Stress management tips

Stressed Woman

It is easy for parents to be overwhelmed and stress. There is a huge responsibility resting on our shoulders. Taking care of our children while keeping our employers or clients satisfied is not easy. On top of that we struggle to prevent major damage to our health. Good news is that not all stress is bad for us. Stress helps us to stay focused when we are facing an exciting challenge. What is most damaging is stress about stress.

 

Here are some tips from mental health experts that helped me. I hope you will also find them helpful.

  • Take action. We are less likely to be worried when we are focused on doing something. What specifically are you worried about? Are you worried about the reaction of your family or friends? Then find some reassuring stories on YouTube to gather the courage to talk to the people closest to you. You can count on those who love you to support you. Are you worried about finances? Check my tips here. Each worry overcome and each problem solved will make you stronger. Start with baby steps... I was scared to death, but I am fine now. You also can find your own peace and comfort.

 

  • Talk to a trusted friend or a family member. Ideally talk to someone who already has children. According to an Irish study, over 70% of parents support women in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Your parents have been through challenges similar to yours. They can help you to see your future as do-able and even enjoyable. It is important that you find a good listener. You need someone who can appreciate your concerns and meet you where you are. Avoid opening your heart to those who simply dismiss your concerns. We need to understand our anxieties before we are able to move on and act with some peace of mind. If you need more "thinking space" feel free to contact me. I understand that a pregnancy, especially an unplanned one, can cause a lot of stress. I am here to help, whatever your circumstances. You may also find some helpful relationships here

 

  •  Think about some of the biggest challenges in your past. How did you feel when you were facing them? Were you scared, but undeterred? How did you find your way through your biggest challenge? If you look back, was your level of anxiety proportional to the issue? Would it have made your life easier if you had had some distance from your worries? Take some time to reflect and understand what you are really worried about. We may try to suppress our worries, but they end up stealthily eroding our wellbeing. It may not be obvious what is really bothering you. For example, you may be worried about the financial side of having a baby. It is worth asking yourself why exactly you see this as a problem. You may discover that you are worried that you will suffer hardship or even homelessness. Once you have identified the root cause of your anxiety, look at it in an objective way. Who is there to help you with this specific problem? What people, social welfare, church or charities can support you? Journaling may be beneficial. The process of writing down your worries, in itself, helps to organise our emotions. 

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Proud Father
  • Be realistic and look at the bright side often. If you are scared, you probably see your problems as bigger than they really are. You may be  worried about your baby's health, for example. Look around you. How many healthy children do you see? You may be worried about all the challenges that might arise. Even then, you may still not be able to imagine the challenges that you will actually need to face. For example... I thought that something wasn't right with my breastfeeding. The nurses and doctors kept telling me to be happy, since my baby was thriving. Despite that, I felt that something was not right. I called a lactation consultant and she identified tongue-tie as the cause of my worry. A simple procedure solved the problem. Thank God  I decided to trust my instincts and turn to others for help. This is an example of a problem I could never have predicted, but I was able to solve it with the help of others. Most likely, your baby and yourself will be fine, despite occasional challenges. If you feel something is not right and especially if there is some evidence that supports this feeling , seek help. Otherwise... simply try to distract yourself and be happy, like those people in advertisements, or in Hollywood movies, if you can. I was worried about many things when I was pregnant. At some point, I simply decided to let go of my worries and trust that somehow all would be well. Just like that... a simple decision, allowed me to enjoy expecting my baby. Those perfect moments actually happen in real life. Go and search for those adorable baby clothes to cheer yourself up. You are worth it. If money is a problem, check some charities. Many people give away even new baby things.  

 

  • Take care of your health. This might be an obvious thing to say, but yet we often do not eat, exercise or sleep enough. Did you know that a diet poor in vegetables and high quality meat, but rich in processed food, could be contributing to your anxiety or depression? Educate yourself. Check your required daily intake of the main nutrients. Try to assess whether you meet these requirements through your diet. You may notice an instant improvement. Just like I did. Take vitamins recommended by your doctor. The healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be and the fewer infections you are likely to face. You may find more health tips here.

 

  • Meditate and pray. This can become your superpower. Once you have done what it is in your imperfect human power to do, take care of yourself and your baby. You can turn to your Creator to take care of the rest. The other way around is even better. Entrust yourself and your baby to God and find in Him the strength to do your part. After all, you co-create this baby. I received a lot of daily support from my Heavenly friends. I could not have done it without them. For example, when my labour was approaching, I was surprised to find that I was at peace over it. Each time when I looked at a picture that represented God the Father to me, I sensed a deep reassurance and peace. I decided to cling to this peace and I did not let myself doubt it, (most of the time). I must say that my labour was extraordinary and I experienced very little pain. No major complications. I told a nurse that I did not need painkillers the next day. She called me a "wonder woman".  To this day I consider it a miracle. If you need peace, find a quiet moment and look within yourself. Have a chat with God, just as you would with someone who loves you more than you love yourself. Invite Him into your soul.