PRACTICAL WAYS TO CREATE SPACE FOR YOURSELF DURING PREGNANCY
When you find out your pregnant, everything changes. Life takes on a whole new meaning, you are carrying another one inside your body. Regular situations take on a new weight as you realize that whatever is affecting you is affecting your baby. In this post I offer 13 practical ways to create space for yourself during pregnancy. I had to learn to use these during my own pregnancy to help keep me from feeling completely lost or overwhelmed (see more on this here). These practical tips helped me find balance.
Mama, pregnancy is a piece of work, but you’re a tough cookie. If you follow my list you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying this special experience instead of loathing it.
1. Design a Space for Yourself
I am a designer at heart, so I know how an environment can affect your mood and mentality. Take some time out to organize a spot for yourself inside or outside your home. Maybe your favourite area is your garden, or a nook in your bedroom, maybe the bathroom or the kitchen. Paint it, decorate it, make it comfy. Make it an area where you can take a mini retreat whenever you need to.
Trust me, as you progress through the trimesters, you will want this spot to be as comforting and relaxing as possible. So create it, make it unique and make it yours.
2. Book Time Out For Yourself
Write it in your agenda, make a note of it on your phone. Schedule out a block of time (at least weekly) for yourself where you get to do something relaxing; something that helps you be at peace. Whatever you do, make sure its a positive addition to your life.
This time is not to binge-watching Netflix or YouTube. Those tend to be time-thieves and creativity-robbers. Create a home spa experience for yourself, listen to some classical music or express yourself through some type of creative outlet. Additionally, you can choose one of the ideas mentioned below (which do not include screen time) and utilize the time you’ve scheduled for yourself wisely.
3. Book Time Out For Your Friends
Having friends during pregnancy is beneficial for your health. Good friends are great at helping alleviate stress, being a steady foundation through mood swings and giving expert advice based on their knowledge of your patterns and their love for you.
It is important to make time out to meet up with friends or even just chat with them on the phone.. Having those heart-to-heart talks will help get you through the hard days. And that extra supportive boosts make the good days so much better.
4. Take a Social Media Break
Social media has a sneaky way of becoming a comparison vacuum. If you fall into that suction tube, you can easily feel that you are never enough. The constant comparison of your life to the best pictures of another person’s life is exhausting. On top of that social media is always throwing news your way (often times more bad reports than good). Because of the technology we live around, social media can easily leak into hours of your day and steal more than just time, it can take away your peace.
Taking a social media break can help bring you back into a positive mental space. Take a break for as long as you need. Right now priorities are very important and you want to make sure that yours are set properly as you bond with your baby prenatally.
5. Have Loving Conversations With Your Spouse
After the initial sparks of being with your significant other have balanced out, its easy to forget the importance of having deep conversations. Having these conversations help keep you in the know with what your spouse is thinking, or dealing with. Loving conversations is when you speak positively to each other, appreciating each other’s time, patience and commitment.
Taking time out to sincerely encourage each other really goes a long way and those are words you both can go back to when you find yourselves facing difficult situations. Having loving conversations sets the environment for open verbal reflection. It also helps bring peace into the relationship and into the pregnancy as your significant other plays an important role through this journey.
6. Intimacy with Your Spouse
Making love during pregnancy has many benefits. Firstly, it helps you mama, still feel like a sexy woman (especially during that third trimester), who is loved and wanted by her man. Secondly, it helps your body relax, and you can also practice kegels throughout, which will better prepare you for giving birth. Thirdly, intimacy with your spouse helps you bond emotionally with them. Pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster, Having someone who you are connected to who is supportive and there for you can make the experience so much better!
Early in the morning, or before you go to bed at night, take some intentional time out in your cozy nook (see #1) to meditate. Centering your thoughts on positive sayings, Scripture or affirmations will help create space for you emotionally and psychologically. Take deep breaths and find that calm that you need.
8. Focus on Peaceful Thoughts
I separated this point from #7, because you will not always find time to meditate in any moment you need it. But if you are facing challenging situations, you should be able to take a few seconds to focus on a peaceful thought to help you make the right decision and move forward.
Some peaceful thought prompts:
“I refuse to stress about any situation that comes my way.”
“I will make smart decisions that are not solely based on my emotions.”
“I can successfully deal with this problem.”
“I will overcome this challenge.”
“Today is still a good day.”
“I have the strength I need to face the day.”
Check out this blog post for more calming pregnancy affirmations.
Invest time into journaling. Writing down your thoughts and feelings will lead you to reflect on your triggers, reactions, challenges and successes. Journaling will help you notice your thought patterns and tendencies. It is easier to work on bettering yourself when you know where your weaknesses are.
Honest reflection also gives you different perspectives as you take time to see things from other people’s point of view. Writing is so therapeutic and can help you deal with an overflow of thoughts when you are facing a busy time in your life.
10. Get Into a Good Book
So, I LOVE reading! Sometimes when I need to take time out and make space for myself, I just get comfortable in my favourite spot in my home and read a good book. Find a book that speaks to you. Often times you can really get inspired by the messages that the author brings out in a novel. Enjoy the read and enjoy the occasional break from reality!
11. Get Comfy Clothes
Talk about making space! This is for a literal reference. Stock up on comfortable clothes for your growing body. Trust me when I say it is NOT fun sweating it out in tight pants and a sticky top. My sister-in-law leant me maternity clothes when I entered into the second trimester. Do a group share with your friends and enjoy the journey!
12. Do Yoga
There are plenty of prenatal videos on the internet that you can find here. Doing yoga helps you to become mindful about the positioning of your body and breathing techniques that help you stay in a calm state of mind. Additionally, yoga helps prepare your body for birth as you practice relaxing and gentle stretches.
13. Go Out for a drive or walk
When things get crazy, a change of scenery can always help provide you with a change of perspective. Creating space may mean getting out in nature and taking a breath outdoors to help clear your mind and settle your emotions.
If things get crazy, don’t feel that you have to bottle up what you are feeling. Try the above practical tips and create healthy space for yourself and your baby. Better yet, don’t wait until things get crazy to utilize these 13 tips. Put them into practice and enjoy the benefits of having a pregnancy where you have space to think, breathe and be.
Have more practical tips? Feel free to add them in the comment section below!