5 Strategies to Feel Better, Fast!
Lindsey’s tips for snapping out of a bad mood when pregnancy emotions run wild
That dreaded, all-consuming bad mood. Has it happened to you? This is how it starts…
You’re pregnant and maybe a little nauseous or tired. Then you start thinking about how stressful (or impossibly boring) work has been lately. Next you dwell on the fact that you’re sick of being at home and you just want to plan a fun night out with friends. But you’re feeling bloated, your skin’s out of whack, and oh right, you can’t partake in that celebratory cocktail anyway! There’s probably nothing terribly wrong in your life (you are expecting a bundle of joy after all), but you somehow keep coming up with more and more things that you’re upset about. You’re annoyed with abc - and oh yeah - xyz, too! You’re feeling sad, grumpy, or just a bit “off” for no particularly serious reason. The pregnancy funk is real!
Here’s out to pull yourself out.
Recognize Your Mood
When I get in a pregnancy funk, the first step is to realize the feeling is temporary. I remind myself that everything will be okay and I just need to get my mood back on track. I then take a very methodological approach to pull myself out of my down-in-the-dumps mood. It has to be very intentional and proactive - much like writing myself a prescription or at least a very structured to-do list - otherwise I’ll let myself wallow in my emotions and remain deep in the funk.
Exercise to Boost Endorphins
This is the number one tool I use to cure a bad mood. As long as you’re cleared for exercise, there’s simply nothing better than getting out of your lounging mode, moving your body, and feeling the endorphins come rushing in. My go-to funk buster is running - there’s something about physically pounding pavement that drains my mind of stress and anxiety. But any exercise is wonderful. Even just a brisk walk outdoors does wonders for your mood. The nice part is, this exercise isn’t about fitting into skinny jeans or toning your arms for tank tops. It’s about connecting with your body, ridding yourself of negative thoughts, and remembering all the good things about being alive.
Relax & Meditate
As a special treat, I like to get a massage every once in a while (opting for a prenatal massage while pregnant). I arrive at my favorite spa about a half an hour early for my appointment so that I can sit quietly with a cup of tea in the meditation area. The sound of soothing music and the smell of scented candles makes me feel instantly relaxed.
When I don’t have the time (or funds) to get a massage, I take a relaxing shower or bath at home. I light non-toxic candles (or turn on my flame-less candles), switch off the main bathroom lights, listen to "Zen Garden Radio" on Pandora, and use my most indulgent bath products, like this heavenly coconut rose scrub from Herbivore Botanicals.
Walk Through Nature
Another mood boosting activity that always makes me feel better is to get outside and into nature. I live in the city, so it feels especially satisfying to leave the skyscrapers and concrete behind to seek out woods, water and/or mountains. Walking outside and breathing in the fresh air makes me feel grounded and refreshed.
Start a Creative Project
A great way to switch gears is by brainstorming a way to use your creativity. Sometimes I play around with a new strategy for organizing an area of my apartment, like my crowded closet, tangled jewelry collection, messy wrapping paper stash or cluttered makeup drawer. If you’re artsy and enjoy doing crafts, maybe you can start a scrapbook for your little one or make something for the nursery. I painted a heart with watercolors and hung it next to the changing table using an old, pretty frame that had been collecting dust under my bed. It wasn’t a masterpiece by any means – but it was fun to create something myself.
Plan a Fun Dinner + Show
Last but not least, my old trusty mood enhancing formula is good food + good entertainment. Whether you go out to your favorite burger joint and catch a movie (even better if it’s being shown at a newer theater with those wide, reclining seats you can reserve ahead of time), or you stay in, order from your favorite takeout spot and a watch a binge-worthy series on Netflix, before you know it, the story line will take your mind elsewhere and you’ll forget all about your funky mood.
We think a healthy, unapologetic dose of self-care is always the best cure to zap those down-in-the-dump feelings that we all get during pregnancy (and beyond). What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself when you’re just feeling a bit “off”?
(And if you’re feeling especially sad and suspect it’s not just a temporary bad mood, please make sure you check-in with your doctor.)