Infertility Self-Care Plan for the Holidays
Friday, December 23, 2022
It’s not always easy to find optimism during the holidays. Any holiday celebrated throughout the end of the year can be an emotional juggernaut when you’re coping with infertility. What’s often called “The most wonderful time of the year,” couples and individuals struggling with infertility can be a painful reminder of what you’re missing most from your life.
It’s completely normal to feel sad (and even angry) that you and your partner are experiencing fertility issues.
Enjoying the Holidays while dealing with infertility can be challenging, but it is not impossible.
Tips for Coping on holiday
Of course, it can be impossible to think of anything else when you are desperate to have a baby. But unless you are going to start a fertility treatment cycle in December, you may want to put some plans in place to try to take your mind off anything fertility- pregnancy- or baby-related.
self-care guidelines to help ease some of these additional stressors during the holiday season:
• Put yourself and your partner first
The holiday season is typically a time when we try to please as many people as possible. If you are struggling with infertility, you may need to prioritize your own needs. Whether this means asking someone else to host, deciding to have Christmas just the two of you, or ignoring the holiday season altogether, it is ok to do whatever feels right.
• Challenge negative thinking
If your thoughts manifest in a negative form, it might be time to learn to challenge this negative thinking. Watch your inner monologue and be careful of one-dimensional, “black or white” thinking. The more you tell yourself something, the more you’ll think it’s true, so it pays to be watchful – is it really true that you can never enjoy Christmas because you don’t have children? When you tell yourself something like, “Everything will be OK, just as soon as…” you’re brushing away the wonder of the present moment, and all the ways that your life is already OK, right now.
• Consider Your Obligations
Don’t feel obligated to visit family, friends, or neighbors especially if they are not aware that you are in treatment and especially if any of these gatherings are stressful already due to other issues. When intense feelings are so close to the surface, we may become overly sensitive and react, then feel guilty and bad about ourselves.
• Remind Yourself That Treatment Is Temporary
Remember that treatment, although presently all-consuming, has a timeline. You will not be an infertility patient forever. This is a temporary situation and a challenge in your life. Let others’ stories help you heal. Use the positive energy of others to boost your own.
• Follow Healthy Guidelines
Eat wholesome meals, get many hours of rest and sleep, and use distractions such as movies, holiday light displays, and phone calls to trusted and empathetic relatives and friends.
• Be grateful
Practice gratitude for the good things that you do have in your lives. This may be a great job, a close connection to your religious or spiritual support community, family, friends, financial stability, and mental health. Try to focus on appreciation and thankfulness for the areas in your life that are going well.
• Seek out support
Surrounding yourself with close friends and family can help you to feel supported around the holidays. Attending an outside support group can also be helpful. Finding peers that can relate to you and a counselor to offer advice can offer added support.