I pay attention to my body and don’t over do it while exercising. I actually use this awesome low-intensity HIIT home workout app three times a week. Go on walks. Rhys and I take the stroller out on mornings sometimes (when it’s not an oven down here in Texas!). We also go to the mall and take laps in the AC. Thankfully, my cravings have also been a bit healthier: salad, fresh food, sandwiches, etc. But, it’s also ok to spoil yourself sometimes. Every now and then, I have a Pepsi and make some dessert.
Get Away For a Night
There have been two times this pregnancy that I have just been overwhelmed with life, with relationships, with stress, with motherhood. It has ended in full-blown panic attacks and lashing out. My wonderful husband told me to go out to dinner and spend a night at the Marriott hotel. It was exactly what I needed! Some solitary, quiet hours to just relax and catch up on life. Oh, and I slept in past 9 AM both times!
Do What Needs to Get Done
A lot of people think that self-care is all about self-indulgence or spoiling yourself. Not always. Sometimes, the best way to care for yourself is to eliminate stress of procrastination. Get your to-do list done. Be productive. Clean up. Take small steps in doing so, and take numerous breaks, but don’t put things off. You’ll feel a lot more relaxed and happy.
No matter what religion you proscribe to, pay attention to it during your pregnancy. It can be a lot of comfort to yourself. Read scriptures, meditate, pray, attend church.
Care About Your Looks
Take a shower! A full shower! Wash your hair, shave your legs and armpits, brush your teeth, actually do your hair, and put on at least some makeup. Your confidence levels and self-esteem will raise dramatically if you do. Use nice products. You don’t have to get top of the line brand name makeup or hair care products, but be willing to spend more than a few dollars on them. A shampoo that I’ve recently started liking is this Winter Blend Shampoo from Maple Holistics.
Maple Holistics is a natural and holistic beauty product company. All their products are made in the USA, all natural, cruelty free, sulfate free, and safe for color. Their Winter Blend Shampoo is great for the winter time because it takes care of your wear during harsh weather that would break it or cause it to frizz. It is a mint blend and includes wild mint, bergamot mint, spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus mint, and jojoba oil. I absolutely loved the scent of it while using it–it permeated the entire shower and really helped to relax me. It works perfectly with the Winter Blend Conditioner!
The best thing is, you can even get some free samples of Maple Holistic products by clicking here!!
How do you self-care while pregnant?
If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you know that I have suffered anxiety my entire life. However, since first becoming pregnant with Rhys, it just continued to get worse, even after I gave birth, eventually turning into PPD. Now that I’m pregnant again, and after going through a rough summer financially and full of transitions, it’s really important for me to focus on my mental health. I know that I’m prone to getting PPD again with this second child, and I want to avoid that. I still do have some panic attacks or pits of depression. There are some days that my anxiety gets the best of me. But, I try to use different techniques to try to overcome my anxiety and to de-stress.
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Have some alone time
This is the biggest one. When I’m having a bad day, my husband always gives me a bit of time to de-stress and de-compress when he gets home. I go in our room, close the door, turn off the lights, and lay on the bed. Sometimes I’ll watch some TV, sometimes I’ll take a small nap, sometimes I’ll surf through social media on my phone. This works regardless of being pregnant or not!
Take a shower
Thankfully, Rhys is so well behaved when I shower. I let him know I’m going to hop in and ask him to be a good boy. He’ll go play in his room with his toys or sit on the couch and watch a show. Whether or not I need a shower, the warm water and enclosed space is very relaxing to me. I’m not really a bath person–plus, I haven’t really had a good, big, bath-taking tub for years. But, I could stay in the warm water shower for hours if it didn’t run up the water bill and if I didn’t have things to do! Just make sure it’s not too hot when you are pregnant!
Take a nap and cuddle time
Rhys still takes a two hour nap in the afternoon. Some bad days, I’ll take a nap as well. Regardless of if I physically fell more rested after the nap (only about 50% of the time), more than likely, I’m calmer and more positive. I am so lucky to have such an adorable, sweet, caring, sensitive two year old boy as a son. He knows when I am having a bad day and will try his best to be super cuddly or comfort me. I let him. I relish his cuddles. A lot of times, I’ll nap when my arms wrapped around him as he naps. Hugs really do wonders, especially when they come from your children!
Think of the positives of your new baby
There was a time during the first trimester when Justin had just been laid off that I had a hard time accepting the timing of this pregnancy. It was a source of stress: would we be able to afford the pregnancy and birth, what if it’s a girl and we have to buy everything, where will we fit her in a small 2 bedroom apartment (or if we were still in my parents’ basement, where!?!?!–Rhys was already literally in the closet). The space issue and getting girly stuff still is a source of stress for me, as is wondering how I’m going to do 2 under 3 with different schedules and needs. But, I’ll just rub my little bump and relish in the movements that Evelyn makes inside of me. Everything will turn out for the best.
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Bring it to God
I can’t tell you how many times I have been on my knees during the day, crying to God, in the past two months since moving to Texas. Even before then, even before Justin found a job. Without fail, always, God comforts me when I’m having stress, anxiety and depression. It may not be immediately, but I always do stop crying by the time I’m down praying. Having faith in Him to get me through my stress is a huge uplifter.
How do you de-stress when you are pregnant?