The Simple 4-step guide to avoid feeling overwhelmed

Pregnancy brings a lot of emotions. One of the most common is a feeling of being overwhelmed. As your body changes and your belly grows, you will most likely find that tasks that use to be simple now require a lot of work. The best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to incorporate the following strategies into your lifestyle. I want you to have a great pregnancy experience!

Sleep!

I added an exclamation mark because, if you are like me, adding extra sleep into the schedule is a challenge. Fatigue was one of my first symptoms before I even thought I was pregnant. I required a break while putting away laundry, while cooking, even while watching a movie. My husband was wondering what was wrong with me!

When I found out I was pregnant I had to learn to let my body and mind rest, and to give my extensive to-do list a break (which I will talk about later). Have you just found out you’re pregnant? Check out my post about 3 things you need to do here!

Most doctors recommend that pregnant women should try to get 8-10 hours of sleep per night. That might seem like a lot, but think about how much work your body is doing to create and develop a new human! Feel free to take short naps during the day, but try to keep them to about 40 minutes so that your sleep at night is not disturbed. For more tips on sleep check out this article!

Additionally, if you are not really feeling the extra naps, try to carve out time in your day to rest. Just rest. That means sitting quietly in meditation, or lying down with an eye mask on, or just doing gentle, slow stretches and deep breathing. Give your body time to take that much needed break. 

Be good to your body (and baby) and your body will be good to you. When you have made a point of getting adequate rest everyday, you will have more energy to deal with challenges as they come without feeling overwhelmed.

Exercise

Exercising is a well-known stress-reliever. Need some ideas for fun ways to relieve stress? Check out this post.

During my first trimester I had a bleeding scare so I toned down my kickboxing workout to prenatal yoga and regular walks. Now that my son is born I do more walking and the greener the scenery, the more refreshed I feel.

When you are feeling the pressure, going for a walk in nature, doing yoga, or doing your regular workout can really help clear your mind. Try changing up the scenery and do your indoor workout outside. 

Along with helping you avoid feeling overwhelmed, exercising during pregnancy has the following benefits:

So try it and create a time for regular (safe) exercise as part of your routine right from the first trimester of your pregnancy. Want some more pregnancy-safe exercise ideas? Check out this article.

Talk It Out

Its crazy to think about the amount of thoughts we have in our mind and the amount of assumptions we make about people or our situations. When you keep your questions, doubts or concerns harboured inside your head, you can easily fall into the downward spiral of feeling overwhelmed. Want to stop the cycle? TALK.

I don’t like telling people how I truly feel, but I’ve had to bite the bullet and do it, especially during pregnancy. I had many honest conversations with my husband because he needed to know how I was feeling. Like I said before, your man does not actually know what you are thinking. You need to help him out. Having those discussions takes the guesswork out of your relationship and sets realistic expectations.

Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. I think its wise to fill in the people who are closest to you when it comes to sharing your pregnancy; especially if this your first time. Letting them know what’s going on takes away their doubts as to perhaps your behaviour, or fatigue, or why you no longer want to eat their food.

Having a discussion about feeling overwhelmed during pregnancy with your manager or co-workers might be a conversation you want to save for the second trimester. However, if your work environment is getting crazy, I advise you to talk to your manager right away. They can’t fire you for being pregnant. Check the American laws on Pregnancy Discrimination here. Look at the Canadian Policy of Pregnancy and Human Rights in the Workplace here. Be honest (and professional) about how you approach this conversation.

I had to talk to my manager as I entered into my second trimester of pregnancy because I was feeling overwhelmed. I let her know what I could and could not do and what I needed help with. I tried to do my best with the skills I had. Putting in your best effort is equally as important as being honest with your employer.

Have a Realistic To-Do List

I admit, I’m addicted to To-Do lists. As a working mom, having my To-Do list keeps me on track to accomplishing my daily goals. During my first trimester of pregnancy I was not smart with my To-Do lists. They were unrealistic and overflowing with work that I just could not get done in one day.

For you to avoid feeling overwhelmed and still feel like you are slaying your goals everyday, I recommend that you cut your To-Do list down to size. Focus on one goal for say, 3-4 categories. For example:

By keeping it simple, you will be able to check off each of your items and feel much more productive throughout each day. Breaking down big projects into manageable steps helps you avoid that burn out that comes with feeling overwhelmed.

Confidence Looks Good On You

Add these strategies into your life daily and be confident. Don’t feel bad when you take time out to rest. Don’t feel like you owe an explanation to anyone for why your To-Do list looks so small. You need to take care of you and your baby. Trust me, focusing on your mental and physical health will pay off. Besides, who wants to go through pregnancy feeling overwhelmed? Not me. 

Need some more tips for a fear-free, stress-free pregnancy? Check out these blog posts here and here.

You can do it, Mama!

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