Day to day life can be stressful, whoever you are and whatever you do.  Certainly, current circumstance (did someone say Corona Virus??) are challenging many of us in ways we have never been challenged before.  For many of us, our world and what we know has changed over night.  If you are pregnant or have just had a baby or  have a toddler at home, your levels of anxiety may very well be at an all time high, so I have put together a few helpful hints and tips to help you manage your stress levels without resorting to hiding yourself in a cupboard!

 

1) Take it one day at a time.

When we get anxious it is usually about the things that we have absolutely no control over.  When we look at things in their entirety, it often appears too massive to handle, so the trick is to reduce it to bitesize, manageable pieces.  This may be one day at time instead of the potential weeks or months in Corona Virus isolation, or it may even be one hour at a time if a whole day seems unsurmountable.  By taking it one chunk at a time you are able to feel you are achieving instead of failing, gaining instead of loosing and eventually you find you will get there (much like labour!!)

Pregnant on-line hypnobirthing covid-19 corona virus
online hypnobirthing classes to support pregnant women through the Corona Virus outbreak

2) Get up early

Ok, I know this may not be easy for some of you.  Maybe because you have a baby or toddler who already gets up at stupid o’clock.  Maybe you can only sleep once your partner has vacated the bed, giving you and your pregnancy pillow all the room you need to sprawl out.  However, if you can do it, even it if is only occasionally, there is something very peaceful about being the only person awake.  Get out of bed and make yourself a cup of tea, sit outside if the weather is nice and you have the space to do it, and just be.  Avoid thinking about what you have to do that day. Avoid letting worrying thoughts consume you.  If you find that they do, then take this opportunity to listen to this free Anti-Anxiety download I have written, which you can find here.  Not only will it set you up for the day ahead but it is a fantastic tool for managing your anxiety.

3) Do something creative

It’s ok!  You don’t have to do anything too complicated.  It could be baking, colouring in a mindfullness colouring book, bracelet making or, to take a leaf out of Stacey Solomon’s book, arrange everything in pots and label them! When we do something creative our brain waves slow down and we enter into a light state of hypnosis.  In this state we are actually switching off our thinking brains or ‘neo-cortex’ which is where fears are formed and naturally entering into a much more relaxed state of mind.  It can be even more helpful if you play your favourite music in the background and sing along!

creativity for helping anxiety during the Corona virus outbreak if pregnant I also do online hypnobirthing classes
How to help with anxiety around pregnancy and the corona virus

4) Get outside

Whilst it is so tempting to sit around in our PJ’s all day, it is a very easy way of getting stuck in a rut very quickly (well, ok then, the odd day is fine.) Vitamin D and fresh air are so vitally important for helping with our well-being.  Even if it is raining, bundle everyone up in their rain coats and go and splash in muddy puddles, or go on your own if necessary, for a walk.  Any form of exercise is going to get those endorphins flowing and endorphins = happy hormones! There is something so liberating and grounding about being outside too, and evidence shows that it can massively help with managing depression and anxiety.

5) If in doubt breathe out

Anyone who has attended any of my antenatal or hypnobirthing courses will have heard me say that breathing is the biggest tool in our box.  When we are anxious we release adrenalin (‘fight or flight’) because our sub-conscious things we are under attack and the adrenaline becomes necessary for us to be able to run away or fight our way out of danger.  Unfortunately, in most anxiety causing situations there is nothing to actually run away from and, certainly in the current situation, nowhere we can go so it stays in our bodies making us feel more and more hyper alert and more and more stressed.  By focussing on breathing out (i.e. making the out breath as long as you can before naturally allowing yourself to breath in again) you are actually triggering the ‘relaxation response’ which is the exact opposite of ‘fight or flight’.  You start to feel calmer, your muscles become looser, your heart rate slows down and all the blood and oxygen can get to your vital organs making you feel better!  This is a vital life-skill as well as being invaluable for childbirth.  If you would like to find out more about my online face to face hypnobirthing classes, please click here.

The importance of breathing for labour and birth and on line hypnobirthing classes