Okay folks, I'm down to the wire here, a couple days to go before we meet our little man! I am a mixed bag of emotions filled with anxiousness, nervousness, excitement, you name it. It is such a surreal state to be in; I know that we will finally meet him this week, and this experience will change our life forever. The big unknown of course, is how and when it's going to happen.
Two particular emotions have emerged this week that I want to address:
Anxiousness (the problem): Stress hives have started to emerge randomly this week due to the anticipation of my unknown arrival. Just one more thing to deal with on top of the DC heat and feeling so incredibly heavy with swollen limbs, face, and back pain, right? That's what I thought too, just ONE more thing, really? I know it too shall pass, but it's still not fun. To calm myself down, I have taken a more holistic approach (along with doctor approved Benadryl only taken once) in preparation for the festivities this week.
Greater Mindfulness (the solution): The anxiousness has led me to look for ways to calm myself down. In preparation for the unknown, I decided to focus on some much deserved self care and me-time. Here are some things that I have done to relieve the stress inducing hives:
1. Made an appointment for a pedicure: Looking down to see my nails a bright shade of pink just makes me smile. Logistically speaking, I can't cut my toenails, let alone paint them. So it's a win-win situation!
2. Bought some lip products: Every person has their vice. Mine are lip products. I decided to nourish my lips with some fun colors from Aveda (Feed My Lips Pure Nourish-mint lipstick in Mulberry) and Bite French Press Lip Gloss in Salted Caramel. Indulge in a little treat, and reward yourself for making time for you.
3. Downloaded some audiobooks: Hands free is going to be the way to be, so I've prepared myself with some inspirational and educational books like Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, The Untethered Soul by xxx. Download a podcast or books that uplift your spirits.
4. Maintained an exercise routine: Walking, along with the Prenatal Fit 4 Mom classes have been a lifesaver both mentally and physically. Even on days where I feel the crappiest, I always walk away feeling stronger after each workout. The bonus: I have gained some really wonderful friends who are going through the same experiences as I have been. We are all clueless but learning together!
5. Gave myself a break: I placed a lot of pressure on myself to ensure that work related business wraps up to the extent that it can be take care of, while also preparing for future months. To alleviate any anxiety, I developed a plan of action to organize my TO DOs in a way that minimizes foreseeable stresses.
6. Made a visit to my happy place: Any place by the water has a calming effect on my soul. I stopped by The Navy Yard and The Wharf in DC to watch the boats sail by on the Potomac River in the shade of course.
Sunset at The Wharf DC
7. Get a massage: This is something I did not do, but I should have done. You should do it.
8. Just breathing through it all: I am a huge proponent of using my breath to calm me down when I get stressed out. Inhaling for four counts and exhaling for four counts helps me focus on my breath, rather than focusing on all the externalities that I can't control.
These little rituals transported me to a place that made me feel a little more like my usual self, and they gave me the space to reflect on what I unapologetically needed to be my best self. We all have these moments of high stress, and seldom do what we need to take care of ourselves. I hope these eight tips inspire you to think about what you need to alleviate stress in a mindful way.
My overall lesson REGARDLESS if you are pregnant:
1. Take notice of what your body needs
2. Make time to treat yourself
3. Put your life in perspective - most situations that cause you to stress out on a daily basis are not 'end of the world' issues. They are fixable as long as you take the action to do something about it.
The best reminder of all: we can only do the best we can each day since we can't control the rest.
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