Have you just been put on bed rest and you are worried sick on what to do with all the restrictions? After over 16 weeks of bed rest, I know what that feels like.
At first, I thought it was really cool to be asked to lie in bed and just do nothing but then it dawned on me pretty quickly how boring and frustrating it can get.
In order to deal with my frustrations, I came up with a list of things I could do while on bed rest and spent my time focusing on what them. That way, I kept myself occupied and stopped whining about all the things I wanted to do but could not.
First things first: When you find out you are going to be on bed rest:
It took me about a week before I figured out that I needed some coping mechanisms if I was going to get through this season without feeling like I’m going crazy.
By my second week, I started implementing the ideas I’m sharing below and they improved my life significantly. In retrospect, If I were to go through it again, these are things that I would start doing on day one.
As soon as you find out that you are going to be on bed rest, there are a number of things you can do which will make your life a whole lot easier.
How to set yourself up for success when you are on bed rest
- Establish a routine – being on bed rest comes with so many restrictions that make you feel like you have lost control. Establishing a routine will give structure to your days and help you feel like you have control over some aspects of your life. A routine helped me to stop feeling lost and to be honest that’s how I stayed sane.
- Keep items you need close to you – Figure out what you are going to need and keep it on your bedside table so that you have what you need when you need it. These could include, a journal and a pen, your laptop/iPad/ phone plugged in, water bottle, snacks and whatever else you may want to have nearby.
- Ask for and accept help from friends and family – I was honestly surprised by how much my friends came through for me but if there was one single most important decision that helped during my bed rest, it was allowing my friends to help me. It was a very humbling experience but it made it so much easier for my husband to take care of me while at the same time handling his job efficiently. Let them bring you food, help with the laundry or even babysit if you have older children. It will go a long way.
- Have a second room set up where you can move to for a change of scenery – it can be extremely boring looking at the same four walls all the time. I used our living room as my secondary room when I got bored in the bedroom. Our IKEA sectional sleeper came in very handy because I could lie down and binge-watched my favorite programs on TV and then move back to my bedroom later in the day.
The next thing I did after that first week was to come up with a list of things to do when on bed rest that would help me feel productive. I did everything below except picking a new hobby. It was really fulfilling to see myself accomplish so much with my time.
11 Things To Do When You Are On Bed Rest
Here are 11 super simple things that you can do when you are on bed rest and be productive.
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1. Read books:
I love reading books so this was an easy one for me. While I was still at the hospital after my cerclage The Gifts of Imperfection because I thought it sounded like a book that could help me find positivity in a dark season. Thankfully, it did more than that and taught me a lot about living wholeheartedly.
I also got a copy of Babywise, a book about infant sleep because sleep is so important to me and I wanted to be ready when the baby arrives. I struggled with sleep deprivation with my first-born and I want this time to be different. It was an awesome resource.
Depending on your preference, you can read anything from fiction to non-fiction. From pregnancy to parenting books, the list is endless. If there ever was a time to become a parenting expert, this is the time 😄
2. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal is a great practice to record your thoughts and keep memories of your pregnancy. Personally, I kept a gratitude journal where I recorded the things that I was grateful for each week of pregnancy. It really helped me to stay positive and push through tough days.
3. Pursue a new hobby
Is there a hobby you have been wanting to pursue but had no time for it? As long as you can do it in bed, this is a good time to start. It could be making crafts, knitting, drawing, sewing.
Here are some wonderful hobby ideas you can use.
4. Sleep/ Rest
Yes really, it is actually possible to be on bed rest and not be well-rested. Sometimes we try so hard to feel productive that we forget that resting is very productive too.
With a new baby on the way, you are going to have a lot on your plate very soon so take this opportunity to just relax and rest before then.
5. Start a blog
A blog is a great platform to share your thoughts on topics that you are passionate about. Start a blog like this one on an area of interest to you and help other people online. You could even make money in the process.
6. Watch your favorite movies
I spent a lot of my time watching movies and catching up on shows on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix which we were already subscribed to. If you don’t already, getting a subscription on a streaming site could be a good idea. Others that you can try are Hulu, Starz, HBO, Showmax, or even Youtube TV and catch up on your favorite shows and movies. Guilt-free.
7. Call / Skype your family and friends
Calling friends was a good way for me to stay in touch with the world outside my house. Take this time to keep in touch with the friends and family that you have been meaning to call but did not have the time to. Also, call that sister can listen and encourage you when you are feeling worried or frustrated.
8. Create your baby registry
With the many options available for baby registry sites online, this is a perfect opportunity for you to choose the best baby registry site for you. Choosing and adding baby registry items can be therapeutic and a wonderful way to feel like your little one is going to be here soon. I enjoyed it so much that I created 2 registries, one on Amazon and the other in Target.
9. Join a pregnancy community
I like pregnancy communities online because they help you to realize that you are not alone.
Websites like Whattoexpect and Babycenter have awesome communities where you can meet and interact with other moms who are going through the same thing as you. I enjoyed reading the experiences of other moms on bed rest and learning some tips from them.
10. Enroll in an online course
If there is a skill you have been planning to gain, enrolling in an online course could be a really good idea. I enrolled in a course on Udemy. One of the moms I met online also took a breastfeeding course. It is a great way to gain useful skills before the baby arrives.
11. Online shopping
Since going to a physical store could be out of the question, you can start shopping online. Buy items you will need for baby postpartum and for your hospital bag for labor and delivery.
The other option is to set up your groceries for curbside pickup. That way, your hubby doesn’t have to go into the store. A little help goes a long way.
What’s your favorite thing to do when on bed rest? Share with a fellow mom on bed rest in the comments.