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First-time Pregnancy: Everyone Has An Opinion

First-time Pregnancy: Everyone Has An Opinion

As unbelievable as this may sound, no two words (aside from, “I do!”) will have as much of an impact on your life as, “I’m pregnant.” Your life is about to change in so many ways that you will quickly forget what life was like prior to having a child.

This especially holds true for women who are having their first child. Aside from the excitement, there are fears, concerns, questions, curiosities, and some life-changing decisions to be made. And, through no fault of your own, you will be bombarded with many questions, pieces of advice and opinions from everyone you know—and even from people you don’t know!

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Most women (and some men) cannot help but offer you their two cents’ worth when it comes to your pregnancy. So what should you do with all this unsolicited advice and opinions? Welcome to your first test as a mother—practicing patience and understanding.

Welcome to the sisterhood

Your mom, aunt, sister, cousin, best friend, client, customer and neighbor will no doubt have something to say when it comes to your first-time pregnancy. It could be as simple as where to get the best maternity tops, what are the best pregnancy skincare products to use, or the offer of their old maternity dresses. You will hear a lot about their cravings, their aches, their pains, their labor and delivery, and even some stories that fall under the heading of Too Much Information. Everyone has something to say and you will definitely hear about it, whether you like it or not.

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Understand that when a woman is pregnant—especially for the first time—it takes other women back and get them thinking about their own first pregnancy. Women remember what it was like for them and what they experienced, so their immediate instinct is to share what they know with you, and yes, that will include advice on what to wear, which are the best maternity dresses and pants, and where you can get them.

It’s as if you entered a secret society that is no longer secret to you. Now you get all the wisdom and knowledge that you didn’t need prior to becoming pregnant. And guess what? Even after you give birth, the wisdom, knowledge, opinions and advice will still be coming, but in even greater amounts as you enter the world of motherhood.

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How to deal with unsolicited advice

You have two choices when it comes to all of this unsolicited advice. You can either ignore it or take it for what it is—women sharing their experiences and trying to help you by letting you know that when it comes to pregnancy, almost nothing is as it usually is. That’s right: your senses change, your body changes, you feel different, look different, act differently and think differently. And while no two women ever go through pregnancy with the exact same symptoms and side effects, it is nice to be reminded that what you are going through is normal—something that most women probably wished they were told when they were pregnant for the first time. As many books and articles as you may read about pregnancy, they still will not cover everything, and that can make a first-timer feel scared or uncertain as to whether what you are experiencing is normal or not.

On occasion you will get an opinion or advice from someone that is completely misguided or inappropriate. Unfortunately, you cannot filter out those with nothing of importance to offer from those who have something useful to say. Yes, there will be women who will share their death-defying tale of how they delivered their baby, or how painful and long their labor was. You will hear stories of morning sickness that lasted through all three trimesters, or how the family dog had to stay with a relative because the smell of dog food was too much to bear. What you need to remember is that these are individual stories (some slightly exaggerated), but they are not an indication that you will suffer the same malady.

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When it comes to pregnancy and the advice you will receive—whether you ask for it or not—you don’t have to worry about following it, or that the same bad circumstances will happen to you. Your pregnancy will be your own, unique experience with good times and maybe some not-so-good times. However, the one common thread that all mothers have is bringing a new life into the world. And that is definitely something you will want to share with women who you one day encounter during their first pregnancy.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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