Ways To Entertain Yourself During Pregnancy
As most expecting women can attest to, pregnancy is full of ups and downs. One minute, you’re crying cuz your favorite song came on the radio; the next minute you’re crying in the pantry because you’re out of Oreos.
With those ups and downs comes: not feeling good, being unrelentingly exhausted, being in two much pain to be active, and (in worse case scenarios) having to be bedridden.
During these down times, it’s really important to be equipped with things to do that either challenge or entertain you mentally. Otherwise, you’ll end up just watching Judge Judy for hours on end and that will only contribute to your depression.
So, here are a few tips on how to be happier, healthier, and mentally stimulated when pregnancy’s got you down (literally).
This is one thing I regret not doing when I was having my son. I never bothered to write down things like doctor’s appointments, how I was feeling, plans on how I wanted to raise my son, inspiring quotes I had read, my day-to-day trials and tribulations, my food cravings. Not only is it therapeutic to keep a record of all of these things, but you can look back and remember stuff you normally wouldn’t, years later.
START AN ARTS AND CRAFTS PROJECT
When there were days I was super bored or not in the mood to leave my house, I started an art project for my soon-to-be son. I created a “learn the alphabet” collage in which I drew album covers with bands that started with the corresponding letters of the alphabet. Obviously, not everyone will want to do THAT kind of art project, but tapping into your creative side is a great stress-reliever. Plus, your child will have it as a keepsake for years to come.
… and I don’t just mean the nursery. Parents have a tendency to focus on the bedroom because obviously this is going to be their baby’s sanctuary and you want it to be perfect and cozy. But you should really consider creating a living space for your child that encourages sensory input and output, curiosity, color, imagination, and learning. Remember, your child will only spend a small amount of time in their nursery. Try and make every area in the house one that stimulates your child’s cognitive development.
PLAN A BABYCATION
As difficult as it is to get away from your bundle of joy, I firmly believe every mom needs a vacation after going through 10 months of pregnancy and labor. Even if it’s not feasible right away, try and map out an elaborate plan on vacationing with your S.O. (sans baby.) Decide where you want to go, which hotels to stay at, what sites to see, who will watch the baby while you’re gone, and imagine all the tropical alcoholic drinks you can consume, uninterrupted. Even if it’s just fantasy, it’s a fun exercise that gives you a goal.
LEARN NEW COOKING RECIPES
Even if you are bed ridden, scour through cookbooks and online recipes that you can make for your family (particularly for babies and toddlers). There are so many creative ways of cooking for picky, little eaters that it’s good to be prepared. Plus, you might come across some recipes you want to try out NOW while you’re still eating for two. Here is a great list of easy-to-make meals for kids. https://www.yummytoddlerfood.com/recipes/dinner/50-easy-toddler-meals/
CREATE A BABY PLAYLIST
Absolutely, one of my favorite things to do is create music playlists - for any occasion. Party, tailgating, camping, the gym, you name it. Maybe it’s because I come from a generation of the mixed tape.
When my son was born, he had a lot of sleeping issues, but I couldn’t stand the typical lullaby songs. Thus, I created a baby music playlist with soft, acoustic songs that I liked (think James Taylor or Paul Simon). They worked like a charm at getting my son to sleep. Buh-bye “Rockabye Baby”!
If you are bed ridden or just not active due to pain and/or exhaustion, try practicing deep breathing techniques, meditation apps, and even basic stretching you can do right there in bed or on the floor. This will help with pain and discomfort while also putting you in a better mental place. And a happy mamma makes for a happy baby.
Bottom Line: However you decide to spend your time, instead of looking at it as a death sentence, remember that you probably will never have this personal time again. So be self-reflective, try and enjoy every moment, and when feeling down, find things that cheer you up. Or, go outside your comfort zone and try something new that you’ve always been interested in.