I hesitantly decided to leave my job after ten years and work for myself as a freelance Virtual Assistant, because after watching my daughter grow up so quickly and seeing my son grow rapidly day by day I decided I didn’t want to miss a minute of it. I now work harder than I have ever did before and upon discovering I had a spare thirty minutes at 10.00.pm on a Friday night I decided to get this blog posted before I’m drawn once back once more into the mayhem of balancing the constant cycle of family/work/family/work.
After all – It’s all about the Balance, right? Isn’t that what we’re all striving to achieve?
Which is why I asked my very good friend Jennifer Smith; creator of Balance on Purpose to contribute this weeks article because, not only is she expecting her second child in a matter of weeks but as the creator of http://www.balanceonpurpose.com/ she devotes her time to balancing others emotions and mind in alignment with their soul and I reckon we could all do with a bit of balance in our lives. Especially when expecting.
By Jennifer Smith
How do I keep myself balanced and full of happiness during pregnancy?
I thought about this question myself as I was asked to write a guest blog post for The Pregnancy Pantry my very dear friend’s website all about clean eating and healthy living during pregnancy —– AND as being very pregnant again myself for the second time it is a question close to my heart at the moment as you can imagine!
I really have a hard time with morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy so for me, in that first 3 months it is all about eating well to feel good (or as okay as possible really!). So in that first trimester I recommend really following all the advice Vanessa gives on the pregnancy pantry recipes and blog posts about food because getting enough food into you all day long I found was the key to managing the nausea!
As my gran says there is nothing at all like that nausea in pregnancy so keeping your blood sugars constant, not getting an empty tummy and avoiding foods that trigger heartburn all helped immensely in keeping me on an even keel and keeping my energy levels up when running around after a toddler!
As that first trimester passed (and the nausea passed along with it thank goodness!) I had a slightly different focus, keeping it simple: Being happy and healthy.
Whilst eating properly is still important there is another thing that keeps me happy, healthy and balanced now. And that is finding, then keeping going with my own holistic practice.
Pregnancy is and can be for many of us a very emotional time, what with all the hormones running wild round your body to grow a new baby it’s like teenager-hood or pre-menstrual stress all rolled into one!
Especially when you have other children and indeed small toddlers who find it difficult to reason what is going on. So, a holistic practice keeps you grounded and gives you the reserves of patience you really need. On a physical level, this type of practice that is working for you well will also relax you so that you can wind down and get better rest time and better sleep too. All necessary for happiness throughout the day!!
I’ve written Honesty because it is so important to be honest with yourself about what is and isn’t working well for you. This can be really different to what works well when you are not pregnant so keep that in mind that it is a good idea to be flexible and change up what you are doing.
For example a super long relaxing back massage is great as a monthly treat to refresh you, and maybe your practitioner combines this with energy healing like Reiki so you get the benefit of chakra clearing too. But when you are getting bigger and bigger in pregnancy you might need something more regular and need a session every week as the changes build up more stresses in your joints and pelvis than before, and you can’t very well lay on your front for an hour with a big bump! If this sounds like you then try acupuncture jointly with a little massage or go for reflexology which is surprisingly incredibly relaxing even though only your feet are being touched!
Most importantly do remember to tell any current or new holistic practitioner about your pregnancy so they can work safely with you and your developing baby.
My own holistic practice is centered more around yoga and I know that Vanessa has already written about the benefits of yoga in pregnancy so you can read up about that on her Yoga blog on her Pregnancy Pantry website. However, I’d like to share with you how I had to really adapt the yoga that I already knew when I became pregnant.
It can become quite hard to carry out a spiritual practice such as yoga and meditation regularly when you find out you are expecting. HAVE to mention it again but morning sickness can sap so much out of you it becomes hard to simply function, go to work, feed yourself and organise the first child (or children!) that you feel wiped out and can stop going to your yoga class or stop doing your own yoga at home so much.
Then you beat yourself up about not doing what you know is good for you – I’ve been through this myself so I understand about just needing to rest to get through the day. In fact I’ve actually been through a process a number of times knowing I need to do more of my own holistic practice when life changed and became incredibly busy or different and I worked out a number of ways of making it easy to carry on with my own yoga every day.
Being kind to yourself and respecting your limits is very important in managing to fit in your holistic practice regularly.
With doing yoga in pregnancy it’s so helpful to keep it up regularly to keep fit and supple for the birth. However, I found there were so many positions in yoga that I couldn’t do or didn’t enjoy being pregnant the first time round I was at a loss as to what to do? Laying on my back with morning sickness made me feel worse. Any sitting positions bending forward or laying on my front then also became a no-no!
Second time round with baby number two on the way I have learnt a variety of good ante-natal yoga techniques from an experienced yoga teacher (who had 4 babies!). I also discovered a great book called “New Active Birth” by Jane Balasko’s. And although I would not swap personal training in yoga with reading from a book, if you are already quite experienced in yoga this will guide you how to tailor your yoga for pregnancy AND help with the birthing process too.
To sum up it doesn’t matter what you pick for your own holistic practice. But it does matter that you do what works well for you and that you can enjoy it regularly to get the benefits of it whilst you are pregnant for your emotional wellbeing and physical fitness!
Balance On Purpose