How To Manage Anxiety During Pregnancy…Especially During Covid
Posted by Soribel Martínez, LCSW
Think back to when you first found out you were pregnant. You were probably overjoyed and excited. It’s impossible not to think about all the wonderful things bringing a new life into the world can make you feel.
But, as time goes on, it’s easy for the excitement to turn into something else—anxious thoughts. That’s why it’s more common than most people realize to experience anxiety during pregnancy.
Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety has become more prevalent than ever. You might be worried about your own health or the health of your unborn baby. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? What precautions should you be taking?
The questions and worries running through your head will only add fuel to your anxiety’s fire.
So, what can you do to manage that anxiety during pregnancy—especially during a pandemic?
Be Open About It
The worst thing you can do is keep your feelings to yourself. Don’t assume that you’re going to burden anyone by talking about your fears.
Simply sharing the way you’re feeling with a family member, friend, or mental health professional can make a big difference. You’ll gain a support system and know that you don’t have to go through those feelings alone.
Plus, talking about it will help you to fully acknowledge what you’re going through. That’s often the first step toward managing and treating anxiety.
Participate in Distracting Activities
It’s not going to help you or your baby to sit there all day, stewing in your worried thoughts. Instead, find ways to distract yourself and release some of your stress.
Exercise is a great way to accomplish both things, and more. By exercising every day, even if it’s walking, yoga, or light stretching, you’ll naturally boost your endorphins. It’s a great stress-reliever and a wonderful distraction.
Even if you can only be physically active for a few minutes each day, doing so can completely change your mindset and help to calm your mind.
Keep a Journal
Journaling is a wonderful skill to use when you’re facing anxiety—especially when you’re pregnant. Again, it’s about getting your thoughts and feelings out there. If you can’t always tell someone in person, the next best thing is to write it down.
When you keep a journal with you at all times, you’ll be able to quickly write down whatever you’re feeling at a moment’s notice. That simple act can make you feel calmer. You’ll also be able to see your feelings on paper, and better understand whether they’re actually based in reality.
Journaling is also a great self-preservation tool. If you’ve been doing it for a while, you can look back at early entries and see how far you’ve come in managing your anxiety.
Talk to a Doctor
If you don’t think you can manage anxiety during pregnancy on your own, talk to your doctor. Explain what you’re feeling and talk to them about your symptoms. In some cases, medication may be necessary to alleviate some symptoms causing problems.
If you’re experiencing things like panic attacks or extreme symptoms, your doctor will probably refer you to a therapist. Or, you can seek one out on your own. Having anxiety during pregnancy doesn’t mean you’ll be a “bad” mother, and it doesn’t mean you’ll hold on to those worried thoughts forever.
We’re living in a strange and scary time. It’s normal to be cautious about bringing a little one into the world. But, those thoughts and fears don’t have to completely overtake you. Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment or learn more about managing your anxiety while pregnant in a pandemic.