If you have never heard of a capsule wardrobe then I would watch Hailey Divine's video here.
She explains it much better than I can. I actually learned about them first when I read the book "Lagom" by Niki Brantmark. The Swedes do it to decrease overall stress. If you know about capsule wardrobes then move to the next paragraph. Instead of having a closet full of every item of clothing that you own, capsule wardrobes only have the clothes that can be worn in a season. All the other seasons are packed away and you bring them out when those seasons come. It is a minimalistic way of living. It decreases stress because you are able to look into your closet and pick something out right away without having to search through a mass amount of clothes to find something that works. I have found it super nice because my closet doesn't feel so cramped. It has also given me the courage to get rid of the clothes that I haven't worn in years.
Something that I wish I would have done was start a pregnancy capsule wardrobe where all the clothes in my closet would be clothes that would fit my big belly. I found myself super depressed a couple weeks ago because nothing I would put on fit me. It wasn't until I put all the those clothes in a box and only kept the ones that fit a large belly that I felt happier. I started pregnancy with the attitude of just trying to make what I already owed work but I look back and wish I would have invested in a good pair of maternity leggings and a couple more longer shirts. When I start a capsule wardrobe I pull out all the clothes the the upcoming season. I see what I have, what I need, and what I need to get rid of till I have the prefect set of clothes for that coming season. I wish at about 6 months pregnant I would have done this. Instead, I didn't think of it till 8 months pregnant and was super sad that nothing fit. It felt too late to start a wardrobe that would only last me a couple weeks. This is something I am going to make sure to start at 6 months in my next pregnancy.
I am a super minimalistic person and find a lot of stress relief when I have the essentials but I have less. I hate the whole mentality of "more is better". Too much stuff gives me anxiety. If you are a person who thinks more is better then this tip probably won't be good for you.
2. LISTEN TO CRAVINGS
Ok this title can be a little deceiving. If you have a craving to eat an entire cake everyday, don't listen to it! Also, if your doctor has recommended that you stay away from certain things or that you have to watch your weight then listen to them. I am not a professional when it comes to this.
The first trimester I was trying to get used to all the changes and a big one was how I felt about food. I often felt like cravings were silly and that I should ignore them but I'll tell you why I am a huge believer in listening to my cravings now. Over thanksgiving I was so mad because I didn't feel like eating anything other than fruit. I barely ate any thanksgiving dinner! We stayed at my in-laws and I was constantly given stake or chicken or a big meal but I wouldn't eat it. I was told that I need to feed the baby some good protein but I just couldn't do it. I felt soooo guilty that I wasn't giving my baby what she needed. But I was eating probably 5-6 oranges, a whole box of strawberries, and a ton of other fruit in a day. The entire family got sick with the flu including my husband. I was one of the only ones that didn't get sick. After that I truly started to listen to my cravings. There was one week that all I wanted was red meat and dark greens, that weekend I had my blood tested and found out that my iron levels were low. I turned to Joseph and said, "See! That's why all I wanted was Texas Roadhouse!" haha. This week I have been wanting pineapple so bad. I have had 3 whole pineapples all by myself this week. I was looking into some stuff on line of how to induce labor and found out that pineapple is one of them. I don't ignore even the silly cravings like cinnamon rolls, ice-cream, and brownies, because I figure maybe my sugar level is low or whatever else. Maybe my body doesn't NEED a cinnamon roll, but I sure feel better afterward! I don't think cravings are anything to be ashamed of anymore, even if they aren't the healthiest thing.
3. HUBBY HUNGER SCALE
Hopefully everyone won't think I am a crazy pregnant lady after this post but Joseph and I had to make a hunger scale so I wouldn't have any more breakdowns. It has worked amazing! I have noticed that I use a ton of words to explain how I am feeling but it wouldn't translate to my husband's brain. I could say, babe I need food NOW and he felt like he still could get ready for 30 minutes before we left the house, but by the time we would leave I was throwing up and crying because I was so past my hunger level. It became too much so we made this hunger scale for him to know how much time till I had a break down. Here is my hunger scale to get an idea of what I mean:
1-4 These are pretty self explanatory. We didn't ever use them because I wasn't very hungry at this point
5 - I'm good! I could eat a snack but I am not starving
6 - We should start making something because I am about an hour or two away from needing something immediately
7 - We have about 30 minutes till I break down
8 - We have 5-8 minutes before I break down. I am usually super sensitive by this point.
9 - It's too late. I am probably crying right now or about to throw up. I usually don't feel like eating anymore.
10 - This is when I threw up and cried for over an hour and I couldn't get anything down at this point.
If I am at a six then we can make dinner together because that gave us enough time. If I was at a seven then we had time to go out to eat but rarely was there enough time to make something at home especially if we hadn't defrosted any meat yet. Eight, we usually run straight to a drive through. I rarely got to a nine after we made our hunger scale but we kept granola bars in the car for this exact reason. A lot of times I would forget I was hungry and all of a sudden I was at an eight. This hunger scale helped me to be able to communicate quickly with my husband about how I was feeling. To him, he thought that I should be at about a six every time I said I needed food NOW. But in reality it was my fault because I was ignoring my hunger until the last minute, not allowing time to communicate or time to make food. We mostly used this in my first trimester but I have used it a couple times in my third.
4. FIND ROLE MODELS BUT AVOID COMPARISON
Role models have been a HUGE encouragement for me. I have a blogger role model, a sister role model, and my mom. I have each of them as my role model for different reasons. I felt like my blogger role model has helped me to find joy in being pregnant. It is so easy get sad that my body is changing or to just want to sit around all day and do nothing, but because bloggers have to have a good feed, they still go out and do fun things when they are pregnant and it helped me think "well if she can do it then so can I". I also found it helpful to have someone close in age answer my questions. Things are different now then they used to be, especially labor and delivery. My sister has helped me with so many of my questions. My mom is super mom and worked up until the day she gave labor with all of us. She has helped me to, for lack of a better term, suck it up when it came to me wanting to give up. She worked through the sickness and the hip dislocations and the Braxton hick contractions.
Now with all that said, sometimes I found it easy to compare myself as well. If I ever started to feel like I wasn't as good as someone. Or if I started to feel like I wasn't as pretty as someone else who was pregnant or that I was gaining weight quicker. I told myself to stop it and look for something I admire without putting myself down. Every pregnancy and person are so different. Comparison brings you down while admiration can actually bring you up. I don't know how I did it, but when I was able to separate the two I found myself happier and making the most of this pregnancy.