Ways to Cope with Infertility During the Holidays
Endless social events, twinkly lights and peppermint flavored everything. It’s official–the holidays are upon us. What’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year is anything but joyous for those struggling with infertility.
Although it’s the season for family gatherings and giving to others, it’s imperative that you focus on taking care of yourself during this not-always-merry time of year. The best gift you may receive is one you give to yourself–the permission to do whatever feels right. Here are some suggestions on how to cope with infertility during the holidays.
“No” Is Not a Bad Word
Not up for dinner with cousin Kathy and her four adorable kids? Don’t think you can handle seeing your college roommate who just had her first baby? It’s ok to say no. Declining holiday invitations to gatherings where you’ll be uncomfortable is self-protective, and perfectly acceptable. If you’re close to the person who invited you, they’ll understand. And if you’re not they probably won’t care. Give yourself permission to say no if it will alleviate some of the stress you’re bound to feel this time of year.
In the spirit of putting yourself first…hit the spa. Or the yoga studio. Or the movies. Do whatever you do to help yourself unwind and stay centered. The busiest time of the year is when everyone needs to decompress the most, particularly people going through the ups and downs of infertility. Who knows? You may just be one good massage away from unlocking the secret to coping with infertility during the holidays. At the very least, you’ll be relaxed trying to find out.
Effective stress reduction techniques include:
- Read a good book
- Listen to your favorite music
- Catch up with a good friend
- Take a long bath
- Treat yourself to something new
- Practice meditation
- Get a massage or facial
Spend Time with Your Partner
Plan special activities with your partner to get your mind off the holidays and, as much as possible, your infertility struggles. Taking time for just the two of you during this hectic season may feel indulgent, but disconnecting and focusing only on each other can be a wonderful way to reconnect and recharge. Try new things, or rediscover old activities from your past. You may find that it’s not only a helpful way to get you through the holiday season, but a useful method for coping with the stress of infertility long after your New Year’s kiss.
Lend a Hand
If you have the time and inclination, volunteering to help others in need is a great way to help shake off the holiday blues. There are countless opportunities to help those less fortunate this time of year; you may find that doing so ends up helping you as well.
Feel All the Feels
You may feel like you’re beating the doldrums one day, only to be in complete despair the next. It’s crucial to recognize your feelings as valid and, importantly, normal. Lean on your support system. If you’re having a rough day call a loved one, they’ll be happy to take a break from the holiday cheer to cheer you up. Connecting with those who care is one of the best ways to cope with infertility during the holidays.