The holiday season is a unique combination of feelings. On the one hand, the holidays are supposed to be joyous and cheerful, but on the other, there is stress that comes standard with family obligations and high expectations. This stress doesn’t just have the potential to turn you into a grinch, but if you have been trying to conceive or are interested in starting a family, then holiday stress may be added on top of the stress you already feel. In fact, stress is a known factor for causing and being the result of infertility. To help you relax and break this vicious cycle, we’re sharing some top tips for managing stress this holiday season.
Make a plan
Much of the stress associated with the holidays is due to obligations and last-minute tasks. Taking time to make a plan is key to managing stress this holiday season and beyond. Giving thought to planning out gifts for friends and family, creating a budget, and making notes of your social calendar are all ways that you can minimize feeling like you’re overwhelmed or spread too thin. Even small preparations before you’re in the throes of the holiday season can make a difference in the long run. You may even find that making plans can help you stay calm and organized at any other part of the year.
Maintain a routine
The holidays have the potential to impact what and when we eat, how we spend our time, and even our sleep schedule. Trying to maintain your normal routine can help keep you grounded and feeling comfortable, even when the holiday season starts to become stressful. If problems with conceiving have been causing you stress, adjusting your routine to include more healthy habits may also help with fertility. Many of the decadent holiday dishes and festive alcoholic beverages can have negative effects on fertility, so trying to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get eight hours of sleep can help reduce stress and keep you on a healthy track.
Make time for yourself
While the holidays may be a time for togetherness, it’s important to put your own needs first. In the moment, you may be tempted to say yes to all holiday functions and parties, but that can be draining and may increase stress levels. Take time out of your busy schedule to focus on yourself and do something that truly relaxes you. Whether it’s yoga, listening to music, catching up on a T.V. show, or going on a walk, even little moments can help relieve stress and leave you feeling centered.
Spread holiday cheer
Despite being called the season of giving, we can often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Instead of spending all of your time focusing on the material aspects of the holidays, take some time to spread holiday cheer by means of volunteering or simply being kind to others. No one is immune to the stress of the holiday season, so treating others with kindness can brighten their day as well as leaving you feeling good. No one leaves a situation happy to have lashed out, so you’ll find that being patient will serve you in the long run. Volunteering is also a great way to get out of your head and gain perspective.
Think about your resolutions
When it comes to managing stress this holiday season, the first step is to manage your expectations. So much stress is placed on the new beginnings of the New Year. While this is a good time to plan goals and resolutions, make sure you’re not too hard on yourself. Setting small goals are more attainable than setting a large overarching resolution. For example, if you have an intention to become healthier in the new year, take it day by day by eating more vegetables, then down the line, start exercising more, and see where it take you. Making too many changes at once loses steam quickly, leaving you discouraged. Start small, and if you go off track, you don’t have to wait until the next new year to get started again.
Talk to A Fertility Expert
If you have questions or concerns about infertility-related stress or how managing stress this holiday season may benefit your chances of conceiving, contact Carolinas Fertility Institute. We offer a wide variety of services, from fertility evaluations to In Vitro fertilization and even counseling services. 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.