How do you feel right now? If you feel anxious or stressed, is it just now and then, or has it become a way of life? If yes, feeling overwhelmed has consumed your life, it’s time to take a time out and adopt healthy habits to reduce stress. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your health and potentially your future baby. If you experience stress now and then, that is completely natural and does not appear to have any negative impact on health. Chronic stress, however, is toxic.
Anxiety and stress have been proven to be capable of negatively affecting you and can even impact your pregnancy. In fact, stress and anxiety can have such a profound affect on your body that it can even cause lifelong developmental issues in an unborn baby.
If you are currently trying to get pregnant, now is a great time to adopt daily habits to destress. Why? As long as there are no physical impediments, reducing stress can help you get pregnant faster. Second, it can help you have a healthier pregnancy and prevent preterm labor and third, it can help reduce the chances of affecting your baby’s emotional and developmental growth in a negative way.
Here is a list of things that you can do each day that will naturally lower your stress hormones and make you feel healthier.
- Laughing: have you checked out comedy podcasts? Or Youtube for funny videos? Here is a post we did that has some videos that will surely get a chuckle out of you.
- Cuddling: cuddling nearly has magic powers. Make time to cuddle with your hubby and animals if you have any pets.
- Sleep: ahh the power of sleep. If getting a full night's sleep isn’t happening for you or you don’t feel rested, try going to bed and waking up the same time every day. You can also try taking magnesium supplements and learn how to meditate in order to calm the wheels spinning in your mind.
- Water: some of us are awesome water drinkers and others, well not so much. Being dehydrated can make you feel sluggish. Carry a water bottle and stay hydrated.
- Gratefulness: don’t skip this one! Shifting your daily thoughts from what you don’t have to what you do have can change your life and help you endure tough times. We live in a culture of scarcity, which sets us up for dissatisfaction. Fight back and when your mind starts to think about things you don’t have, think about what you do have.
- Exercise: movement is medicine. No doubt about it. If you can’t exercise every day, make sure you are exercising at least 3 times a week.
- Fruits & Veggies: eating healthy can have profound effects on your mood and health. Make sure fruits and veggies are part of your daily diet.
- Omega-3’s: omega-3's have been found to elevate mood. A diet high in omega-3 essential fatty acids such as wild caught salmon, flaxseeds and tree nuts. Not a fan of eating fish? Try supplements high-quality fish-oil supplements.
- Breathing Deeply & Stretching: both can calm your flight or fight system down in less than 60 seconds. Standing and stretching often is especially important if you sit at a desk job.
Another potential source of stress is too much information. Try and limit stories and time online that increase stress and spend more time reading articles that inspire and relax you.
If you find that reducing stress is too hard on your own or you simply want to be in the healthiest state of mind possible, consider getting a therapist. They can give you techniques to help you manage such problems as toxic relationships, career stress and sleep disorders that you may not be able to tackle on your own. Getting help early on can also reduce your chances of postpartum anxiety.