With stressful and fearful events taking place right now in the United States and across the world, aired daily on the news and online, it's likely that people of all races, ethnicities, and genders -- some significantly more than others -- are experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, worry, and upset. If you happen to be pregnant during this time, and feel the affects and stress from current events, we are providing some measures you can take to try and reduce your stress.
Unplug for a while. It's not that you should ignore what's happening or do nothing about it, but it can be immensely helpful and necessary for stress reduction to unplug from media outlets for a period of time. Turn off the TV, and stay off of social media and the internet altogether. Fill the time you would otherwise spend consuming media with reading a good book or magazine, or talking with a friend or loved one.
Find a qualified therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. Sometimes stress from events is more than we can handle. Talking with someone who is trained to help will help you cope. This is especially true for those who are triggered and experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges.
Self care. Find ways to slow down, give yourself breaks, and take time to care for yourself. That could mean taking a yoga or meditation class, attending a church service or spending time in prayer, getting a pedicure, taking an extra nap, spending time exercising or walking, getting out in nature, or doing nothing at all. Listen to your body and mind's needs and try to fulfill them when possible.
Find the helpers among your loved ones. The famous quote by Mr. Rogers says to "look for the helpers" in times of stress and danger. So it goes for yourself -- who around you can help? Who will surround you with love and help provide a mental break? Spend time with those people.
Journal. The act of writing out your thoughts and feelings can help you better process your emotions, and provide a way to "offload" the heavy things you're carrying around.
You are not alone! Realizing that there are others out there who are pregnant and experiencing similar stress can help. Social media can be a way for you to connect with other like-minded pregnant people who are trying to cope with stress. You can also find community with other parents in a group childbirth class.
Remember the basics. Getting enough water, food, sleep, and human connection throughout the day is critical to your health and well being. If nothing else, strip down to these basics and devise a plan meet each of these needs.