As we gear up for the arrival of our new baby girl, it’s no surprise that my anxieties and stressors are gearing up as well. I can be consumed by stress very easily, and I don’t handle stressful situations well (one of the main reasons I no longer work in a hospital…not for me!). Lately there have been an abundance of stress causing factors enter our life…primarily focused around our recent move. Moving while pregnant and caring for a toddler while being a SAHM during the week is not for the faint at heart. I knew it would be difficult but I don’t think I envisioned just HOW difficult. Being told I’m at risk for preterm labor and need to avoid all strenuous activity didn’t exactly help either. I’ve spent these past 8 weeks feeling completely and utterly useless while my house is in disarray!
That’s why when Nutrimom offered me a free one-on-one session a personal coach to discuss health and wellness, I was all in. Because I know this level of stress isn’t healthy, ESPECIALLY while pregnant.
Nutrimom is a custom nutrition and wellness program designed for moms, moms-to-be, specifically during the first 1,000 days of motherhood. Whether you’re browsing via desktop or through Nutrimom, it is a wealth of resources from Personal Coaching to tips on breastfeeding to healthy recipes and even nutrition products for mom and baby. So when I was offered the opportunity to give it a shot, I jumped at the chance! I was really looking forward to that one-on-one call with my personal coach!
My coach, Rachel, just like all Nutrimom coaches, is a Registered Dietitian trained in Early Life Nutrition. She is also a MOM. So she completely understood everything I was saying when I spewed out all of my stressors to her during our phone call. It felt so good to talk to someone who gets it and showed no judgement. I felt so comfortable talking to her about my current emotional state (I chose to discuss my stress because my diet isn’t an issue to me at the moment). She asked me about my goals and helped me formulate a realistic way to manage my stress. Realistic meaning she totally understood that I have minimal time for anything and didn’t push crazy interventions on me. I didn’t feel overwhelmed in the slightest bit. It actually felt GOOD to have gotten all of my emotions off my chest and have a set plan.
Here are a few suggestions we came up with on how to better manage my stress level:
After our call, Rachel sent me the MP3 of our conversation for me to refer back to if needed. We also set up for a follow up e-mail to see how I’m managing. Which is great because I need accountability!
- Set aside time for myself each day. This could be five minutes, ten minutes, or even a half hour. I’m writing it in my planner and making a point to stick to it. This could be time to simply sit in peace and quiet (which we all need as moms! Those moments are all too rare, am I right?), have a cup of tea, read a book, browse Pinterest, or do whatever allows me to fully relax and not think about my growing to-do list.
- Be realistic about that time. My mind is always about 5 steps ahead of where I’m at and I get stressed out thinking about everything I need to get done. During my conversation with Rachel, I told her that if I just sit and do nothing for a half hour, I will be thinking about my mile long to-do list and how I’m wasting precious time. That’s not relaxing for me! If anything its ADDING stress. I also have minimal time to myself (which is about to become even more minimal) so utilizing Landon’s naptime or even after bedtime for “me” time doesn’t seem entirely realistic because thats the time I carve out for blogging or housework. We both agreed that the best option for me is to wake up a half hour early, before Landon, and enjoy 30 minutes in peace and quiet to myself before I start my day. Then I won’t be thinking of my to-do list and will feel rejuvenated and ready to go once he wakes up.
- RELEASE THE GUILT. Oh my gosh, the guilt. I get so guilty doing anything for myself because i’m constantly thinking of what else has to get done. I think its safe to say most moms put everyone and everything before themselves….we’re usually last on the list! I’m such a huge advocate for self care and yet I’ve been slacking on it big time. I need to make it point to say its OKAY if the dishes are piling up in the sink or if a certain house project doesn’t get done in order for me to take 10 minutes for myself to put my feet up. And NOT feel guilty about it after!
I’ll be sharing more about my Nutrimom experience as I continue to work with my coach; we have already discussed an additional phone call once the new baby is here to talk about breastfeeding and nutrition for myself and baby girl! In the meantime, I’ll be focusing more on relieving my stress as I gear up for labor. Feel free to check in on me! 😉