Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pregnancy Advice: 5 Tips For Preventing Burn-out

It seems like things have gotten really "serwious" around these blog parts lately... as my four-year-old would say. So I'm going to lighten things up a bit around here at last.  I want to talk about Tips for Avoiding Pregnancy Burn-out. Because why forgo a baby because you don't want to be pregnant?  Approximately half of my pregnancies have involved Summer, and by now, I've learned that I without a good plan in place.  Without these five things, I know I would burn out.  Even if you are not pregnant, I think this is still a good question: what can you do in your life to make you less stressed and more at peace {when you're pregnant/nursing/stayingupallnite/tired}? The answer? Less!

Slow it down and cut yourself a break. Ask your husband to pick up (paleo, gluten-free, or whatever you might need) take-out. You are carrying a new person, and wearing yourself out with perfectionism is not the answer! Don't become lazy- that's not what I'm advocating.  Laziness isn't the answer when we're talking about staying healthy. But slowing down and taking it easy, at least every once in a while? That's a good thing. That is what I'm talking about.  During this current pregnancy, I had a serious health condition, called a subchorionic hemorrhage, with several side effects causing strain and exhaustion on me... and yes, there were side effects that impacted my husband. One thing I have learned after having had four babies successfully and one on the way, particularly with health complications, is that you can't do it all, nor should you try to! What are some practice ways that you can slow down during your pregnancy and find some additional peace and restfulness? (Other than the all-natural, no-sugar diet that you are sure to fail- or at least cheat at- that is so heavily advocated and is so heavily trending?!)

1. Don't wear yourself out...

... take a (power) nap in the sunshine.
Vitamin D is very good for you and baby. Get vitamins the natural way. Eat healthy, get outside, get lots of rest, and you won't be as worried about bunch of extra supplements, and fancy homemade herbal baths, or anything else, beyond your healthy diet and some Pre-Natal vitamins!

2. Get away from TV, magazines, or the internet, where images can create comparison problems and inhibit your inner joy...

... choose IRL friendships, playdates, and Girls Night Out with friends.
The answer is not more subscriptions to more magazines! Nor is it more episodes of self-help TV or a better selfie!  You might start thinking you need to replace every item in your living room with something that costs five times as much, while you're replacing everything in your pantry with something that costs three times as much because you just made in your Chemistry Lab. You might think your perfectly tidy house is disgusting and ugly because of envy. Get some space from these things, because they are sure to end up in strife, which actually isn't healthy! Instead, spend real time with real Moms, and you'll see that the "perfect parent trap" and the "perfect house trap" just aren't true. They're a myth. Good conversation is a salve to the soul.

3. Don't eat junk food...

... love your body and take care of it.
Focus on inner peace, inner joy, and inner calm.  These things do not have to come from a successful DIY of homemade body butter to decrease stretch marks or a homemade larabar! Instead do me a favor-- take five minutes to look in the mirror and think- Wow! I was created by God for a specific purpose! I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Remember, that self-concept has to come from within! Believe good things about yourself, eat healthy, and get some rest! These are sure to improve your body image.

4. Don't feel like you have to go to the gym everyday....

... either take a hike, or a walk, or do some simple workouts at home.
Get a lot of good exercise in on the weekend, and cut yourself some slack by doing something simpler each weeknight. I have found the 7 minute workout, and lots of walks, to be lifesavers this pregnancy! It is doable. Getting your heart rate up by scrubbing the sink, toilet, and bathtub is a workout. When you're pregnant, that's a definite workout. Let's be honest... walking up the stairs is a workout when you're pregnant (gasps for air).

5. Don't "do it all," and especially not by yourself...

... carve out good boundaries.
It takes effort to line up help, or to make a game plan with your husband to maximize teamwork in the legwork of making a home. However, the work that you do in order to delegate all that is on your shoulders is absolutely without compare!  Not having good boundaries in the area of "doing it all," or trying to be perfect, or trying to be the perfectly pregnant person who "has it all together" is not only dangerous, it is not going to in the end produce a healthy kiddo. If you're trying a million DIY's on Pinterest, trying to be the healthiest pregnant mama you can be, stop.;) I know how hard it is to give up sugar from my experiences all of my life with Lent! Don't lie or boast about your diet, because you are probably shooting yourself in the foot, with burn-out, comparison, and envy... rather than helping that baby grow.  That will inhibit your ability to parent well. Take it from this Mama of four-- healthy boundaries, moderation, and delegation will be lifesavers in the long run- in addition to being well-fed and on a {really} healthy diet.

Adding my link to Rachel today!

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