Ways to de-stress for mums

Whether you are pregnant, or a stay-at-home mum, it pays to keep calm. Here’s how.

Parents-Ways to de-stress for mums

If you’re pregnant…

1. Verbalise your fear

If you’re anxious about something, verbalise it, then ponder on the odds of it not happening. For instance, if you’re worrying about pre-eclampsia — which occurs in one in 10 pregnancies — focus on the fact that it doesn’t happen in nine pregnancies.

2. Have a release

On top of your everyday pressure, you now stress about pregnancy. So, avoid a meltdown by releasing the pressure. “Aim for 10- to 20-minute-long bursts of stress-busting physical activity — a 20-minute swim in the morning, a walk at lunchtime, then pregnancy yoga in the evening,” says Neil Shah, who wrote The 10-Step Stress Solution. “If you give yourself an opportunity to burn off stress, it won’t reach crisis point.”

3. Talk about it

It’s normal to feel anxious during pregnancy, assures Dr Adrian Wang, a psychiatrist at Gleneagles Medical Centre, “Talk to experienced mums or learn about pregnancy from your doctor.” Or simply “seek reassurance and understanding from your husband” by talking about it.

If you’re on maternity leave…

4. Calm yourself

If you’re having a new-mum wobble (yep, we all have them), fool your body into thinking it’s relaxing. “Remind yourself that you don’t have to be the perfect mum, there’s no set mantra to follow as long as you don’t compare yourself to others,” Dr Wang advises.

5. Find help

If your delivery was traumatic, give yourself some time to settle, suggests Dr Wang. “A traumatic birth can lead to postnatal depression. If you’re still anxious after a month, seek help from a counsellor to make you feel more settled,” he adds.

6. You’re good enough

“Stop concentrating on what you haven’t done and be proud of what you are doing,” says Anjula Mutanda, author of How to Do Relationships. “Look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m good enough.” After all, who cares if you haven’t cooked every purée from scratch?

7. Compliment other mums

With old friends at work, build new networks — usually with other mums — as strong social networks help beat stress. “First impressions count,” Dr Wang points out. “Saying something positive stimulates further conversation and puts the other person at ease.”