The day I started my maternity leave was the day everything went crazy in the UK with the coronavirus. People were advised to stay at home and that was ok. Yet, staying at home almost every day for an uncertain amount of time can really drive you crazy. If you’d asked me a few months ago what were my thoughts on staying at home for a full month without leaving the house I would have said “what an amazing thing! I would love it!” but I couldn’t be more wrong. I have been home for two weeks now (almost three) and I have left the house twice to quickly go to my appointments. It was literally driving me mad, specially when I was on my own and my husband was working from 7.30am till 9pm. I had to do something about it. I needed to move more, I needed to do even more and I needed to make sure I didn’t panic, remained calm and stayed focused. Here’s a few things I started doing to stay sane.
I have not worked out much throughout my pregnancy. During the first trimester I was too nauseous, during the second I always felt too tired and sleepy but this third trimester is actually when I’ve started feeling a bit more motivated and full of energy. Weird, I know.. it should be the trimester where you feel huge and can’t move but I am very lucky to have a small bump that still lets me sleep at night.
I had a couple of weeks where I was struggling with pain and was not able to do much. Luckily, that went away just in time for these times where I need to workout to feel good about myself! Staying at home doing nothing is not the way to go, for sure. So I decided to move. I try and do some classes I find on YouTube and even do my own workout routines with the weights and resistance bands I have at home and it feels great! All very pregnancy friendly.
Unwind, disconnect and breathe.
This one is key to your mental health. I have never meditated regularly and I still don’t but in times where life is way too stressful or I know that I need to quiet my mind a little bit, it is so useful. I normally go for guided meditations using Insight Timer (Iphone & Android) but these past few days I just sit outside if the weather allows. I listen to the births, the quietness, close my eyes and focus on my breathing. I never felt so lucky to live in this little village. I am so glad we moved here and we get to enjoy the peace that is really needed during these times. So take time to unwind, disconnect and breathe.
Take a break from the news
The first few days of being at home, I was on top of all the news and constantly updating myself on the number of confirmed cases and deaths. I was slowly going crazy about it and I did not realize. But at the time, I felt the need to be informed at all times. Now, I opt not to even look at it if I can. I swapped the TV for a book, reading some of my favourite blogs such as Beth Sandland or watching positive, happy programs that might be on. I do keep myself updated by watching the news at the end of the day as well as updating myself on the number of cases in the UK and Portugal. I feel a lot calmer and more relaxed doing it like this, my mind thanks me.
Binge Watch a TV Show
This is the time to keep up to all your favourite TV Shows. I watch Grey’s Anatomy and This is Us religiously so I am well up to date with those two. So I decided to restart one of my favourite ones: How I Met Your Mother. I absolutely adore it and would watch it over and over again. And there’s a plus: it’s so funny! So it brings that bit of joy to your day whilst helping you forget about what’s going on out there for a little bit. And it also stops you from watching the news way too much!
Skin Care Routine
For some it might sound stupid but sticking to my skin care routine as been a way of keeping my anxiety levels down. I love doing it morning and night – but I do admit that I easily skip the morning one whilst I am being really good with my night time skin care! I just love having that time to look after myself. This includes not only my facial skin care routine but also moisturising my body using the Aveeno Moisturiser and for my bump, the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter as well as applying foot and hand cream, you name it! I do it all! I have used the same products for my face for a whole year now and I honestly can’t live without them.
One of my favourite things has to be the facial roller! Mine broke a couple of days ago and I have already got another one on the way. You can read my face skin care routine more in detail here.
If you are like me and love a good ‘to-do list’, this is the time for you to use and abuse them! I have created one even before this started because I wanted to have a list of things to do before the baby was born and I just used that to keep my mind busy. It includes some house chores but also organising years of photos, creating my honeymoon album (I’ve ticked this one and it looks amazing!), buying some bits for the house to give it some finishing touches, whatever you like! Set some tasks or some goals and try to do at least one a day.
You also have another option: do a list of things to look forward to when all this settles! My friend gave me this idea and althought I haven’t done it yet, I am sure it helps us to stay positive and focused on what’s to come!
These are 6 of the things that have helped me to maintain a good mental health and stop me from crying everyday due to the crazy pregnancy hormones. What do you do to keep your anxiety levels down and your mind sane? I want to know it all!
*This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclaimer about affiliate links and PR gifting here.