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Mental Health in Lockdown (Video)

It’s ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ but it’s also ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ during lockdown! So if you’re pregnant or a new mum, or you know somebody who’s pregnant or a new mum then this is for you (or them).

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Limit the amount of time you spend watching the news and on social media! The news is full of doom and gloom at the moment. It’s good to keep yourself informed, but limit that time. And in terms of social media, did you know that the little red notification icon that you’ll see on your phone is cleverly designed to look like a red berry? This stems from our primal days when we were wired to actually find red berries as a good source of energy. We’re still drawn to that red berry icon today. And what actually happens is we end up with a dopamine hit every time we see that, which makes our phones addictive.

Scrolling through loads of social media often just leaves you feeling ‘meh’ as you spend loads of time looking at nonsense or comparing your own life to those on social media. So try removing the notifications on the settings on your phone and this will actually stop you being drawn to those ‘little red berries’. Or actually turn your phone to grayscale. It’s amazing the impact it has as your eyes don’t then see the red.

Be Blessed

Count your blessings!. And we literally suggest you do this. So try writing a list, of say, 50 things that you’re thankful for. It’s been proven that saying ‘thank you’ and being thankful really helps our mental health. If you find a list of 50 too overwhelming, how about trying to write down three things that you’re thankful for but do it every single day. A year from now you’ll have a list of over a thousand things which would be so great to look back on!.

Deep Relationships

Call or text somebody! Be really honest about how you’re feeling. Let them know if you’re having a bad day. This can be quite difficult to do if you are having a bad day, so how about having an accountability partner? What I mean by that is getting in touch with a friend and having an agreement that you’ll get in touch every two or three days to see how each other are doing. It’s really important to be honest about how you’re feeling. For those of you who know somebody who’s pregnant or know a new mum and you haven’t heard from them for a while, give them a text, give them a call and if they don’t get back to you, be suspicious!

Back to Basics

Get the basics right. These should always be number 1. But they are often the first thing to go and are the perhaps the biggest threat to our mental health during lockdown.

This can be really tricky to do when you’re feeling low but even taking some baby steps towards eating healthier food, drinking more water, and exercising are crucial. Now we’re no longer restricted to exercise once a day, so take advantage of this. Get out and go on a few short walks. Soak up the vitamin D – the weather’s been great recently and you don’t have to start off doing loads, but even a walk around the block and then slowly increasing the distance is going to help.

And SLEEP! Now I recognize that pregnancy insomnia is a thing. But anyone who tells you it’s your body’s way of preparing you for when the baby arrives is talking nonsense! How is lack of sleep preparing you for more lack of sleep? So take a catnap wherever and whenever you can! And those of you who are new mums, sleep when your baby sleeps. You need to do this at least once a day, preferably more often. It’s really important that you do. Now you can also apply this principle to general household chores – do the washing up when the baby does the washing up! If only! And those of you who have got older children – you could try dressing them up as a house-elf! They’ll love helping out with the chores…

Not Every Day is a PJ Day

It can be really tempting to just lounge around in your pyjamas all day but that’s actually not going to help. So take yourself to the shower and then get dressed – even if it’s just wearing something comfortable, that’s better than pyjamas. Try to have some kind of routine, a daily routine and a weekly routine. Even if it’s a loose one. This will help prevent every single day from feeling like Blursday, again!

Be Mindful

Practice mindfulness! Now there’s loads of books and apps and podcasts and videos on YouTube that might help you. Many have been created specifically for looking after your mental health during lockdown Find something that works for you and those of you who already had a mindfulness routine, get it back!.

Speak Up and Seek Help!

If you’re struggling please tell somebody! Tell somebody who’s going to help. So let a midwife know, let a health visitor know, let your GP know! And if they’re not listening or you don’t feel like you’re being heard, ask to speak to a different midwife or a different health visit or a different GP! The services for pregnant women and for new mums in the mental health sphere are actually very good but no one can help you if they don’t know that you’re struggling. So forget ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’! Instead ‘Speak Up and Seek Help!’

We’re here to help

Here at Expecting we want to help in any way we can. Our Hypnobirthing courses are perfect for managing the stress and anxiety that can come with pregnancy and birth. These are also great for life in general. We also offer 1-to-1 calls with a midwife if you need support with your mental health in lockdown or any other antenatal support.


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