Staying positive and hopeful is not always easy during pregnancy, especially when the future is so unpredictable, and there are so many pregnancy horror stories out there (not to mention the hormones!) That's when self-love and supportive networks can help guide us in a more positive direction. Even with all that, it can be difficult to ignore the negativity that surrounds us, and we might not be able to always ignore them. And, that's okay. We are only human. We just have to move on and focus on the next day. Things that helped me stay positive:
I can't help but give some credit to my husband here, who always made me feel pretty in my skin and body. He never failed to notice my growth and be in awe of it all, but he did so in such an amusing way that I felt positive and hopeful. We may or may not need positive affirmation all the time, but it can never hurt. Although it does help, it’s not our husbands job to make us feel good or confident about ourselves. We have to do that on our own (we owe that much to ourselves!) while seeking to be around people who have positive outlook in life.
Self Love - Positive Self talk
As far as self-talk goes, every time I looked at my growing self and my bump in the mirror, I told myself “Aw my bump looks cute" or "You look so cute!” You can laugh, but I seriously did admire my growing belly and embraced my weight gain. Mind you… this is coming from a petite girl who had never weighed over 120 pounds in her life. I’d been fitting into the same clothes since I was 18 years old. Don’t hate on me… hate on my genes. Having gained 35 pounds, I did question the possibility of ever fitting into any of my existing clothes again, but that’s not my worry right now. I plan on doing my best to practice healthy habits - eating my veggies as usual, refraining from unhealthy habits, and staying active (it doesn't always require the gym)- and lose weight as I can, gradually. There is no competition.
Strong and Supportive network
Surrounding myself with positive and supportive people. I can’t imagine having to go through this without my loving and supportive family. I’ve seen how unsupportive and negligent some families can be, and it only makes me grateful for what I have and appreciate the ones I have in life. If there’s anyone who takes the joy out of you or drains you around this time, just walk away for the sake of your child and your mind. If you are doing this to yourself, walk away. I have various extended families as well who kept in touch on a weekly basis and always dropped by with cheerful hearts and well wishes. Having a tight and supportive social network has helped tremendously. One of my closest friends lives right next to me. She has been my cheerleader, advice guru, tough love, and a strong part of my support system. She has a lot of energy, and having her around often was a true blessing. What I’m trying to say is that you might not always need or have a village but a few helping hands and an emotionally supportive family to be there for you. Remember these people... always.
Positive Thoughts - Healthy mind
The power of positive thinking is tremendous. I tried my best to avoid negative energy and looked at things in a more positive light. Negative situations and stress are bound to arise, but what you can control is how you deal with them. Some days in the beginning I knew my body was feeling things in ten folds and I tried my best to catch myself. I had to remind myself that it’s no one’s fault when I’m randomly bursting into tears over a scene on TV or over something silly that bothered me. I knew when my feelings were exaggerated, and I needed to not react to it or expect others to react to it. You may think emotional and environmental things are small, but you’d be surprised the impact they can have on your body, mind, and soul. Everything you feel, gets transferred to your baby and can linger on years after birth. Don’t seclude yourself from everything, because that can get lonely. I wanted to surround myself with people - the right people - my cheer leaders! It’s on you to stay positive and hopeful and not allow your mind to divert to negativity or give your energy towards negative people and situations.