STRESS...1, 2, 3.....RELAX!

I'm 21 weeks this week and the energy of motivation have reached an all new low! Aniela has been waking at 4:30am/5am every morning which means I'm awake around 4am waiting for that monitor to stir - it's ridiculous! There are times when a mother's instinct is not always so welcome!! Sleep is much more preferable. I woke this morning at 3am with pains in my back and pelvis - oh yes, the joys of pregnancy.  Lying on my left side made the pain worse and I just couldn't find a position that eased the pain, other than on all fours. Of course, with me on all fours at the bottom of the bed, Tom was woken up by my strange 'yoga' practice! I tried to use the opportunity to practice my breathing and meditation - that was Tom's idea as he rubbed my back. Bless him! I'm happy to say that after 5 minutes the pain ebbed away and I felt more relaxed. What I find so difficult is doing my exercises when Tom isn't around. I just wouldn't think to breath calmly and slowly if I'd been on my own - I would probably just get myself more and more worked up.   It's clearly not habitual to me yet and that can only come with PRACTICE!!  (There's that word again folks!).   Tom simply said to me - 'you control the pain...' and that was that! A simple, quick prompt and my mind took control of the situation immediately.  It all sounds very dramatic for a bit of back and pelvis pain but sometimes it is good practice to use uncomfortable moments to work together, just as you would during labour.  So what exactly did I tell my mind to do? To bring my breathing down I simply said to myself 'Inhale - 1...2...3...Exhale - RELAX' and repeated this a few times.

I breathed in relaxation and calm and breathed out the pain and tension.

Visually, I pictured a hot air ballon floating up into the sky with all the negativity i was feeling and the higher it got the more relaxed I felt.

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Simple but very effective. You can even use it for non-pregnancy related stressful situations - toddler tantrums, commuter train delays...you name it!

And as Tom and I laid there at 4:30am, finally feeling a little more relaxed, the green light started to flash on the baby monitor and the energy in the room changed again! However, before tension even entered my head, I simply said to myself '1...2...3...RELAX' and the morning felt 10 x more manageable...and it certainly was!

It's a good one to try in any situation. It's just a case of remembering to do it. Like anything, the more you practice, the more you will relate stress or tension to a relaxation exercise and it will soon become second nature to you. It takes a few seconds and can make all the difference to your day. I'm definitely going to try and integrate it into my day more - particularly when my daughter is having a 'moment'. Parenting and easy, quick relaxation exercises should go hand-in-hand. Practice, Practice, Practice! x