20 Ways to Naturally Relieve Anxiety During Pregnancy
Are you happy?
No really, are you happy?
If the answer is no, why?
Are you nervous, scared, unsure of what to do, or have limited support?
All these things can lead to anxiety during pregnancy. Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. Anxiety usually comes from being apprehensive about what is to come. Fear and apprehension lead to stress which is not good for you and the baby.
What are the negative effects of Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress can cause physical symptoms such as:
- Panic Attacks
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Decrease in Sex Drive
- A sense of doom
- Upset Stomach
- Muscle aches
- Breathing Problems
During pregnancy, the baby is extremely vulnerable and affected by you. If you are always stressed it can lead to you developing preeclampsia, the baby could have a low birth weight or be born premature. It could also affect the baby’s brain development and later physical development and emotional/psychological processing and cognitive function.
As you can see, anxiety during pregnancy is serious and should be handled with care. Medicine isn’t always the answer. There are natural ways. Here are 20 Ways to Naturally Relieve Anxiety During Pregnancy.
- Meditation and/or Prayer
- No matter your belief system we all can benefit from meditation. Meditation is just another form of prayer. During meditation you should work to calm your mind as much as possible, focus on your breathing and release negative emotions or thoughts. This is talking to your higher self to get an understanding of what is bothering you.
- Praying to a higher power will give you the answers you need. Just be prepared. You can even keep a prayer journal if you want.
- Breathing Exercises
- Breathing exercises reduce anxiety by having you focus on your breathing instead of your problems. It forces you to slow down and focus on the present- not the past nor the future. Breathing slow, deep and steady has been proven to have a calming effect.
When it comes to meditation and focusing on your breath you may find your mind wandering and that’s OK. Try to bring your mind back to this moment and relax your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Breath in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and then breath out through your mouth for 8 seconds. This is called the 4-7-8 breathing technique and can reduce anxiety and promote sleep. This Medical News Today article has more information.
- Avoid Triggers
- Take some time, write in your journal and lay out what triggers your anxiety. Is it family, friends, work, or the idea of being a new parent? Identify what that is for you then clip it if possible. Take a break from answering phone calls, have some alone time and if you can take sick days at work.
If it is a deeper issue, you may need to develop coping mechanisms to help get you through this episode.
- Most people don’t like it but it is beneficial for your physical and mental health. Exercise gets the blood and oxygen flowing through your body. Exercise can also give you a sense of encouragement and accomplishment which makes you feel good.
- Make sure to talk to your doctor regarding exercise limitations. There are low impact exercises such as prenatal yoga, walking, stretching and swimming.
- Get into Nature
- Go for a walk, sit on a bench under a tree, or sit at a body of water. If you can just go to the beach and listen to the waves. Listen to the birds, watch them soar.
- Specifically prenatal yoga. The breathing prompts and stretching will get your blood flowing some more and reduce pain by becoming a bit more flexible. This will also help during labor.
- Listening to music is so relaxing. We all have that song we can relate to. Listen to upbeat or soothing music. Sing and dance like no one’s watching.
- Essential oils
- Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint have relaxing and invigorating properties that are safe for pregnant women. Be sure to dilute them or use a diffuser. Here is a recipe for a calming spray using lavender.
- Eliminate Caffeine
- Caffeine doesn’t create anxiety but it will exaggerate it. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system. Caffeine can be found in coffee, certain teas, and sodas. If you need your coffee, stop drinking by 2 p.m.
- Pregnancy can make you very tired and short winded. It is hard work creating and maintaining every little detail of LIFE. It is extremely important to get as much sleep as possible. Quality sleep is good for your mental health, clarity, concentration, and decision making. Get you some rest!
- Well Balanced Diet
- Fruits and vegetable have the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function. What you eat, your baby eats too. Make sure you’re making healthy food choices. Try one day a week to plan your meals for that week.
- Drink Hot Tea
- Certain teas, like chamomile, have calming effects. Slow down and have a nice cup of tea with your favorite book.
- Magnesium Supplementation
- Magnesium is a mineral our body needs but sometimes we don’t intake enough. Magnesium can help with anxiety and those horrible pregnancy leg cramps. It can either be taken orally or topically but don’t take too much or it will make you sick.
- Acupuncturists insert a needle half a millimeter from a nerve. This jumpstarts the body’s healing process by releasing painkillers and reducing anxiety. Acupuncture can also help with nausea, fatigue, heartburn, nourish the body and pregnancy.
- Take a Warm Bath or Shower
- Let the warm water envelope you. While you are in there, release all pain and fear. Cry it out if you have too. It is good for the soul.
- Pick up a Hobby
- Painting and sculpting are shown to reduce anxiety during pregnancy and do not require much to get started. You can take a class to get out and mingle with other people.
- Identify what specifically is weighing you down. Anxiety can be caused by overthinking situations. Do you need to set healthy boundaries? Sometimes the medicine we need is in the form of a No.
- Inhale Positivity, Exhale Negativity
- Keep your thoughts on the positive. You have a whole new life growing inside of you, be proud of yourself. This journey to motherhood won’t be easy but you can do it. Focus on what it is you can give your baby. What positive traits will he/she take from you?
- Create a Self-Care Routine
- Routines aren’t just good for children they help adults too. Get organized and prioritize. Create a spa day, listen to music, take care of your skin with a skin mask, write in a journal, read a book or whatever calms you down.
- Talk About It
- Talk is therapy. Sometimes we need to connect with someone who may relate to what you are going through. It can be a trusted friend or family member who won’t judge you. You may also consider going to therapy. A therapist can show you coping mechanisms specific to your needs. I went to therapy and it really helped me.
There you have it. 20 Ways to Naturally Relieve Anxiety During Pregnancy. These tips can be used even if you’re not pregnant. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally will be beneficial to both you and baby. You deserve happiness, to be stress free, and a healthy baby. Be patient and kind to yourself. We all need support during stressful times. Lean on your support system. Don’t have one? Make one. There are plenty of mommy support groups both on and offline. Your partner should also be understanding and supporting as well. Tell him what you need. We women must stop being afraid to ask for what we want. You cannot do it all. Stay stress free.
Be You Confidently