The holidays are an exciting time full of magic, excitement, and a to-do list that seems to grow longer by the day. Although this season brings the opportunity to make beautiful memories, it leaves little time for self-care. If you’re pregnant this season, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Keep reading for some safe and affordable ideas.
If you are currently pregnant, you don’t need to be told that pregnancy can be tiring and even downright exhausting. Even if it is just a quick ten-minute power snooze, taking a nap can help you and your growing baby stay energized throughout the day. In addition, naps can boost your immune system to ward off any illness you may be exposed to, and recent studies have shown that regular napping is linked to healthier birth weight. So find a couch, a bed, or maybe even your car because you have the perfect excuse to catch up on some Zzz’s.
If your obstetrician clears you for exercise, then now is the perfect time to get your body moving. Studies show that just 150 minutes of exercise a week during pregnancy has countless benefits. During stressful times, getting that blood pumping a little more than usual can boost your immune system, create more energy, enhance your mood, lead to better quality sleep, and the list goes on. Even a simple 30-minute walk can do the trick.
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for optimal health no matter who you are, but it is even more critical during pregnancy. The holidays create a minefield of treat and snack traps everywhere you turn, making healthy eating an even more difficult task than usual. Between neighbors dropping off cookies, coworkers sharing their baking treats, and countless parties flooded with tables full of noshes, it is too easy to abandon all wholesome eating efforts. Try to stick to the 80/20 rule, allowing 80% of your daily food intake to come from whole, nutrition-rich foods but leave room for 20% of your nibbles to be fun seasonal treats. Be extra mindful if you have gestational diabetes, hypertension, or other conditions that certain foods may affect you.
Social media is terrific for seeing what friends from the past are up to or even sourcing ideas for festive holiday merrymaking. Still, the endless cheerful posts can make even the most confident person feel “less than.” So do your mental health a favor and take a break from social media during this time. Forgoing the endless scrolling through “perfectionism” will not only give your mind a break, but it will also free up some time for you to do something more beneficial such as reading a new book, watching a holiday movie, baking some holiday treats to share, or taking that ever-so-necessary nap.
Staying hydrated is commonly the first self-care tip to go by the wayside when things get busy. But, whether you feel you don’t have enough time for a restroom break (you do!) or your water bottle has been empty since mid-morning and you haven’t had a second to refill, now is not the time to forgo the water. Getting ample water is essential all the time, but even more so during pregnancy. Water is critical to support the building of tissues, blood, and amniotic fluid your unborn baby needs. It is also helpful for carrying vital nutrients to you and your baby and flushing toxins out of your body.
As you can see, there are various simple, safe, and affordable ways to ensure that mom-to-be is taking moments for self-care this holiday season. In addition, be sure to keep your scheduled doctor appointments. Lastly – and arguably most importantly – listen to your body. If you feel it is time to slow down, take a minute. And while you’re at it, drink your water.