The word “health” may make you think of drinking water, eating vegetables, or going for a run. While these things are important, being healthy is so much more than this. Our bodies are complex, and there are actually six areas of health and wellness that every person has. Each area should be taken care of to make sure that someone feels their best. All of these areas can completely change in exciting ways once pregnancy (whether it was planned or unplanned) occurs.
Six things may sound like a lot to think about, so let’s break them down:
The way to remember these areas is also known as S.M.E.E.P.S (Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Environmental, Physical, and Social).
For many people, spiritual health is the foundation of their lives. It is their worldview, what they value, and what they believe. It may be where they find hope and peace of mind when life seems hard. This is also a place to turn to when things are great! A place for them to celebrate the good things in their lives. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a spiritual person, take time to sit down and ask yourself what your beliefs are. Do you believe there is a God? What do you believe your purpose is in life? How have your beliefs changed since finding out that you are carrying a child? These are important things to think about, and a part of taking care of yourself is knowing how you answer questions like these.
Also known as creative health, this area of wellness is all about learning, growing your skills, and challenging yourself. What are your interests and hobbies? What do you enjoy learning about? Do you like to draw? Paint? Be in nature or take photographs? Taking time throughout your week to do things that make you think differently and challenge your mind is a large part of being healthy, especially when you’re pregnant and your body is changing every day.
This part of wellness means expressing your emotions in ways that are healthy for you and those around you. This includes: dealing with stress, being excited about life, understanding your feelings, learning from your mistakes, and finding it easy to laugh!
Some things that can help your emotional health include: going for walks, deep breathing, journaling and talking to trusted friends about how you feel. ¹ Pregnancy can have a huge effect on your emotions. The CPC offers classes on these changes, and how you can handle these feelings.
Your surroundings have a large impact on your health and wellness. This means anything from being outside in nature, to the home that you live in. Making sure that your personal space is clean, safe, and healthy is all a part of your environmental wellness. If your environment is noisy, cluttered, and causes you a lot of stress, start thinking of ways that you can change that. Sometimes, you might not have much control over where you live, and in that case, finding a place in your neighborhood or around you where you can go to experience these things is a great way to take care of this part of your wellness.
This is the area of health that you probably hear the most about. It can be anything from eating well, to exercising, and to making healthy choices! Some simple ways to improve your physical health and the health of your baby during pregnancy include: avoiding all alcohol or tobacco consumption, getting at least seven hours of sleep every night, eating whole foods, drinking water, reducing caffeine intake, and doing exercise that you enjoy.
Building relationships and having a strong support system is the main idea behind social health. Having people around you to support you through everyday life, and your pregnancy is a great place to start. Also, this support system can help you make changes to improve your areas of wellness; maybe you can make the changes together! Other ways to improve your social health include: getting involved in community events, volunteering for causes that interest you, and joining clubs and small groups.
So, begin to think of your health as more than drinking water and eating vegetables. Think about your health as having six different parts; consider how each of them fits together, and how your pregnancy is affecting every one of them. Focus on taking little steps to improve each of these areas in order to feel your best during your pregnancy.