Most of us are self-isolating at home during this difficult and uncertain time. For some of us that means working from home – often with increased pressure to work harder and longer hours than ever before. Perhaps you’re also juggling caring for your older children. (High five Mummas, I see you … I have 3 kids at home right now!) Or perhaps you’re no longer working, so you’re worrying about money and wondering what to do with your time now before baby comes along? Either way, everything feels a bit surreal and unsettling.
We’re going through a massive period of change and adjustment which is affecting all our lives. It’s easy to feel stressed out, depressed and moody. And then you feel guilty, because you know that stress isn’t good for you, and it’s not good for your baby either. But you’ve had most of your usual forms of relaxation and mood boosters taken away – you can’t go out, can’t meet up with friends, can’t go to your favourite yoga class or gym.How can you stay calm, relaxed and positive during the lockdown?Here’s 8 tips to help you improve your mood and release stress:
Tip 1: Take Yoga Lessons Online
Yoga is a mind-body practice, renowned for it’s mood-boosting and stress-busting effects. Several studies have highlighted the effects of yoga on mood. In 2005, German researchers asked a group of ‘emotionally distressed’ women to undertake three hours of yoga a week for three months and saw a 50% improvement in depression, 30% in anxiety and 65% improvement in overall wellbeing
We like to think of yoga as movement made mindfully, aligned with breath. When you combine these things together you have a powerful recipe for stilling your mind, anchoring you in the present and connecting you with your body while you lengthen and strengthen it.Unlike following a YouTube video, our live virtual yoga classes allow you to connect with our team of qualified teachers, so you can feel confident and relaxed you’re being watched and kept safe, have your questions answered and seek guidance in any yoga pose. Teaching pregnancy yoga online is quite a skilled niche, so it’s essential you find a highly experienced and qualified teacher who can keep you safe.If you’re a bit of a procrastinator, livestream yoga classes are definitely the way to go! Because they happen at a particular time, it’s like having an appointment to keep, which adds structure to your day and the accountability to actually get the class done! We live stream daily prenatal yoga classes online (some days we even have multiple classes!) so there’s bound to be a class that suits your schedule.Another thing we love is being able to see and talk to other pregnant women before and after the online prenatal yoga class. This sense of community really helps with mental health.
Tip 2: Meditate
If meditation is one of those things you’ve been meaning to ‘get into’, now is the perfect time! All you need is 5 minutes, a bit of quiet and your breath. Simply find a comfortable seated position and observe your breath as you breathe in and out. Meditation is an important part of each and every one of our online pregnancy yoga classes, or you can download a free app like Headspace for guided meditations.
Tip 3: Say Positive Affirmations
You can build affirmations into your daily routine or meditation practice. Affirmations are great for helping set your mind in a positive direction. Example are “I am healthy, happy and pregnant!”, “I breathe in peace, I breathe out and surrender” and “I create peacefulness within and around me”. Affirmations serve as a big reminder that everything is going to be OK and to stop the negative self-talk. They also inspire and instil a sense of hope; I find them incredibly motivational.
“Yoga can and does change the way you show up and respond to the world. We are nicer. We are happier. We are more ‘us’”.
Tip 4: Eat well
It’s tempting to reach for chocolate and chips during times of stress (and, let’s face it, it’s tempting during pregnancy even when there’s not a global pandemic). Your body and mind will thank you more for making smarter choices. Eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies each day and drink plenty of water.
Tip 5: Dance, play and laugh
Having kids teaches us to reconnect to our inner child, but why wait until then? After all, who doesn’t want to be a fun Mum? Put on some funky music and dance like no one is watching. Have a dance-off with your partner. Play hide and seek, kick a ball, or crack out the board games. Get the oxytocin flowing by watching a funny movie, telling jokes or doing some laughter yoga (yes, it’s a thing).
Tip 6: Sleep
Afternoon nap, anyone? Good sleep is one of the pillars of health but it seems to get more elusive the more your belly grows. Enjoy the opportunity to sneak in a quick nap during your lunchbreak. Your sleep bank will thank you for these extra naps when your baby arrives! If you find it hard to relax into a nap, try some yoga nidra instead, or put on our Guided pregnancy relaxation
Tip 7: Connect (virtually)
One of the cool things that’s come out of the lockdown is people re-connecting and embracing new ways of communicating. Using Zoom for virtual meetings (and virtual yoga classes) has become the new normal. I for one am grateful for the technology that allows us to teach you pregnancy yoga at home.
And I just love seeing all the faces of pregnant women, and being able to chat before and after class. Community is still important – nobody should feel isolated even when we are observing social distancing. So pick up the phone and call your Mum or message an old friend. It will make both of you happier.
Tip 8: Get creative
Did you always want to learn how to knit or sew? Now’s the perfect time to whip up some baby booties or a cot blanket! Cook up a storm and stock up the freezer with homemade meals (hint: you’ll be super grateful you did this when baby comes along!) What about painting a picture to hang in the nursery? Or starting a pregnancy journal that your baby will treasure?
Above all, remember the classic motherhood mantra which will also serve you well in the early years of parenting – this too shall pass. The lockdown won’t last forever and life will return to ‘normal’ soon.Until then – stay safe, stay relaxed and happy. We’re all in this together.
Prepare for your best birth with virtual prenatal yoga classes.