stressed and worried

stressed and worried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the time I was 30 weeks pregnant, I had a long list of pregnancy-related conditions: gestational diabetes, sciatica, carpal tunnel, tarsal tunnel, polyhydraminios… the list goes on. That was on top of the hyperemesis gravidarum.

I’ve always been a worrier. That’s just part of who I am. Yet the worry that plagued my mind while I was pregnant threatened to drown me. My counselor, a Godsend of a woman who helped me survive this difficult pregnancy, shared some advice that I’ve taken to heart and apply to my life every day: Deal with things in small chunks. For example: don’t worry about the baby blues when you’re pregnant. If they come, deal with them then. Deal with what you need to now and wait until you’re in the future to face problems that might arise.

This strategy requires a lot of work. It made me constantly assess my situation each time I started to worry. Here’s my thought process: I feel terrible. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen with my job when the baby comes. (Worry sets in. I realize that I’m allowing myself to fret, so I stop and guide myself). What’s going on right now?  (I’m feeling pretty sick.) Am I okay? (All things considered, yes.) The future is freaking me out, I’m worried about (insert scary thing here), but it hasn’t happened yet. It may never happen. Right now, everything is okay. (I take a deep breath) I may be nauseous beyond all reason, but the baby is doing well, I’m alive, I have food, shelter, and clothing. It stinks that I’m sick, but I’m alive, safe, and will soon experience incredible joy. This moment is okay. And it’s one less moment I have to feel sick.

Sometimes, this process is time-consuming and tedious. Sometimes, this process leads me to the realization that things really aren’t okay, and that’s part of life. But mostly, this process gives my brain a little vacation by releasing the stress associated with worry. Try it, and let me know if it works for you by posting a comment below.

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