From a case of the winter blues to a diagnosed case of seasonal affective disorder, the cold, dark winter months can have an impact on our mood. Symptoms of these conditions include fatigue, sadness, trouble sleeping, and trouble concentrating. When combined with infertility stress, these symptoms of seasonal depression can feel even worse. Taking care of your mental health is essential at every stage of life, but taking steps to reduce steps is even more important when you are trying to conceive. Beat the winter blues and improve your state of mind by implementing some of these mood-boosting activities this season:
Cut down on screentime
Scrolling through the “highlight reel” of the lives of your friends, family, and co-workers might make you feel like everyone is having a good time except for you. When coupled with the frustration of infertility, seeing babies and pregnancy announcements all over social media can leave you feeling sad and discouraged. Taking a break from social media, or at least cutting down on your screen time, can help you to feel better and free up more time for other activities that can improve your mood. You can also use your time away from social media to check out one of these online resources that might help you beat the winter blues related to infertility struggles.
Find a physical activity you enjoy
It’s no secret that physical activity produces mood-boosting endorphins, but it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out on a cold, winter day. Fortunately, there are so many different types of exercise that can get you moving without ever leaving the house. Yoga, dance, HIIT, and Pilates are just a few of the types of workouts you can easily access on your tv or laptop. If the sun is shining, take a walk around your neighborhood to clear your head and absorb some vitamin D. For more of a community feel, join a workout class or studio and reap the health benefits of the classes while gaining energy from the people around you.
Fuel your mood
While comfort food may satisfy you in the moment, carbs and sugars can lead to a crash later in the day. One of the most effective ways to beat the winter blue is by taking in vitamins and nutrients that are clinically proven to boost your mood. Specifically, foods with vitamin D like fatty fish, yogurt, and citrus fruits have been linked to lower rates of depression. Eating healthy not only allows you to feel better, it may also improve your fertility.
Rethink your sleep schedule
The holiday rush can throw off our normal sleep schedule, which can lead to disruptions in cortisol and hormone production. To regulate mood and hormones that can benefit fertility, keep up with a regular sleep schedule. Some steps you can take to beat the winter blues include getting your eight hours, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, sleeping in a dark room, and exposing yourself to light as soon as you wake up.
Connect with your support system
Infertility can feel isolating, but one of the best ways to get yourself out of a winter funk is to spend time with your support system. Whether it’s friends, family, or your partner, use the post-holiday free time to connect with the people you love and discuss how you’re feeling.
Seek help from a professional
If your friends or family can’t offer the support you need, consider speaking with a licensed professional. Meeting with a therapist can help beat the winter blues or any mental health issues for that matter. Carolinas Fertility Institute is proud to partner with Three Birds Counseling to provide you with care specified for those struggling with infertility. If you are experiencing difficulty going through the fertility process, seeing a counselor one-on-one can help you identify the issues that need to be addressed and provide you with methods of support.
Talk to A Fertility Expert
If you have questions or concerns about infertility-related anxiety, depression, stress, or coping mechanisms to help you beat the winter blues, Carolinas Fertility Institute is here to help. We offer a wide variety of services, from fertility evaluations to In Vitro fertilization. Reach out to us today to schedule an initial consultation by calling our Charlotte office at (844) 686-2233 or our office in the Triad at (336) 448-9100.