From Busy to Bed Rest: 4 Tips to Manage When Life Comes to a Grinding Halt

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For a successful, busy, Type-A woman, bed rest can be extremely challenging to get used to.

You're used to having a packed schedule, going from one commitment to another. Your work, home and social calendars are full and let's be honest, you love it that way.

The transition from a full, fast-paced life to one where you can only get off the couch once or twice a day can be really difficult.

You're already scared about what could happen to your baby. Now, added to that, are worries about how to keep up with work, home and social responsibilities.

You're scared you may lose your job, or worse, your entire career, because you have to stop working so much earlier than had planned. You never see your friends anymore and you barely have time to talk to your husband because he's elbow-deep in dishes trying to keep up with chores you used to share.

When you're on bed rest, you're in it for the long-haul. The sooner you can adjust to this new normal the easier this phase will be.

Here are 4 tips to help you manage when it feels like your life has come to a grinding halt.

1. Keep a schedule and a routine.

To keep up with your busy schedule prior to bed rest you had to be extremely organized. Use your skills at keeping it all together by maintaining a schedule now.

Take a shower and eat meals around the same time of day each day. Set aside time for work, phone calls, Google searching, watching movies and having visitors.

Give yourself a goal for every day so your focus is on something tangible that you can feel like you accomplished at the end of the day.

Doing this helps prevent you from feeling useless and unproductive, both of which can contribute to depression for many moms on bed rest.

2. Reframe your identity

So many moms on bed rest share with me that they don't know who they are anymore.

Going from a busy full-time employee and dinner party hostess to spending weekdays alone rewatching the entire series of Downton Abbey can be jarring.

The reality is that who you are hasn't changed. Not one bit.

You're still the smart, successful, kind, caring, generous person you always have been. Only your circumstances have changed. What you do has changed but who you are hasn't.

If you need a reminder, grab the identity reframe printable to keep near you when you start to feel useless and like you've lost who you are since you started bed rest.

3. Focus on your health the way you always wanted

When you were busy running from meeting to meeting and scheduling times to see friends and family on the weekends, you were probably grabbing lunch on the go, eating when you could and hoping your body could handle the lightning speed at which your life moved.

You always wanted to meal plan or go to the gym regularly for that spin class but you were just so busy.

Since many of those responsibilities are on pause, now is the time to implement all of the healthy habits you've always wanted to incorporate in your life.

Make time in your schedule for those 5 minute meditations you've downloaded but never listened to. Practice visualizations, knowing you won't be interrupted by a co-worker barging into your office in the middle. Plan out your meals and mindfully enjoy them knowing what you're putting into your body.

4. Reconnect with why you're on bed rest

Some days bed rest is just plain hard. No matter how hard you're trying to stay busy, maintain a healthy mindset and reach out for support, some days are just really hard. The loneliness feels palpable and you're exhausted by the stress.

In those moments, put your hand on your belly.

Whether you can feel your baby or not, close your eyes and connect with your baby.

Sing a song, read a book or just talk to your little miracle.

Bed rest is not forever, even if it may feel like a life sentence. It will end someday and your sacrifices now are giving your baby a chance for a healthy start to life.

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For more tips on how to manage your high-risk pregnancy, download 7 Strategies to Manage Your High-Risk Pregnancy.

Parijat Deshpande is a Perinatal Wellness Counselor who works with women who are experiencing stress during their high-risk pregnancy. Combining her personal experience with a very high-risk pregnancy and her professional training in clinical psychology, Parijat guides moms to manage their stress so they can feel less anxious, more in control and more hopeful as they fight for their baby.