1. Anxiety is often caused by the feeling of a lack of control, so we will struggle with anxiety more if we hold onto things that are out of our control. Let go of all the plans you had, the things you can’t do for now and just take each day as it comes. Try to get into the forced slower pace of life. You may even miss it when it’s gone.
2. There is support there for you, as we all know the NHS is working harder than ever to look after us all and my myself and my colleagues deeply care about maintain communication and support.
Apps like Bia Mother have trusted experts, qualified professionals and coaches and there are also online hypnobirthing or antenatal courses that you can do. When you focus on what is within reach you gain some sense of control and that takes power over anxiety. It’s amazing how much of a difference this makes.
3. Build your tribe online, start a Whats app group or join social apps like Mush Mums or Mums Anywhere – there is still so much you can do to connect with people from home. Ask your neighbours for help with shopping if you need it. Build a sense of community in your community.
4. The media can induce anxiety and send the message that something bad is coming and there’s nothing you can do about it. Try not to engage too much with various media and articles. Follow RCOG guidelines, stay up to date with the governments officials and experts.
5. What are the positives in this? For years I have been recommending that women have at least two weeks at home with their baby to bond and get to know each other. It isn’t good for newborns to be passed around by various different people anyway, they need to adjust to their new world and environment with you at home. Also it doesn’t matter if you don’t make it out of your dressing gown at the moment, make the most of it!
6. Go into your body and focus on what is happening there. Sometimes being in your body and rather than your mind can help. If you feel panicky what is happening to your body? Are your shoulders high? Are you breathing quick? Can you relax your shoulders, roll them and take a deep breath in? Change your body to change your state of mind.
7. As cliché as it sounds, happy mum, happy baby is so true. Even if you take just 5 minutes a day you really need to prioritise yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself. Hypnobirthing can be used beyond birth. It can be used through out pregnancy and for a long time after birth. The breathing and communication with your body is timeless.
8. Have a strong morning routine, do the same key things every morning to maintain a healthy mindset and some level of normality. For example do some exercise or yoga, take a shower and get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast and take a moment to be thankful and grateful, you and your baby are safe and healthy. Gratitude can also help set you up for the day.
9. Have an evening routine, things that help me are writing a little ‘to-do’ list for the next day, giving myself a facial massage, soaking my feet, meditating and reading – these all great ways to set up for bedtime.
10. You are in the safest place possible in your home, try and be grateful for what you do have, you and your baby are safe and healthy.