The holidays – the time of year filled with cheer, shopping, cooking, and loved ones. Yet for those struggling with infertility, this season also brings a hyper-focus on the everyday reminders of that pain. The simple joy of seeing a child opening presents or reading a Christmas book can be heart-wrenching when every child reminds you of your struggle with infertility.
While surrounding yourself with the spirit of the holidays, it is important to take care of yourself. If you feel stuck, remember that Tripod Fertility is here to help.
Tip #1 – Honour your feelings
A fertility journey is full of emotions. It is important to identify your feelings and what is causing you to feel that way. It is okay to take time to cry and express your sadness because holding your feelings inside actually takes more mental energy than releasing them.
You should give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions are present and accept that this is exactly the place where you need to be in the present. We understand that what you’re going through can be stressful and unsettling.
Tip #2 – Give to those in need
The holiday season is a time of year to spread some cheer to others in your community!
Here’s what you can do:
🎄 Donate online where applicable
🎄 Give to your local food bank
🎄 Donate items to a charity
🎄 Volunteer where it’s safe to do so
🎄 Connect with a friend
Bringing a smile to the faces of others can have a gratifying effect during this holiday season. 😊
Tip #3 – Give yourself permission to say “no”
You may not feel comfortable around too many babies, children and pregnant women this holiday season. You may not want to have to field questions about your own fertility. Your close family and friends will understand.
Enlist a partner or a friend to stay by your side to help navigate painful conversations, to provide a supportive shoulder or to give you a break to talk freely. Anticipate questions about your plans for having a family; therefore, planning will help prevent being caught off guard. You do not have to disclose all the details, and having a rehearsed answer eases the discomfort of these exchanges.
Tip #4 – Find inspiration in a holiday theme:
Determine the personal meaning that you and your partner can find in each holiday to help lift your spirits and comfort you in your struggle with infertility. This time of year is often associated with hope and finding a personal connection will be instrumental in getting through the holiday season.
To keep busy, you could participate in activities like:
💜 Decorating a tree
💜 Cooking together
💜 Watching a movie
💜 Walking/ hiking
It’s important to enjoy your time together and possibly create a new family tradition along the way. We are thinking of you no matter what situation you are dealing with in life or infertility, and wish for you to never lose hope.
Tip #5 – Seek Childfree Forms of Celebration:
The winter holidays present an ever-lengthening stretch which many women and men who are struggling with infertility feel pummeled. Bookended by Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and coupled with shorter days and colder weather, those trying to conceive can find the holidays a difficult time and may think ‘tis hardly the season to be jolly.’
Plan some fun activities for you and your partner like micro adventures to a local market, or hiking on a sunny day. Celebrate and explore something new together. 🥰
Allow yourself to feel sad and you are entitled to those feelings. Talk with others about your feelings. Your partner or family member will help you through these rough times.
Tip #6 – Be smart when buying gifts
Holiday shopping season is upon us, and with it, the often difficult decision about what to buy. You do not need to subject yourself to braving the massive shopping crowds at the toy stores to shop for nieces, nephews or children of good friends.
Purchase a gift online from a local company or a gift card which will provide a fun trip for them to choose their own adventure at their own convenience.
Tip #7 – Communicate with your partner and/or loved ones
Talk to each other. No matter how well you know and love each other, you cannot read their mind. We need to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings that may cause hurt, anger, resentment, or confusion.
It takes two people to have a relationship and each person has different communication needs and styles. Couples need to find a way of communicating that suits their relationship. Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work. Communication will never be perfect all the time.
When you talk to your partner or loved one try to:⠀
🎄 Set aside time to talk without interruption from other people or distractions like phones, computers or television.
🎄 Think about what you want to say be clear about what you want to communicate.
🎄 Make your message clear, so he or she hears it accurately and understands what you mean.
🎄 Talk about what is happening and how it affects you.
🎄 Accept responsibility for your own feelings.
🎄 Listen to others and put aside your own thoughts for the time being. Try to understand their intentions, feelings, needs, and wants.
🎄 Share positive feelings with your partner or loved one and be aware of your tone of voice.
Tip #8 – Do what soothes you:
There may be times when you do not have to appear happy or friendly, let yourself be the way you feel. Overthinking for too long may increase your stress and could potentially negatively impact your relationships with others around you.
Pampering yourself goes a long way to help you get through this time of year. Soak in the bath, get lost in a good book, go for a run, or spend the day watching movies in bed. Whatever feels good – do more if it!
Tip #9 – Maintain Balance:
The Christmas holidays seem to be the busiest time of year, as a result, routines that normally keep us healthy and happy — workouts, cooking at home, and relaxation rituals — are often replaced with habits that aren’t best for our overall wellness.
Keep in mind that all the holiday hustle and bustle may lead to fatigue. It’s crucial to focus on maintaining a balance at this time of year.
Tip #10 – Seek Fertility Support
It is completely normal to feel stress with the holidays. Reach out to your support system and ask them for help – hearing a familiar voice can make a big difference.
If you are struggling with infertility, you should reach out to a professional for fertility support. Tripod Fertility specialists are specially trained to help manage the challenges that come with navigating your infertility.
Tip #11 – Stay active
Exercise has many benefits for your health, including increased fertility. Increasing moderate physical activity may have positive effects on fertility for women and men especially those with obesity.
The trick is moderation. Excessive high intensity exercise may cause negative effects in certain women. Overexertion may change the energy balance in the body, and negatively affect your reproductive system.
If you plan to increase your activity, add it gradually and make sure your healthcare team is aware of your fitness goals.
Tip #12 – Eat a balanced diet
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are packed full of beneficial antioxidants like vitamins C and E, folate, beta carotene, and lutein. Eating more of these healthy foods may improve your chances of increasing your fertility.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. You don’t have to eat a “perfect” diet — just do the best you can and by starting to prioritize healthy eating habits now, it’ll be easier to stick to a healthy diet once you get pregnant.
You likely have many unanswered questions – Tripod Fertility is here to help. Contact us today to discuss your story, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9052013420. ⠀