4 Tips On How To Self-Care Like A Champ During Pregnancy
Welcome our newest guest blogger- licensed clinical social worker Maria Inoa
“With everyone focused on the baby growing inside, it’s easy for an expecting mama to forget to listen to her body. Whether you’re experiencing an easier pregnancy or a more difficult one, it’s so imperative that you take care of you. The fact is that no one really knows what you need except for you. If you’re lower back is aching or you have a headache, no one will know unless you verbalize it.
The same goes for your mental health. Just like going for walks, taking a prenatal yoga class, making wise food choices, and drinking lots of water are excellent for your physical health, it’s super important to take steps to maintain good mental health as well.
Here are 4 quick tips for surviving and thriving during your pregnancy and beyond.
1. Ask for help. Like I mentioned above, those closest to us can’t read our minds, so we need to make our needs known. I know it can be uncomfortable for some of us, but people, typically, are much more willing to pitch in and help than you think. Think of 2-3 small tasks that you could really use help with. Then, identify who in your life you could ask for help with those tasks. Remember, the worst they can say is no.
2. Put healthy boundaries in place. A boundary is an invisible barrier between you and something or someone else. Draw the line now of what is going to be acceptable for and your partner not just once the baby arrives but now. Boundaries are a part of living an overall healthy lifestyle, and they help you feel more in control. Here are a few examples for pregnancy:
1.Letting a relative, who tends to be negative or overbearing, know the expectations for their behavior once the baby has arrived.
2. Deciding how and when you want to allow work communication to startup postpartum.
3. Saying “no” more and without guilt. “No” to extra tasks. “No” when you’re just plain tired. “No” when you just can’t take on any extra responsibility.
4. Have set days or time frames during the day when you allow visitors.
3. Baby yourself. I’m sure you have heard plenty about the idea of self-care. Sometimes a term gets overused, but the purpose behind it is still significant. Self-care just means taking care of yourself, and it’s unique to each individual. If a prenatal massage does it for you, awesome! Maybe it’s curling up with a good book or new magazine. Perhaps, it’s buying yourself a new pair of oh-so-comfy maternity pants. Whatever is meaningful to you and helps you to feel refreshed, make time for it as often as possible.
4. Rest, rest, rest. When I say rest, I don’t just mean sleep. I know that sleep during pregnancy can be frustrating, especially in those last weeks when everyone is telling you to rest as much as you can. What I really mean by rest is to make sure you are getting mental rest during your day. Take 5 minutes to put your feet up and take 3-5 cleansing breaths. A cleansing breath is breathing in slowly for a few seconds through your nose, holding the breath for a few seconds, then slowly letting the air out your mouth like you are blowing bubbles. Resting your mind is just as important, if not more important, than resting your body.
Remember, you are growing a human being. You are a walking miracle. Taking extra care of your mental health during your pregnancy journey will help set the stage for you to continue those positive choices once your precious baby arrives. “
Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman. For a free phone/online consultation or to schedule a session with Maria, call 904-204-9308 or email her at Maria@fullpotentialcounseling.com