6 Tips For Managing Anxiety While Pregnant
For many, pregnancy can feel like a beautiful, blissful state in which you prepare for the arrival of a new being that you are so excited to bring into this world. For others, it can be a bit more overwhelming — as pregnancy can often bring physical or even emotional discomfort. Even if pregnancy has been a blissful experience for you, the human condition is never black and white. If you happen to struggle with anxiety, pregnancy can sometimes exacerbate the symptoms both physically and mentally.
Even if nothing about your anxiety changed when you got pregnant, dealing with anxiety in addition to the challenges of pregnancy can be overwhelming. Additionally, being pregnant can eliminate some of the common coping mechanisms that you may have for anxiety — such as having a glass of wine or taking anti-anxiety medication. Regardless of where you are in your pregnancy or anxiety journey, there are so many ways that you can manage anxiety while pregnant. Here are just a few to consider.
Move your body
Working out and releasing endorphins is a fantastic way to manage anxiety, whether or not you are pregnant. Although pregnancy can change the nature of your workouts, finding ways to move your body that work with your stage of pregnancy can be transformative. Whether you prefer individual bodyweight exercises, going for a walk in nature or finding a yoga flow that works specifically with your pregnancy, exercising is a fantastic way to blow off some steam and find a bit of peace.
Although meditation might seem like it takes a bit of discipline, sitting down and finding a bit of Zen can actually be a bit simpler than you think. You don’t need to meditate for very long to experience the benefits — both mental and physical! Even taking five minutes or less to press pause and give yourself some space can be extremely calming. Plus, if you happen to have back pain or muscle aches due to your pregnancy, meditation can help with that, too, as meditation helps to relieve stress and muscle tension.
Talk to a professional
Although therapy might not be a feasible or comfortable choice for everybody, it could be worth looking into, even if you just want to do it temporarily. Whether you have experience with therapy in the past or this would be your first time, speaking to a professional can sometimes help you unravel the feelings of anxiety and examine them so that you can better apply healthy coping mechanisms.
Try art therapy
Whether or not traditional therapy is your thing, you may also want to take a look at art therapy. You can find a professional art therapist to guide you through your practice, or you can try a bit of art therapy at home by exploring some of your creative impulses and letting go of expectations. Sometimes, life and words are a bit too much, and I can help to simply let your hands and your creativity guide you.
On the other hand, if words feel like exactly what you need, you might want to try journaling so that you can explore your feelings and process your experiences. If starting out is a bit difficult for you, you can always use prompts, make lists or even write just one sentence for your first few entries. Journaling is for you, which means that it doesn’t need to live up to anybody else’s expectations — and that might be exactly what you need right now.
Breathing exercises can be a fantastic grounding technique, especially if you are in a situation where you can’t immediately step away to meditate or journal. There are so many different breathing exercises that you can try out, and you are likely to find one or two favorites that become second nature to you. Whether you prefer to count your breaths or rely on more physical breathing exercises such as deep belly breathing or alternate nostril breathing, there are plenty of exercises that you can rotate between in order to find a bit of calm no matter where you are.
Managing anxiety during pregnancy
Anxiety truly can come at any time, and unfortunately, that means it may find you during your pregnancy. Even if your usual methods of anxiety management aren’t available to you during your pregnancy, there are so many wonderful techniques that you can turn to. Who knows? You may find a brand new favorite that you carry with you well into your postpartum life.
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