The following can help anyone as everyone lives with some level of stress; however, I write this with moms and moms-to-be in mind and close to my heart because, well, I love pregnancy and believe that it can be used as a gateway to learning about ourselves.
Stress is a huge part of our daily lives. For some of us, being stress-free comes natural — for the most part, you’re born like this if it does — but for the majority of us, it takes practice. Daily practice. For me, it’s not easy and has never been easy. I have an extensive relationship with depression and anxiety, and if I’ve learned anything from the years of being in this relationship, simply writing about practicing to calm down leaves me in the same position I started in, stressed out.
If you’re pregnant, it is crazy how easy it is to feel stressed. The hormones. The changes. Add creating a child and attempting to wrap your brain around the fact that you’re going to be responsible for another human being plus you … this is like the icing on the stress cake whether or not it’s a planned pregnancy. I completely “get it”. You are not alone. Let me say that again because it seems like I can’t hear that enough when I’m stressed, you are not alone!
Advising someone to practice stress-relief is not enough. It reminds me of when I look up a word in the dictionary and the word is part of the definition, it is frustrating and causes more questions! I wish to share with you one way you could practice stress-relieving tactics every day without overwhelming yourself with having to remember to practice.
What you will need:
- An index card
- A pen
- A marker
What to do:
- With the pen, make a list of 3-5 actions that you can do to relax on one side of the index card. They can be as simple as breathing, closing your eyes, or stretching.
- Review your list and make sure that at least one of the actions can be done anywhere. If you don’t have one that can be done anywhere, think of one and write it down.
- From the actions you’ve written down, choose one and write it on the blank side of the index card with the marker.
- Place the index card somewhere out of sight, but in a place that you’ll randomly see daily — marker side facing up. Examples of where to store the card: passenger seat of your car, in your kitchen’s silverware drawer, next to your television’s remote control, near the “on” button of your computer.
- Whenever you come across the index card, practice the action — stressed or not. I recommend to occasionally pick up the index card and look at the pen-written side. When you do, try and be grateful that you have options. Gratitude changes perspective.
This is only one idea of how to practice relieving stress. I am cognizant that this one way will not work for everyone. I understand everyone has different needs. There are many more ways, and I’ll make sure to share them as I discover them.
I know it can be overwhelming, but remember that you aren’t alone and there is a community out there waiting to welcome you and provide you support. All it takes it reaching out for help. I am here for you. I see you and honor your space.
Cheers to helping each other cut stress out of our lives!