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How to stop spiralling thoughts when walking

(10 Posts)
SunnySideDownUp Wed 26-Oct-16 16:32:49

I'm suffering from antenatal depression, and stuck waiting for the mental health team to fix up an appointment, and for a doctor to decide if I can have antidepressants. I asked for help at 16 weeks, I'm now 34 weeks. GP did an urgent referral last week but still waiting!

So, I now that exercise really helps with my depression. But at this stage of the pregnancy there's not much I can do.

I'd love to do more walking and swimming, but I find that within the quiet my thoughts spiral. What can I do to prevent this?

ninjapants Wed 26-Oct-16 16:45:00

You could try listening to music while walking and concentrate on that so your mind doesn't wander. If you have a dog, or can borrow one, they're a good distraction, focusing on their enjoyment at being out on a walk really does make you feel better.
When swimming it's harder to distract yourself from your thoughts but you could try concentrating on your breathing or strokes; technique, how many strokes til you reach the end, how many lengths you'll do etc. Think about how the exercise is making you feel too (almost always better, even if only a little).
I hope you feel better soon and this passes with the arrival of your little one flowers

ninjapants Wed 26-Oct-16 16:51:42

Another suggestion is aquanatal classes. I did these (very relaxing, enjoyable and a good way to meet new friends) and walked my dogs right up to my due date. If you're able to there's no reason why you can't do gentle exercise in the latter stages of pregnancy, be careful not to overdo it though.

whatishistory Wed 26-Oct-16 18:33:28

Have you tried mindfulness? I know someone who does mindful walking.

BotBotticelli Wed 26-Oct-16 18:44:45

You can download some free mindfulness meditation MP3s online - maybe try listening to one of these when walking? Or a comforting audiobook? Or Radio 4 or similar? Or even one of those programmes to learn another language?? Anything that makes you concentrate on something else than your thoights

Apanicaday Wed 26-Oct-16 18:49:59

Audio books. I signed up to audible when my anxiety was really bad, and I'm a total convert.

SunnySideDownUp Wed 26-Oct-16 19:27:15

I'll have a look into audiobooks, they might come in useful when doing nighttime feeds as well!

Sadly there isn't aquanatal classes near me, but good idea to count strokes etc. I can focus on technique etc as well.

AnxiousCarer Wed 26-Oct-16 20:36:57

When I swim I count the lengths and repeat the number over and over whilst swimming, I find it quite meditative. My parents in law have waterproof ipods and listen to music whilst swimming.

PhoenixRisingSlowly Wed 26-Oct-16 20:40:50

Audio books have saved my sanity this year. I listen when I work (I work from home) and they give me something to 'anchor' to and I actually look forward to those times now. Before I dreaded them as my thoughts would gang up on me. Also BBC iPlayer Radio app, you can listen live or browse recent broadcasts, live if nice when you don't want to feel alone. The Short Cuts series presented by Josie Long is excellent. Anything that expands you mind and worldview, and gets you away from the drudgery of being alone in your own head. cake

unlucky83 Thu 27-Oct-16 00:31:08

I agree with listening to the radio whilst walking - talking (like radio 4) is best.
I find music/songs can be tricky as a song might come on that reminds you of something and then you start thinking about that etc. Talking you have to listen to what they are saying so your mind can wander less.
Also depending on where you are walking you can try and notice little things - I live in a beautiful place, with stunning views but I find when I look at the views it makes me feel worse - sad - I guess like an ungrateful failure for feeling so bad when there is so much beauty. Instead I concentrate on features of houses, patterns of roof, different windows, paint work - or on what crops are growing or what kind of trees etc etc . When I lived in the city I used to look up -at the tops of the buildings -or (discreetly) at different people and wonder about their lives etc. Anything but think about me and my life.

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