• Jocelyn Ragukonis

Ways to Destress

One of the most rewarding experiences of starting Bira.ai has been speaking with new mothers from all walks of life. No two stories of pregnancy, delivery, and life with a newborn are the same. However, the one aspect that binds all mothers together at any stage, regardless of what their backgrounds or lifestyles may be is stress.

At first, this sounded quite obvious, so I took the time to conduct some research. I found a load of very interesting ways that women have overcome their stress during motherhood. Many of these seem to overlap, but after speaking to different moms, reading reviews, and watching an embarrassing amount of hours of videos, I’ve compiled the three seemingly most effective methods of reducing stress and how to implement them successfully.


Exercise


A majority of various forums and website cite this, however, according to my research, a large majority of moms forgo the exercise because they either can’t find the time to squeeze in a workout or have difficulty finding a workout regimen suited for them. The American Pregnancy Association states that the recommended amount of exercise is about 30 minutes per day. The benefits of exercising while pregnant are endless; from reducing aches, improving mood and energy, promoting easier sleep, and aiding in labor.

Implementation Tips: If thirty minutes is too long and finding a regimen is too difficult -- stick to the basics and break it into increments. Two sets of fifteen-minute walks through the park or three ten-minute short stretches are easier than a difficult thirty-minute weight session!


Meditation/Practicing Proper Breathing Techniques


I’ve combined these two as they seem to go hand-in-hand. I’ve been recommended meditation and “to breathe in and out” during stressful situations and it never seemed to work. I often felt more stressed than before! However, after research and with a little insight from my boyfriend, who has meditated most of his life, I felt that it was appropriate to write a quote from him here. “Proper meditation is to sit down and focus on the moment between breaths. Relax your body -- you don’t need to be in a lotus position or on a mountainside. Just sit, close your eyes, and focus on the spaces between an inhale and the exhale. You’ll find your breathing slows easier. Don’t be upset if you stare down and only three minutes have passed. That’s three more minutes than most people put into it!”

Implementation Tips: Sit in a comfortable position with eyes closed, try to focus on the space between exhales and inhales, and take as long as you need until your breathing has become steadier and slower.


Journaling


The standard form of journaling may prove to be difficult for many. However, Youtube vlogs, podcasts, and forum posts are all arguably modern forms of journaling! If pen to paper or fingers to a keyboard don’t seem feasible with regards to time, consider recording audio clips of your feelings during the day or filming short videos. A mom I spoke to recently said that she began recording short snippets of audio recording throughout her day just to destress. “I find it relaxing just to talk. I used to delete them after recording them, but I’ve recently just left them. I wish I hadn’t deleted them! My earliest one is from the start of my second trimester and oh boy if only she had known what I know now! It’s nice to see my growth as a mom in a way.”

Implementation Tips: Find the most comfortable format of journaling -- the conventional paper and pen, audio recordings, or short videos. Stick with it!

Stress affects all of us and no one more than new and expecting mothers. Hopefully, these tips will help to better implement the various forms of de-stressing. Just like no two stories are alike among moms, your way of reducing stress will be different from others. Try to find what works for you and once you find it, I hope you find yourself at peace in your most needed moments.

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