I read something the other day that made me go, “What am I doing with my free time?!” I was reading about French parenting and how pregnancy is portrayed (in writing) as a nine-month retreat […]
I read something the other day that made me go, “What am I doing with my free time?!” I was reading about French parenting and how pregnancy is portrayed (in writing) as a nine-month retreat to the spa. Expectant moms are intentional with pampering themselves to create an atmosphere of relaxation. This is the exact opposite of what I have been doing! Because life is usually a hustle, I am busy hustling. I think it’s great to do your best in keeping the same rhythm of life during pregnancy, but if relaxation wasn’t a priority or goal to begin with, the stress will probably feel a bit soul crushing at some point with no outlet(s) to turn to.
To avoid a few of the sure-to-happen cry sessions coming my way, I decided to take some advice from the French and develop relaxation habits now in hopes of continuing them post-delivery. Sorry if this reads like one of those annoying “Ten things to do while (fill in the blank)” Facebook posts we all hate—it’s just easier to number!
Here we go, my top three (you can handle three, right?) ways to relax and love myself:
Take a bath, seriously. This is one of my favorite things to do, so much so I am revamping our bathroom to be a mini escape from the world. Fill it up, sprinkle in a little bath salt or bubble bath and listen to whatever helps you RELAX! I take my soaks very seriously and shoot for the optimal experience each time. A few nights ago I threw together some almond milk, baking soda, Epsom salt, coconut oil and essential Lavender oil. I sliced a few lemons as well and chilled so hard to Stan Getz for … more than an hour. It was great!
Also, this made my skin glow and feel amazing for a few days. I’m not a big makeup person and am more interested in taking care of what is underneath to create effortless beauty. Both my mother and sister gawk at the idea of soaking in the tub. It’s not for everyone, but it can also be helpful for those back pains and side aches! Many soak combinations are made for specific purposes such as muscle relaxation or relief. Just something to think about!
You probably did this before pregnancy, so why not modify it to enjoy during pregnancy, too? I personally miss cocktails and try to find fun (and healthy) mocktails to make when I feel like sipping after work on a Friday, during brunch on a Saturday … or any time of any day! Whatever, you do you!
When Matt and I were on our honeymoon, we enjoyed many, many melon-coladas. Thanks to my intense case of spring fever, I have been living off delicious colada smoothies at home! In case you want to participate in your own personal paradise, here is my go-to recipe:
-½ cup fresh pineapple
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 cup spinach
-handful ice cubes
Optional: I add 1 teaspoon turmeric and some chia seeds. The turmeric looks overpowering but is actually mild in taste when combined with the banana. If you like it sweeter add a drizzle of honey. I recommend all three! Garnish with dried coconut because you are a summer goddess who deserves everything extra.
Yes, this is green because of spinach and not Midori, sorry. For those of us in need of the beach, some sunshine and a cold drink, try this! I love feeling like I am having a treat while also nourishing baby B. Surely I am in Cancun, right?
3. SEXUAL HEALING
I know the song gives way to what I am talking about, but I’m not only referencing sex—which, to those of you expecting, you did like enough at one time to become pregnant! It’s a bit of a “duh” to say sex is helpful for relaxing and improving one’s mood. I’m all about it. However, I think doing anything that makes you feel sexy can help balance the day-to-day stress and negativity we may experience, helping us to heal our mental state of mind.
Although I enjoy exercise less these days, I still do it because it makes me feel sexy. I *try* to be presentable most of the time and take care of myself. I drink the water and eat the fruits and vegetables. I wear my favorite perfume every day and stopped saving it for special occasions. I plan luxurious vacations I may never look at again. I have projects I am working on, and I spend more time researching things I wish I were well-versed in. I also decided to take up ballet (like, the DIY version at home where no one can see and there is zero pressure) in the mornings to add some daily activity/stretching and help retain as much grace and balance as possible these last few months. Whether these things last a lifetime or for a month, it’s about doing things that make me feel sexy and good. I hope every woman can adopt a perspective of self-love and make herself a priority.
I have vowed to utilize this time I have pre-delivery! I’ve been feeling so great I even asked my husband how he felt about having baby number two right after she’s born—why not?! It doesn’t seem that bad! Right? Anyone? We agreed to prove to ourselves we can handle the first couple weeks before bringing it up again. (Don’t worry, mom.) My point being, relaxation is a powerful tool, and I am a firm believer in pregnancy being a time of incorporating this more than ever before. Here’s to you (hopefully) soaking, sipping and getting a little sexual healing in your life. Cheers, friends.