As we adjust to our new normal of quarantine and self isolation it's important we don't neglect our mental health. With so much focus on Covid 19 you may find yourself with more time at home and absorbing a lot of negative news which can feed an anxious mind whether you're expecting or not. It can be challenging to remain positive for yourself and everyone around you. We believe in times like this is important to arm yourself with effective yet simple tools that you can tap into whenever you need them to feel more grounded and centred.
We have put together a list of 10 ideas and tools that may help you.
1. Self Care
Make your own self care a priority. Just 10 minutes of “you time” a day can really support your mental health. Even if you live in a busy household - plan in advance and make sure you build it into your daily routine.
This is a great habit to get into and something you can carry forward and use forever!
2. Do what's good for you
Do things that make you feel good, listen to uplifting positive music (check out our @spotify playlists for inspiration). Maybe try baking or even creating a new recipe cooking with your store cupboard ingredients, if you're not into cooking try making a diy hair mask. Perhaps you could run a luxurious bubble bath, read that (positive / happy) book you've been meaning to read, style your hair and get your glam on for no apparent reason or get crafting with a home project- whatever it is that makes you feel good.
Be mindful of what you are watching and listening to. Try to limit your exposure to negative news and programmes. Try only watching the news once a day and only from a reputable source. Maybe think about turn off notifications on your phone for now if you’re finding it is contributing to any anxiety you may be feeling.
Remember to talk to always your self with kindness - the way that you would talk to a friend in need.
4. Calm Breath
Use the “Calm Breath” whenever you need it and show others who may need it how to use it too. This is designed to slow you down and calm your mind and body and can be used to great effect if you are feeling worried. Simply inhale for the count of four and exhale to the count of eight. Repeat as often as necessary during you day to recenter.
Look at the positive impact of this as it's a great opportunity to practice the breath for birth - it will be second nature for you in no time!
Try journalling and writing down each day what you are grateful for. This simple task is a really lovely daily ritual. As time goes by it you can also use it if you need positive boost when reading a couple of pages can provide a wonderful little "pick me up".
Begin a 14 day meditation challenge with our partners Calm. It's as simple as picking up your phone and making the time for yourself to listen in every day. Calm has created a free resources page o some of their most relevant and loved content. Click here to check it out.
7. Keep active
Keep physically fit by working out from home. Our partners FIIT have the perfect programmes that are mama friendly. Many prenatal yoga classes are now offering virtual classes too. If exercise classes aren't for you pop on your favourite tunes and dance around your living room like nobody is watching, happy days!!
8. Positive Affirmations
Listen to our positive affirmations to strengthen your positive mindset. Better still say them out loud with strength and conviction.
If you're feeling creative you can try writing them out by hand and sticking them up in your home so that you see them over and over which will remind you to say them over and over.
Your words become your world so let yours be positive.
9. Organise your birth bag
If you’re expecting, you could try organise your birth bag. This is one of those tasks that you can make so enjoyable, why not document it? You can photograph the all the little baby items and write down your thoughts and how excited you are to have your little baby finally here to wear them. If you're feeling creative you can always make a little scrap book with everything and one day when your little one is older you can show them. Don't forget to include a picture of yourself and your bump too!
10. Take care of others
And finally, take care of others too (without putting yourself at risk) a simple phone call to elderly relatives or neighbours can help more than you imagine. If you do manage to do this once, make it a little habit and call regularly. Doing something small for someone else is good for the soul.
Thank you technology
In these unprecedented times, we need look after our mental health and one another now more than ever. We are so grateful for technology that allows us lots of FaceTime and video calls with family and friends. We can make the most of this time and be thankful for the slower pace of life, time to enjoy family quizzes on zoom or fitness workouts with friends.
Connect with others
Another great way of connecting with other pregnant women is our weekly virtual meet-up PositiviTEA! This is a positive group chat where we talk about all things positive in pregnancy, birth and parenthood. It's so important to stay connected so we're using Zoom to link up with others and share positive experiences. To join in send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending lots of positive vibes your way, keep safe dreamers ✨
Clodagh and Marie-Claire
Founders of The Dream Birth Company