While I am in the process of educating myself, I will be starting a new column on the blog on 'motherhood' and share with you some of the tips and advice that I gradually begin to apply on my daily life in preparation for a potential pregnancy. Welcoming change, especially those changes coming with new motherhood, can be challenging. You may feel lost and if it's your first time -like me- you may not even know where to begin. Put focus on yourself, begin with getting to know you better and try and look at the areas of your life beyond your own body that are about to change. Once you learn gratitude and you incorporate it in your life, you will be able to wholly welcome these changes, rather that feeling that you are merely adapting to them. You will feel curious, grounded and empowered!
Step 1: Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about being aware of your thoughts and the sensations your body's feeling on a moment-to-moment basis. It's about being able to accept things exactly as they are without judgement. Practicing mindfulness is a gentle form of self-care that promotes adaptability and helps release anxiety and fight depression. Plug into your body's physical presence and start understanding how it feels. Notice your breathing, pause and take a moment to assimilate the sensations you are experiencing, the smells, the sounds, the colours. Acknowledge that any emotions you may be experiencing right now are momentary, all negative thoughts do not define who you really are. Little by little, you learn to process more intentionally the changes in your day-to-day life.
Step 2: Journaling
The next step towards gratitude is to start keeping a journal. Part of practicing self-care is learning to understand your thoughts, concerns, and embrace all your feelings. I usually arrange my schedule on a day-to day planner, so I find easier keeping my daily updates, thoughts and feelings written along with my tasks and future appointments. While being in lockdown my planner was fairly blank, so I decided to transform it into my new journal. I generally keep it simple and try to make it my habit to update it every morning. I realise that since I was a child, documenting, filing or collecting things always brings me joy, so I try to pay close attention to all those things that make me happy -and make more time for them.
Step 3: Being Grateful
Similarly with mindfulness, practising optimism help fights stress and depression. It stimulates different areas of the brain -than when you are pessimistic- and releases positive hormones also supportive for fertility and pregnancy. Being in a state of gratitude heightens your perceptions and changes the way you see things and situations. You begin to see the goodness of life all around you and attract positivity instead. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.
This month, I am focusing on joy. Happiness is hard to locate in our busy, active lives and sometimes it takes sadness to know or appreciate joy. Having low expectations from life usually saves me the disappointment emerging from unpredictable situations. At this stage, I am focusing on learning to embrace joy instead and welcome it in my life without letting it being immersed by fear.
What is it that you can find gratitude for this week?