It’s no surprise that many people become nervous in certain social situations, but some have an irrational fear of interacting in public in any way at all. If you find that you’re avoiding social situations at all costs and stressing about even with the slightest of interactions, you may have a social anxiety disorder.
Coupled with all the new changes brought on by pregnancy, this disorder may cause your life to seem overwhelming. However, there are a multitude of steps you can take in order to cope with your social anxiety. No matter how shy you are or how uncomfortable you may be in social situations, these ten tips will help put you at ease during your nine-month adventure!
10 Talk To Your SO Or Someone Else You Trust
No matter what troubling issue you’re facing in life, it’ll always feel better after you confide in someone you love and trust. Talk to your partner or best friend about your social anxiety, and explain to them the situations that you feel uncomfortable with. Not only will they be a crucial part of your emotional support, but they can also accompany you on your social ventures and make you feel more comfortable and self-confident.
Furthermore, you can ask your partner to practice socializing at home with you. Although this may sound silly, practicing small talk and personal introductions could help you remain calm the next time you meet someone new!
9 Distract Yourself With A Hobby, Such As Yoga
Often, anxiety occurs when your mind is too busy considering all the embarrassing possibilities of the future. To help eliminate social anxiety and become relaxed instead, try out hobbies such as yoga and art. Not only will your mind be rejuvenated, but you’ll also be enriching your passions.
To take it a step further, try enrolling in some prenatal drawing groups or yoga lessons. Although taking these hobbies to a social setting may seem daunting at first, it’ll actually be to your benefit to practice being comfortable around other people. By doing so, you won’t have to worry so much about small-talk or introductions, and everyone can focus on yoga instead!
8 Make Some Changes To Your Lifestyle.
Sometimes, it’s not just your mindset that you have to reconsider when dealing with social anxiety during pregnancy. Analyze your diet, sleeping patterns, and lifestyle habits to see if you can change for the better. For example, getting 30 minutes of light physical activity a day will not only be beneficial for your baby but it is also great for combatting anxiety. Being well-rested each night will also greatly improve your mood as well as your self-confidence.
Furthermore, you should make an effort to limit your caffeine intake, as well as incorporate more brain-healthy foods into your diet. For instance, salmon is a great source of protein and a wonderful way to boost your nutrition and your mental health during pregnancy.
7 Try Journaling
Writing is an amazing way to relax and organize any incoherent or illogical thoughts you may have about interacting with others. In many cases, simply jotting down your thoughts, accomplishments, and objectives for the day will greatly improve your self-confidence and serve to eliminate social anxiety.
Furthermore, you can make it a habit to read your previous entries when you’re feeling especially anxious in order to calm your nerves and remind yourself of earlier victories. In addition to writing about your day-to-day life, you can also make it a habit to write down some plans and aspirations you have for your future baby to cheer you up.
6 Reward Yourself For Tasks
If you want to overcome your social anxiety, try taking baby steps out of your comfort zone and reward yourself every time you accomplish a goal. For example, you can start off by talking to some other moms at the doctor’s office during your check-ups. Then, if you’re comfortable with that, try attending some fun recreational pregnancy classes and make a point to socialize with more people during your sessions.
After coming home from a social task, reward yourself with a quiet bubble bath or a bowl of ice cream and a book. Giving yourself rewards for meeting your own goals is a wonderful way to balance your mental needs!
5 Tell Yourself You’re Amazing
Often, people with a social anxiety disorder may suffer from low self-esteem or low self-confidence. As a pregnant soon-to-be mama, low self-esteem could definitely be one of the major causes of social anxiety disorder. After all, your body is changing in brand new ways and you’re about to have a big responsibility as a parent! A good way to combat social anxiety disorder is to first learn to love yourself.
Although it may seem silly, verbal encouragement to yourself may serve to boost your self-confidence to the next level! Look in the mirror and see how beautiful you are, bulging belly, stretch marks and all. They’re all characteristics of a strong, healthy, perfect mom!
4 Be Realistic
An important thing to remember is that you need to be realistic with yourself. Maybe you’re an introvert at heart, and too much socialization isn’t for you. Don’t bully yourself into becoming a social butterfly during your pregnancy just because you think that’s “normal.” Set reasonable goals in order to avoid social anxiety in your everyday life, but don’t feel the need to go over the top and exhaust yourself in the process.
After all, the most important task in front of you during this time is to make sure that you and your baby are growing healthily and happily. If some of the tips aren’t working out or you still feel anxious, don’t be afraid to take a break!
3 Connect With Other Moms
While talking to other people may seem daunting and not a great idea to the moms out there with social anxiety disorder, connecting with other pregnant ladies may be your best shot at getting comfortable. Everyone’s pregnancy journey is different, but there are tons of things that only pregnant ladies can relate to! Explain how you’re feeling to the other moms, and you might get some helpful tips and tricks in return.
If you’re not comfortable with being in a group setting at first, try starting out with joining a pregnancy Facebook group or online forum. Talking with those who have similar experiences as you will put you at ease and get you ready for unexpected social situations.
2 Clear Your Mind With A Massage Or Some Meditation
Part of coping with a social anxiety disorder is maintaining a healthy and calm mental state, which is beneficial for you and the baby. If you find the idea of socializing too daunting or you’re just drained out from all the constant chatter, you should clear your mind with a massage or a meditation setting. Both will help relax your mind and body and prepare you for the months to come.
After all, being pregnant is big news and there’s no escaping attention from family members and friends. Just make sure to give yourself at least one day out of every week to enjoy a soothing massage and a zen meditation session with your partner, or even alone!
1 Talk To A Doctor
In the end, if none of these tips and tricks are working and you find yourself more anxious and flustered than ever, it may be a good idea to talk about it with a professional. Make an appointment with your prenatal doctor and explain the symptoms and emotions that you’re experiencing.
Your doctor will be the best one to consult about possible medications and exercises to try. Furthermore, they will likely have recommendations for therapists and psychiatrists for you if your social anxiety persists. Don’t worry about the stigma behind visiting a therapist, for it could be the best way to make sure that you and the baby are happy and healthy!