Fighting the stress monster
I have a friend who gave up all his earthly possessions, moved to Thailand and retrained as a yoga instructor. Now his status updates on Facebook are all zen, like “I drank a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast, practised yoga on the beach and now I’m doing breathing exercises with the Dalai Llama. All before 8am!” Although I love him dearly, his status updates sometimes make me want to kick him in the yogurt. But it’s only because I’m jealous as hell.
Stress is most likely the number one reason it took us three years to get pregnant. Running a business is stressful. Unfortunately, running a successful business is even more stressful; it means you work darned hard and, because it’s your own business, you think about it constantly. Throw into the mix that I’m also a serial entrepreneur and you’ve got one stressed up preggo.
I’ve tried really hard to keep my stress levels manageable throughout the pregnancy. I don’t want little Abdul to come out of the womb with a nail-biting habit or as a mini-Woody Allen. Part of it has required an attitude adjustment – just avoiding people or topics that make me feel stressed out, or not letting “things” get to me. But I’ve also been proactively seeking out ways to help me concentrate on remaining calm. Here are just a few of the things I’ve done. Maybe they will help you, too:
- I sing in the shower. Mostly, Do-Re-Mi and other musical numbers, but I like to think it keeps us feeling groovy.
- Pre-natal yoga. I’ve been doing yoga at Gina Conway Salons and have really enjoyed meeting other preggos there. I’ve also met a new reflexologist, as my other reflexologists seem to keep leaving the country. Was it something I said?
- Reflexology. She comes, she rubs my feet. I fall asleep, I wake up an hour later.
- Listening to Tibetan Bells. The first time we put this CD on, James, the cats and I all fell into a coma. I’m considering bringing it into the birth room with me.
- Writing this blog. Sharing is caring. I think of it as a diary that everyone can read. If you want to start a blog, look at BritMums for advice (formerly British Mummy Bloggers) and WordPress to get started.
- Pregnancy massages. Again, I’ve been doing this at Gina Conway. They have a specialist masseuse with a table that has cushions to cradle the bump. I’ve been getting a massage once a trimester.
- Walking on the Common. Every chance I get, I head up to Wimbledon Common for a bit of communing with nature. I love a good tree. If only the Dalai Llama were there to do breathing exercises with me and give me a smoothie.
So that’s it. Have I always been successful at keeping stress levels down? No. But at least I’ve been aware of it and consciously trying to reduce it. Any other advice gratefully received (and “just chill out” doesn’t count).