Time flies, doesn’t it? Before you know it, baby will be here! Life can be hectic, especially if you’re still working and already have the demands of a family. Imagine having extra hours in a day. It’s a nice thought, but sadly, we can’t perform miracles. How about taking just 20 minutes to relax in simple ways that can really make a difference.
- Enjoy a relaxing bath. A bath is always a good idea. Pour some essential oils in your bath water and enjoy a nice soak. You don’t have to limit it to 20 minutes, but surprisingly, 20 minutes can do a world of good!
- Daydream in baby’s room. Is baby’s room ready? Does it have a comfy chair for you to relax in for a few minutes? Step into the nursery or sink into your favourite chair and close your eyes. Think about all the wonderful moments that will be here before you know it. A few minutes of total silence is a great way to let your body unwind and your mind reflect on the joys of pregnancy and the amazing promise of what’s to come. Check out our favourite inspirations.
- Browse through a magazine. There are so many books and mags out there that beg to be read, but there never seems to be enough time. Take 20 minutes to sit and flip through a magazine. Scan that home décor book for ideas for the playroom, or look through your recipe book for that kale dish you’ve been meaning to try. Quick and easy reads are always a good way to put yourself in a calmer, happier mood.
- Meditate. Whether or not you practice regular meditation, simple breathing exercises not only soothe the soul, clear the mind and allow your body to release tension, they also prepare you for the real breathing exercises you’ll face when baby comes (we can’t guarantee those will be as relaxing). Sitting in a quiet spot, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Try to focus on your breathing as it becomes more and more relaxed.
- Step aside, woman! You have to be willing to let others do for YOU every once in a while. You’ll have plenty of time to be doting on a little one soon, so sit back, put your feet up and let friends and family help out a little when they offer.
(If they don’t offer, why not make a friendly suggestion. J)
- Book a spa day. Everyone loves some pampering. Many spas offer special packages for the Mom-to-Be. Pick up a flyer or visit the local day spa online and see what services they offer. Then book an appointment. In less than 20 minutes, you can be arranging an hour or pure bliss for yourself. Isn’t that time well spent?
- Have your bestie over. Laughter is the best medicine. Spending time with friends who make you laugh, and who listen and talk you through any issues that are causing you stress, are just what the doctor ordered. Friendship really is therapeutic.
- Take ME time. How about booking that haircut or getting a manicure?
- Do some relaxing crafts. If you have a hobby, spend some time doing what you enjoy. Perhaps you are making art for the baby’s room or knitting booties. Creativity is a great stress reliever, and it’s rewarding to be able to say,
“I made that!”
- Strike a yoga pose. Yoga can do so much for the body as well as the soul. If you’ve been meaning to discover the benefits of yoga, pick up a DVD or find an online video to learn the simple steps. Then take some quiet time to strike a few yoga poses.
- Ask for a back or foot massage. It’s time to cash in any of those “free backrubs” or “foot massages” owed to you. Even if they haven’t been offered to you, tell your honey you’re in need.
- Have a spot of tea. Or a cup if you’re really thirsty! Peppermint or chamomile are nice calming choices to sip, savour and enjoy.
- Put on a CD of relaxing music. Forget the head banging, guitar twanging music and pop in a relaxing CD of soothing sounds to allow your mind to drift and your body to ease into total relaxation mode.
- Do something you love. Bake cookies if you love to be in the kitchen, plant some kitchen herbs in a windowbox or write poetry. Some tasks requiring minimum concentration offer relaxation and pleasure.
- Experiment with a new look. If you miss those regular shopping sprees for the latest new style, take 20 minutes to experiment with new makeup shades or part your hair on the other side for a change. Try curling your hair if it’s normally straight or straighten it if it’s normally curly. Change is good and experimentation can be calming.
- Catch up on your favourite show. Are you behind on the last few episodes of your favourite series? Allow yourself some time each day to gradually catch up. 20 minutes without commercials should get you back on track in no time.
- Look through old pictures. Take a trip down memory lane. Flip through your old yearbook or browse through your online wedding album. Reminiscing means thinking happy thoughts and that’s always good for the soul.
- Discover aromatherapy. Surrounding yourself with calming scents can positively affect your mood. Carry essential oils in your purse and dab some on your wrist or carry a handkerchief with you for inhalation purposes during the day. Just a few drops of soothing scents such as lavender, geranium or bergamot are said to create a sense of peace and relaxation.
- Journal. Write notes to baby or document your feelings during this miraculous time. A journal is a great way to commemorate your journey and also makes an incredible memento to pass along to baby years from now.
- Go for a walk. Depending on just how far along you are in your pregnancy, take 20 minutes out of your busy day to take a stroll in your neighbourhood. If you are still working, step out at lunch to walk around the building, parking lot or nearby park.
Share with us your favourite ways to relax.