Couples who are facing infertility may dread the inevitable questions from family and friends about when they will have a baby during the holiday season. There can also be the internal pressure of concealing grief from a failed pregnancy attempt. However, there are ways for coping with infertility and making the holidays enjoyable in spite of the difficulties of the infertility journey.
It is easy to become consumed with and overwhelmed by the process of preparing for and undergoing infertility treatment. As with any other stressful situation, it is important to make sure that you take care of you.
Pursue other interests. Get involved in the hobbies that you enjoy or shift the focus from yourself by volunteering as a way to give back to your community, build confidence and reduce stress within yourself.
Exercise and Relax. Getting the body moving provides more than just physical benefits. Exercise relieves stress and boosts overall mood, while meditation and massage calm the mind and provide emotional healing and stress relief.
Watch what you eat. The holidays offer many opportunities to overindulge. However, when trying to maintain health and keep stress at bay, it is important to limit refined sugars and saturated fats.
Make social decisions ahead of time. Be choosy about what events you will attend. Allow yourself to say no to baby-focused activities. Speak to family and friends and remind them that you are going through a difficult time that you may or may not want to discuss.
Be informed. In many instances it is uncertainty that creates stress. Ask questions of your doctor to understand as much of the process as possible about coping with infertility. Research options to help reduce the financial impact on your family. Research statistics to understand that you are not alone, and that other people are also suffering with infertility.
Share your Feelings
Infertility affects many aspects of your life and relationships. You may experience emotions of excitement, frustration, fear or all of the above. It can be extremely helpful to have a good support system with whom you can express your feelings. This may include family and friends, professional help or a support group such as Resolve: The National Infertility Association. Keeping a journal is another way to express your feelings even if you do not want to share them with anyone else.
At Brown Fertility we have support groups and a therapist on staff to help deal with the emotional toll infertility takes not just during the holidays. “It is important to acknowledge your feelings and find support. Connecting with others who are experiencing similar challenges will reduce isolation and help you find genuine support from others who can relate. Also, speaking with a therapist who understands your fertility issues can be beneficial to your emotional health throughout your fertility journey”, states Thais Varzoni, Brown Fertility’s on-site therapist.
We hope these tips for coping with infertility are helpful during the holiday season. Remember to participate in activities that bring you joy and meaning during the holiday season, as this is what makes the most wonderful time of the year special.