Something that can help sustain or improve mood can be a simple, flexible routine that offers a bit of structure and reassurance. This could involve writing down a daily schedule and putting it somewhere where you can easily refer to it. Of course, if you have children or a baby, your routine can be shaped around any routines that you may be making for them, however loosely.
To help fill your schedule, you could first make a list of mental, physical and social activities to choose from (see below for some top tips and ideas). Then, if possible, add a mix of these activities to each day, as this can be beneficial to adults, children and babies.
Please remember that it is okay if your plans for an activity or even your whole day have to change or don’t work out. Try your best to be flexible and be kind to yourself.
To help manage and reduce any low moods or anxiety, you may find the following helpful:
1. Try to catch specific thoughts that may be making you feel low. Look for what’s going through your mind while you are feeling anxious or upset.
2. Check whether these thoughts are indeed accurate, healthy and compassionate for you.
3. If not, try to replace these thoughts with more accurate, healthy and compassionate ones.
4. Try to remind yourself to do this whenever you realise you’re having these thoughts.
Another good strategy is to consider what you would say to a good friend if they were having the thoughts you are having. This is because we often talk more harshly to ourselves than we do to our friends.
You could also try simple free online therapy for mums or mindfulness to help improve your mental wellbeing. Often it is not possible to completely remove or replace unhelpful thoughts. But you can learn ways to live with them or soften them slightly, without reacting to them.
It may also help to remind yourself that you are not alone. Most pregnant women and new mums will be having similar thoughts to you at the moment. That’s because everyone’s plans for their pregnancy, labour, delivery and early days with their baby are likely to have changed in some way because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finally, some good things, some real silver linings, may have come out of this extraordinary time. If that’s the case, enjoy and cherish them. However, if you feel like there are no positives, don’t worry. Just be as kind to yourself as possible.
If you are feeling anxious and / or have low mood, this can seem overwhelming at times. However, if there’s something you know you can do to alleviate these feelings a little bit, no matter how small, it can often help and make things more bearable.
So if you feel up to it, try to think of things you can realistically change or do to make you feel less worried or upset. If this requires help, try your best to ask for this help, whether it’s from someone you live with, a person you can contact, or an organisation that can offer support.
If you do try to change or do something but find it too difficult, don’t worry. Simply move on to the next thing on your list and attempt that instead. Any small wins you achieve, no matter how trivial they may seem, will be worth the effort.
Some of the ways pregnant women and new mums can improve their overall health to help improve their mental health are:
The constant flow of news and social media can make us all feel a little overwhelmed. This potential excess of information may be causing you additional worry and anxiety.
If you feel overwhelmed try to only access the information you and your family need to stay informed. This could involve you setting specific times to go online to seek information, or only watching certain news programmes.
It may also help if you only access information from reliable sources. To help you do this, we have provided the following links:
Doctors, midwives and health visitors are ready to support you if you need help with your mental health.Worried you or a loved one are unwell? Find out what to do >