It’s so easy to get stressed over the holidays, even if you aren’t pregnant! There is all the decorating and baking to do, people to entertain and visit, and so many parties and social obligations! Stress isn’t only bad for you, it can increase the risk of premature birth and cause other problems. Here are some tips for taking it easy and avoiding stress during pregnancy over the holiday season.
Tips for Avoiding Stress During Pregnancy Over the Holidays
You can tire so easily while you’re pregnant. Walking around a busy, stressful shopping mall with a belly everyone bumps into may just do you in. Shop on your seat instead of your feet! Do some online shopping or host (or attend) a home party, to sit down, relax, and get people crossed off your list. And don’t forget the baby things you will soon need – use this handy baby shopping list.
Simplify this year! Put out just your absolute favorites. You don’t have to put everything out just because it’s there – leave it in the box! This cuts down on setup and take-down work, as well as all that dreaded dusting.
Attend or hold a cookie exchange. Bake a triple batch of just one type of cookie and take away a variety of cookies shared with friends! If your due date is imminent, pick up some wonderful goodies at the local bakery, or put up your feet and let your spouse or children loose in the kitchen.
If you’re usually the hostess this time of year, consider letting someone else do the work, even if it’s doing the cooking for you in your own home. Should you decide to host, use pretty, Christmas-themed paper plates, cups, and disposable cutlery. If you absolutely can’t in good conscience use throw-away dishes, make sure you arrange a volunteer to do the dishes afterward, whether it’s a family member or a friend, so you don’t have to reach over your ever-increasing belly!
Family and Friends
Are certain family or friends stressful to be around? You don’t have to visit people who contribute to your stress level! You don’t have to invite them over either. Give them a quick call on your way somewhere, or send them a nice card. But do invite those people over that you know wouldn’t mind helping you lug the laundry up and down the stairs in exchange for a cup of tea.
Make sure you get plenty of rest and take opportunities to put your feet up! Remember you don’t have to say “yes” to every party or event. And you can leave early if you feel fatigued. If you’re visiting family for a few days, don’t be afraid to keep your daily morning or afternoon nap, or at least get in some quiet time in the guest room. Gentle exercise such as yoga can also promote relaxation and reduce stress during pregnancy.
Think about things that generally stress you out and ways to avoid or mitigate stress during pregnancy while you enjoy the holidays. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I pretty much let my husband do all the “heavy lifting” around the house when I was pregnant, especially the first time around!
What causes you stress during pregnancy? How do you lessen your stress over the holidays?