Click to read the full list of ways to de-stress during a pregnancy:
1. Take a time out
Running around from task to task or constantly thinking about what’s next isn’t a good idea. Every now and then, you need to take a break – it’s good for you and your baby. If you’re feeling in over your head at work, use your lunch break to unwind by closing your eyes for a few minutes and focusing on breathing, or go for a walk. If you’re at home, spend some time on the couch with your feet up instead of fussing over which chores have to be done. If you’re just plain fed up with how your day went, go to bed early and get some rest. If you need to, ask your boss or loved ones for help so you have time to relax.
2. Read a book
Don’t pick up another baby book, but feel free to get started on that new bestseller you’ve been meaning to tackle or a novel you’ve always wanted to read. Losing yourself in a book is a great way to forget about your responsibilities for a while and transport yourself somewhere else. Snuggle up in bed or carve out a nice reading nook for yourself, and be sure to turn your phone and any other distractions off.
3. Get some exercise
It might seem like more work at first, but exercise is actually a great way to relieve stress. It releases feel-good endorphins into your body, which can also make you feel more positive and have more energy. It can even help with some of the aches and pains that you might be struggling with. Just remember not to overexert yourself. Stick to moderate exercises and ask your health care provider for recommendations if you need them.
4. Take a dip
Whether it’s swimming at your local pool, taking a shower or getting into the bath, water is very soothing when you’re feeling stressed. Do a few laps around the pool, use your favorite toiletries to pamper yourself in the shower and try adding some pregnancy-approved natural oils into your bath for their aromatherapy benefits. Warm water can help put your body at ease, too.
All it takes to do a little bit of meditation is a quiet space to sit. You might want to dim the lights and put on some soothing music, but all you really need is to sit quietly with your eyes closed and focus on taking deep breaths. Imagine the air flowing into your lungs as you inhale, then hold it for a few seconds before exhaling it slowly, releasing your pent-up emotions with it. Five or 10 minutes of this is all you need to recharge.
6. Go to the spa
If it’s in your budget, now’s a great time to head to the spa. Choose treatments that are safe for pregnancy – saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms aren’t, but certain massages are definitely helpful. You can even get a facial to help with any pregnancy-related skin issues you’re experiencing. A haircut, blowout, manicure or pedicure is also a good idea to help you relax and feel more self-confident.
7. Take a yoga class
Yoga is one of the best ways to destress in general, and it’s great to engage in during pregnancy. Take a prenatal yoga class to help yourself unwind and maybe even meet other mothers who are going through the same experiences you are. Choose a class that fits easily into your schedule so you don’t have to worry about being late or missing it.
8. Go shopping
You’re going to need a lot of gear for your unborn baby, not to mention chic maternity clothes for yourself. If you can afford it, go on a shopping trip with a friend to pick out some new stuff. If new items aren’t exactly part of your budget, hit a thrift shop or organize a clothing swap to score gently used items.