Dealing with infertility is an emotionally and physically challenging process. As you focus on getting pregnant and building your family, you also need to focus on taking care of yourself. That includes taking care of both your body and mind. So in addition to following your fertility specialist’s guidelines for diet, exercise, and medication, make sure you pay attention to your other needs. Try the following methods of self-care to help you during your fertility journey.
Give Yourself a Break
Because it is something so important, dealing with infertility can become all-consuming. It can seep into the other parts of your life and overwhelm you. However, dwelling on it at all times will bring you down. Make it a point to take a break from thinking and talking about infertility and your treatment cycle. It can be hard to let go but do something that makes you happy and allows your mind to focus on something else. Watch a favorite movie or show, take a walk, work in the garden, play a game, or read a book. Anything that gives you joy and relaxes you will work.
Be Kind to Yourself
In trying times, we are often hardest on ourselves even when we’re not at fault. People struggling with infertility often blame themselves and turn their anger and frustration inwards. While it’s important to acknowledge those negative feelings and let yourself feel them, it’s equally important to be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself, even when things are not going to plan.
Struggling with infertility is stressful. Unfortunately, the stress it causes can make it even harder to get pregnant. Stress hormones can interfere with ovulation. Not to mention the mental toll anxiety takes on day-to-day life. Practicing mindfulness or meditation is an excellent way to learn to handle your thoughts and feelings. Meditation has many forms and different methods of practice. There are books, classes at local studios, websites, and even phone apps that can guide you.
Yoga is a fantastic way to improve both physical and mental health. The movements release People who practice yoga experience physical benefits like improved strength, flexibility, breathing, bone health, and sleep quality. The psychological benefits include improved focus, stress relief, and increased happiness. There are even yoga classes and programs for women undergoing fertility treatment. If you’re near Winston-Salem, then we recommend that you contact Ginny Genung at (336) 414-0702 about arranging a session.
Get Moving Outside
Getting regular exercise is crucial for overall wellness, especially when you are dealing with infertility. Keeping your body active and healthy will increase your chances of conceiving, and exercise is beneficial for your mind as well. If you are feeling uninspired in your exercise routine, taking your workout outside can be a welcome change. Try and find somewhere to take long walks, hikes, or bike rides. You may find the surroundings soothing or uplifting, and fresh air is always beneficial for body and mind.
Talk to Someone
You may find it difficult to speak about something so personal with anyone other than your partner, but talking to other people can provide much-needed relief. Seeing a professional counselor or going to a support group are both great options.
Infertility support groups allow people who are going through similar situations to share their experiences. Many find it comforting that they are not alone in their position and that others know how they feel.
Some people may find it more helpful to speak to a counselor one-on-one. A counselor can help you come up with strategies to cope with your feelings. Many individuals and couples will benefit from counseling. Still, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s ReproductiveFacts.org, you should especially consider seeing a professional counselor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness that persist
- Social isolation
- Marital problems
- Mood swings
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Inability to think of anything other than your fertility
Because we know how important it is to take care of your mental health while dealing with infertility, Carolinas Fertility Institute has partnered with Three Birds Counseling. You can schedule a free 10-minute consultation here. And if you have any questions or concerns about infertility, the CFI staff is always here to assist you on your journey. To make an appointment, call us at (336) 448-9100 in the Triad or at (844) 686-2233 in Charlotte.