I once read an article that suggested you treat yourself like you are pregnant for one week. When I first read the article I was like “WAHH? What the heck does that mean??” I didn’t get it. AT. ALL.
I get it now.
It’s all about practicing the art of self-care. I have found, since being pregnant, that I listen to my body much more than ever before. I pay attention to the aches, pains, tiredness, slowness, energizing moments, and fatigue. Now, more than ever, I have started to really put the art of self-care into practice. Perhaps because it is the 34 week or maybe because after 34 weeks, I finally get it.
Here are some things I have been doing lately to help with my own self care.
Practice saying “No thanks”. I have always been terrible at doing this. When someone needs a lending hand, or wants me to do something I almost always jump at the chance to help out in any way possible. However, lately, I have realized that by committing to everything that everyone asks I have put myself 2nd, 15th, and sometimes even last. Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t walk around saying no to everything that comes my way, but I am much more strategic about what I accept. I actually look at my calendar (never did that before- resulting in many guilty feelings of over booking). I determine what IS possible and what is not. Is it okay to bring the store-bought quinoa salad to the potluck or should I spend an evening making home-made quinoa? Answer- buy the store-bought and put it in your own container :)
Book those appointments. I sometimes forget how awesome my extended health care plan is… so awesome that they will pay for massage therapy, acupuncture, chiro, all the good stuff. So yes, I have been booking those appointments. Yesterday I went to my first pre natal massage session and it was awesome. Relaxing and relieving. Also, last week I had the chance to try out acupuncture for the first time. I only had an introductory 15 minute session, but as a result I slept the BEST I have slept in 8 months after that session. Hence, I have another session booked for Friday afternoon this week. Moral of this story? You don’t have to be sick or achy or in pain to go to these appointments, you just need to acknowledge that a little touch therapy can actually go a long way.
Take time for yourself. I know people say this all the time, but I can’t reiterate how important taking time for yourself is. Think of something you really enjoy doing and go do it. For me, it is walking and practicing yoga. If I don’t fit either of those activities into a week then I am one cranky lady. I need that outdoor time and yoga for relaxation and stretching. (Side note: I really HOPE I take my own advice after the baby is born). Also, remember that taking time for yourself can also include SLEEP. You need to take a nap vs. go for a run… take that nap. Listen to what your body is telling you.
You want it… eat it. Everyone says “oh you are pregnant you can eat ANYTHING”. Not really the case. Just because I am pregnant doesn’t mean I can eat anything and pretend like it isn’t going to go straight to my hips or thighs. However, what being pregnant has taught me is… if you are craving something- that Qoola frozen yogurt, a small DQ blizzard, a fruity muffin covered in sugar… well give into the craving and just go for it. I don’t do it every day, but when I acknowledge the craving and just go for it, it is off my mind and I don’t scrounge around the kitchen for something else to fill me up. I know this sounds completely counter intuitive to what everyone tells you re: dieting, and it is, but I guess what I am saying is stop feeling so damn guilty about eating something you are craving.
I am still learning this as I go along and to be honest, I am just having a moment of clarity this morning. It is a work in progress and everyday I have to remind myself to practice self care and being kind to myself.