Anxiety can be debilitating on a normal day for anyone; add the heightened level of hormones in pregnancy, and the fear of it being your first, we’ve got the formula for a struggling woman. The pressures of making very important life changing decisions in pregnancy, alongside the physical changes to your body, can simply dull the sparkle and cripple you physically if allowed to, it certainly did me.
During the first trimester of my pregnancy, an intense level of anxiety is something I felt daily. With a very healthy combination of raging hormones and morning sickness, my anxiety consumed me entirely. With all of the changes that my body had been going through, I blamed only the morning sickness and couldn’t understand why it was so awful! TV hadn’t prepared me for this. It wasn’t until several weeks later, where I found myself crying to a polite woman of The Samaritans helpline, that I realised my sickness was more than the standard morning sickness. I wasn’t even aware of what I felt, or realised my anxiety had manifested itself physically. Having done a lot of research and reading on anxiety, I realise now that anxiety stems from our natural instincts to protect ourselves when we feel in danger. Our coping mechanisms are all different and so are our anxiety symptoms to suit this.
What’s most important to remember, yet often the first thing to forget, is we are in control of our anxious feelings and can overcome this mental battle we quite often fight alone. So, I offer you my 3 tips on managing anxiety.
Remember to breathe
Whilst all of these negative thoughts are bouncing in your mind, and the focus is being placed on the physical sensations, we can get distracted from other natural instincts. The adrenaline can overshadow everything and the speed in which we breathe increases it’s pace causing your heart rate to feel like it’s trying to penetrate its way out of your chest. A lot of what you’re feeling can be managed just by taking a few nice, slow, calming breaths.
Speak to someone
Contact a trusted friend, family member or even a helpline and speak to someone to say the words out loud.. I found help calling NHS 111 or The Samaritans and sharing my concerns with someone impartial. The person on the other line does not know your story and does not judge, they are solely there listen to you and offer you comfort. Call 116 123. You could also contact your GP, who can have you referred to a councillor. Being pregnant puts you to the top of any waiting list and you’ll soon see someone in person.
Focus on your hobby
A great distraction from Anxiety can be to put your attention towards something that you enjoy. Whether it’s blogging, art or yoga, placing your positive energy towards something else that brings you joy, can psychologically help you get back to a manageable place.
Quite often pregnancy is portrayed as a glowing picturesque time, and though it is for many, it isn’t for all. It can also be a very stressful time, full of worry and concerns and that’s perfectly normal too. Remove your make-up, put on your cosiest dressing gown, and slow down. Using these tips, can help you to manage your anxieties and start to enjoy your journey to motherhood too.
Leave a comment down below of what works for calming your anxiety too.
Warmest, Fran x
I’m Fran, a pregnant wife and step-mother carrying my first child whilst fumbling my way through anxiety and mil-depression. Having experienced pre-natal depression (yes, it’s a thing) I dedicated my entire blog and social media presence to other mothers. I write about relationships, parenting, pregnancy and mental health to share my experiences in hope it starts a discussion and makes even one less woman feel alone. Find me at http://www.babyandanxiety.co.uk or @BabyandAnxiety x
Did you like this?
If so, why not sign up here to get new posts, news and great offers?