Beating the Bed Rest Blues

I spent a grand total of 6 weeks on bed rest when I was pregnant with my son. It was the most emotional, mind-altering time in my life. Being chained to my couch, constantly worrying about the health of my baby does something to a woman. To say that I wasn't myself is putting it nicely. Another week, and I might have ended up in a psych ward. Though I am one of the most introverted people I know, I actually sometimes enjoy the company of people and, well, DOING things.

The validity of putting a woman on bed rest has recently come under scrutiny, but that's for another time. Regardless, nearly 1 in 4 of all pregnant women are put on bed rest at some point. Just take a second and let that sink in. You have a 25% chance of being put on bed rest. If you are on bed rest, you are in good and multitudinous company. 

I've put together a list that is, by all means, not finite. However, it may give you a few ideas of how to pass the time without losing your mind. 

Do's

Play a Stimulating Virtual Game

With handheld devices, we have the great advantage of diverting our attention by submerging ourselves in virtual reality. My one piece of advice is to find a game that is brain stimulating rather than brain numbing. Puzzle, strategy, trivia--There's tons to choose from! Find a couple, and let the hours melt away.

Read Something Scintillating 

I graduated with a degree in English. I am, as most people would say, a book snob. My personal library is filled with a vast quantity of classics that I still have no idea what they are REALLY about. Who does? I say, throw any manner of snobbery to the wind when you are on bed rest and indulge in some guilty pleasures. Romantic fiction with a steamy pic on the cover...Yes, please! Just don't get yourself into trouble because, remember, you are on bed rest which also means "pelvic rest". A-hem!

Take an E-course

Learn a new language, study for a new certification, become an expert in Curanderismo, the possibilities are endless. The most awesome part? You can do this for free! There are so many free e-courses and apps available.

Write Some Letters

Hey, remember letters? Think back to middle school: folding notes in special ways, writing with special pens, and using special stickers. Yeah? Do that. It will absolutely thrill the receiver and kill a ton of time. Ages 11-13 are completely lost to note writing and passing, so I think it would do the trick for a few weeks of bed rest. 

Take up Crafting like Knitting or Crocheting

I'm not a very crafty person. It's one of those things I really wish I were, but any project I undertake, I either leave unfinished or it turns out epicly wrong--just wrong. Knitting, though, I could do. It takes just the right amount of concentration and speedy outcome to keep my interest. It's productive and something you can do sitting still. Perfect!

Arrange for Intermittent Visitors and Helpers

This is probably the hardest part about bed rest. I hate, HATE, asking for help as do most self-sufficient contributing citizens. Here's the thing, you are not self-sufficient. You are on bed rest, and if people don't come around every now and then, your partner will suffocate under your unceasing need for conversation and you may start talking to inanimate objects and yourself entirely too much. Most people don't consider this on their own. That's why you have to ask them. You'd be surprised at who will end up on your doorstep ready to talk your ear off.

Don'ts

Stay off the Pregnancy Forums

I get a lot of pee-on-a-stick, call the doula correspondences. The first thing I tell people is to stay of the forums. They are a breeding ground for negativity and drama. I was a forum junky to the extreme! All of a sudden, I was worried about whether or not I had this or that. Every post about mystery bleeding leading to a troubling diagnosis sent me reeling. I learned a thing or two on the forums, but mostly, I got a lot of misinformation and unfortunate paranoia.

Minimize the Social Media

Social media is awesome for connecting people and is a great tool for keeping others updated. That being said, limit it. Trolling your newsfeed to see everyone's Facebook lives may not be the most uplifting thing for you at the time. A new kind of depression is actually cropping up from social media exposure. Your time can just be better spent.

Minimize the Netflixing

I was the queen of hitting a TV show hard and knocking it out in a couple of days. It can be a fantastic diversion, and is wonderful when you have the baby and learn the meaning of "cluster feeding." The downside is that while you are on bed rest, you have a tendency to reflect on all the things you are NOT accomplishing. Spending days and weeks watching TV shows may lead to feeling horribly unproductive. You are growing a human being which is a task in itself, but it doesn't exactly take creativity or intelligence. The key to beating out the bed rest blues is to find something that keeps your mind alert and diverted.

Minimize the Nursury Decorating and Online Shopping

Your wallet and your partner will thank me for this one. It's one thing to find the perfect lamp shade with just the right hue of yellow and another to spend hours and hours on Pinterest dreaming and, ultimately, feeling depressed about all the adorable stencil work you can't do because you are chained to your bed. Focus on the things you CAN do.

There are also the obvious choices that most other sites will mention like reading a parenting or birth book, writing in a journal, reading medical literature etc. Like I said, the key is to keep your mind active and positive. Don't dwell on things you can't control or don't have the ability to do at the present. Maybe you'll actually have some fun while on bed rest!