• Valentine Gardener

Finding calm during COVID-19: Tips for new and expectant mums

Updated: Apr 22

My anxiety which was largely under control resurfaced big time when my daughter was born. The weight of the ‘What Ifs’ and catastrophic scenarios was a heavy boulder to carry around with me every day. I would have been completely overwhelmed by what is happening in the world at the moment back then (still am to a large extend!). So this week I would like to share some of the little things that have helped me and still do, hoping that it brings you just a little bit of comfort… ⠀

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CERTAINTY. With so much uncertainty in the world, it can be comforting and reassuring to focus on what is certain and constant in our lives right now...⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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  • If you are pregnant, have a lie-down somewhere comfy and connect with your baby, noticing the little moves and twinges. Your baby is moving around (or maybe having a little rest!) and growing in your tummy, as it should be. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • If you have a little one, really look at your baby. What is s/he doing right now? See if you can see the world through their eyes for a few minutes... What is certain is that they are growing, they are developing, they are feeding, they are interacting and YOU are their greatest joy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Carry on doing the small rituals and bits of routine that you did before corona virus hit if it brings you comfort, like a Sunday roast, monthly dinner with a friend (virtually), or always having a breakfast lunch on Wednesdays (mine!). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • If you have the chance to still be outside in nature, notice one thing can you see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Focus on the familiarity of the seasons and spring being firmly here with its signature daffodils and the familiar sounds of bird song. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • The breath is always always here. When it gets too much, try pausing, closing your eyes and counting each breath in and each breath out until you get to 10. Or put your hand on your heart/chest, and repeat words that comfort you e.g. I am safe, I am OK, my baby is OK, I am strong. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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GRATITUDE can help us see the slither of light in the big dark sky… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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  • Before going to bed at night, write down or bring to mind 3 things that you are grateful for, from this day. A little dose of positivity for your brain to absorb as you sleep. On tough days (or as a nice memory when this has all passed!), reading through these will help cheer you up. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Notice the beauty in nature if you still have an opportunity to be outside, whether on a walk, your back garden or balcony.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Take pleasure in the little things that bring you joy and try to include one of these every day such as your favourite chocolate bar, a 5 minutes lie down in the sun or a glass of wine with your partner. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Focus on celebrating the things you have achieved today, just think of one thing. Some days it might be feeding around the clock and not much else, and that’s a brilliant achievement in itself! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


CONNECTION. During these strange times of social distancing and staying at home, it is so important to still connect with each other and feel supported. For a lot of us, this means a drastic adjustment to how we usually do things such as venturing into the world of online Zoom classes and virtual drinks, but it can be done! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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A few ideas on connecting… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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  • With your partner: Make time to have a tea and chat or supper together at the end of the day, really asking each other how you are. Putting away your phones and avoiding if you can the topics of baby logistics/coronavirus, and simply listening to each other’s feelings and needs. If you are too tired to chat, snuggle up on the sofa together in front of the TV. Little thank yous and small gestures throughout the day can also go a long way in making each other feel loved and appreciated.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Connect with your baby. Expectant mums you could try this little exercise: have a lie-down in the spring sunshine or on your bed with your eyes closed. Put your left hand on your heart and right hand on your tummy, imagining a golden thread between your two palms, connecting your heart to your baby’s heart. Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your nose, sending love to your baby with each exhale. New mums and dads, find a light and airy spot near an open window for some lovely skin-to-skin cuddles. Line up a delicious drink and piece of cake, and get settled for some family bonding time.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • With your family: you could schedule a weekly video call such as a Friday night drink altogether or send a picture postcard of your little one once in a while. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • With others. A neighbourly gesture like a note through the door with an offer of help or a little chat across the garden fence, remind us that we are here for each other. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • I’m here if you’d like to connect with me! Get in touch to schedule a free chat for wellbeing support and advice on how to keep calm amongst the chaos. I would love to help if I can ❤


Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers softly 'You got this, keep going'.⠀

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