by Kazue Koyanagi
Pregnancy leaves some women glowing. Others of us have an occasional, or not so occasional day when we might be best described as wilting.
You wonder how you'll get out of bed, much less make it through the work day.
You could be asking yourself why you feel so unhappy when you'd planned for and prayed for this baby.
You might feel nervous, like you need to get out and do something, anything.
Whether you're the type of person who relaxes best from the outside in -- an evening out with friends, heading out shopping or planning a get-together, or a person who finds peace best by focusing inward and staying in the minute, finding beauty treatments for your soul takes a priority during pregnancy.
We've gathered ideas for all personalities and most situations. Read through these ideas and pick out a few to give you a lift during those challenging pregnancy days.
Your changing body, surging hormones and added responsibilities might seem overwhelming. Your energy level and your to-do list could be at war. What's a mom to do? Reach into that "pregnancy pick-me-ups" bag and treat yourself with a customized cure.
I can hear you thinking, "Really! The best tip you've got for me is to eat a stupid apple?" I can even see you rolling your eyes. I understand your hesitation.
Trust me. If you're feeling a little low or blah, changing your menu could change your outlook. Some moms find that their moods fluctuate right along with their blood sugar levels.
Apples contain natural sugars to help give you a boost. Because of their high fiber content, those sugars are slowly released into your blood steam, helping maintain stead blood sugar levels and smooth, even emotions.
The car keys mysteriously disappeared again? You head to the store for a loaf a bread and come home with everything but. You start to write down that neat thing your baby did, but can't remember just what it was.
Putting a pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) can expand your memory, allow you to stash ideas and thought, and enable you to enlist a sense of humor.
Do you need to get away, just for a few hours? How about a girls night out? Not your cup of tea (or should that be mocktail)?
You might be happier escaping with a good movie and a bag of popcorn or taking a favorite book to the nearest coffee shop, snuggling in a comfy chair and imbibing in it and a cup of your favorite java?
Some moms prefer nature retreats. Yours might mean a walk along the beach, a hike on a wooded trail, an hour digging in your garden or a lavender-scented foot bath.
Be childish. It's good practice for life with kids. If you already have a toddler or preschooler, play with them. Can you imagine your child's expression if you were to glide down the slide?
Drawing, playing with modeling clay and other crafts connect you with your creative side. Sketch out your dream nursery and include those silly critters you've saved in a file.
Do you enjoy your kitchen time? Cook up some fun and invite a friend to come over and test out your culinary spree.
See another's hurt and needs can be the perfect antidote to a pity party. Look around and see who feels as miserable as you. Can you make a dinner for your elderly neighbor or send an email or card to a shut-in?
Your kindness helps them, but it gives your a boost, too. The act of being kind floods your brain with happy chemicals.
"If they're feeling down or bad, pregnant women should do something to improve the situation!"
Have you bought into that philosophy? Step back a minute, take a breath and decide if your expectations put unfair pressure on your pregnant self.
Everyone has a down day, sometimes. Be gentle with yourself. You're accomplishing great things -- building a beautiful baby -- even on those less than productive days.
What helps you leap out of the slump on your sluggish days?