Wow 2020 has brought uncertainty in the bucket load hasn’t it? This can be particularly unsettling if you are pregnant or a new Mum because you are already going through a colossal time of change and transition.
What strategies have you utilised to help you navigate the choppy waves of 2020 uncertainty?
Here are some of my ‘go to’ mindset strategies and tools that have helped me weather the storm so far –
1) Exercise. I don’t think I even owned a pair of running trainers pre March 2020 but this year has seen many of us dig deep and search for things to do to make ourselves feel better. I have found exercising first thing in the morning makes such a difference to my whole mindset for the rest of the day, even if it is just for 10 minutes. Moving my body by doing a home work out video gives me a sense of accomplishment and an amazing release of endorphins. By connecting with my physical body, I get out of my head and the negative spiral of ‘what if’ scenarios and focus on the here and now.
2) Writing things down. My notebook has been a game changer for me. I scribble down my thoughts, feelings goals and priorities. When the media is constantly bombarding us with negativity and fear, it can create a sense of helplessness and chaos. Writing down what is in my headspace, creates a sense of clarity and order. It demonstrates that I do have control and an ability to achieve the things that are on my priority list.
3) Pause and breathe in the ‘NOW”. Anxiety is usually caused by a fear of a future event. Whenever I catch myself feeling tense or anxious, I try to stop, breathe and think about my present situation. What is uncomfortable about the present moment? Or am I worrying about something in the future that hasn’t even happened yet? According to studies, 85% of the things that we fear will happen - never actually happen. Unfortunately when we feel anxious we are creating a story in our heads of a future scenario rather than focussing on the present moment. As humans, we are all going to experience a range of different emotions from time to time, it is natural, but when we get a surge of anxiety it is really helpful to try and combat it by pausing, breathing and just focussing on the now. To centre yourself in the present moment, try zooming your attention in on something really small that is in your eye line and let all other distractions go. It could be your baby’s little hand, something on the ground or even look at the rings on your fingers or at your shoes. Focus your attention on something (not your phone), pause and breathe.
4) Gratitude. Deliberately seeking out three things each day to be grateful for. This has become a habit that I love. It is more effective if you write down the three things each day in a journal so that you can easily reflect on them but sometimes just listing them in my head helps to centre me.
5) Podcasts. Listening to positive and motivational podcasts has been really helpful. By absorbing the energy of someone who is uplifting, I have found that my energy is enhanced and renewed.
Doing all 5 of these things most days has meant that I’m learning to deal with uncertainty more successfully. Our minds crave control and certainty; it’s just the way we are built as humans. With our day to day lives and future plans being so affected Covid, creating our own positive practices and routines gives us back that element of control that our brains so desperately desire.
I would love to hear what strategies you have used to keep you calm and focussed during this time. Also, please remember our Babies in Waiting closed Facebook Group for all of the parents who have attended our Hypnobirthing courses. Let's stay connected and stay positive.
(co founder Babies in Waiting)