My friend and colleague Cara Terreri, Community Manager for Lamaze International's "Giving Birth With Confidence" blog for consumers, shared this great advice earlier this week with her readers. The post was targeted for those who may be feeling upset, stressed or emotional as those in the USA move through our recent current events. I know my childbirth education and doula client families have reached out to me for advice and suggestions on how to take care of themselves as they move through the next days and weeks. If you also are a safe place for your families, here is a great article to share with them that can help them find their center again. - Sharon Muza, Community Manager, Science & Sensibility.
Pregnancy lasts nearly ten months. (Though your families thought it was nine? Sorry to disappoint.) During that span of time, it's inevitable that a pregnant person will experience an event or multiple events that will cause emotional distress. For some, recently, it may be the presidential election results. For others, it could be the death of a family member or pet, divorce, illness, financial difficulty, or otherwise. So what can be done to aid in the healing and processing of upsetting times? It's not that they need to "fix" the problem, as many stressful happenings cannot be fixed. Allowing oneself to feel sadness and anger is just as important as finding ways to cope and feel better. On the other side of anger and sadness, it helps to take active measures to restore emotional balance.
Seek support, near and far. Support can come in many forms -- on social media, from neighbors, friends, and family members, and of course, and perhaps most helpful in the long term, professional support from therapy, counseling, and psychiatric professionals.
Find a calming activity. Some people are soothed by meditation (well, actually, most all people can benefit from meditation), others find knitting calming, and still others turn to a good mind-clearing run. Experiment with different activities that make people feel calm (learn more about what "calm" feels like) and when they achieve that feeling, write down a list of go-to activities to turn to when needed.
Take time to replenish energy. It's easy to cover stress up with "busyness." Unfortunately, doing so does little to help people move forward. Purposefully take time out for one's self, even if it's something as simple as a warm bath.
Seek advice. Maybe someone feels stuck where they are and don't know how or what to do to take the next step. Consult with someone who's been in their shoes, or perhaps an expert who knows more about the situation they are going through. Even finding a good self-help book at the local library or bookstore can help spawn new ideas for handling the emotions and situation.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for someone or their loved ones, and best practices for professionals.