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Quite often, the holidays can be a painful time of year if you’re trying to conceive. Historically, families get together, and sometimes, questions can arise about when you have kids. On social media, people post family photos or pregnancy announcements. While you celebrate their joy, it often can remind you of your own pain.
Research has shown that infertility can be a tremendous emotional strain. The holiday season can unintentionally compound that strain. Below, we discuss how it’s perfectly normal and ways to deal with it.
The Holiday Blues
In 2014, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America did an online poll and discovered that three-fourths of participants reported feeling more anxious or depressed during the holiday season. Through infertility into the mix (not to mention the pandemic), feelings of sadness, isolation, and pessimism worsen. A study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness showed this. Their report said 64% of those with mental illness report that the holidays make their conditions worse.
We have worked with countless clients, couples, and individuals that all have expressed how infertility and stress not only go hand in hand but that sadness around any holiday can make them feel “less than.”
What does this mean to you? It means that while you may feel alone, you are not. Please try not to judge yourself or your feelings too harshly. It’s only natural to find the holidays triggering.
What You Can Do
Social Media, Holiday Mail, and More. It’s up to you to determine what you can handle and when. It’s perfectly acceptable to put those holiday cards aside until another time. Despite when they are sent, they do not need to be opened immediately. Same with social media – unless your job entails having to post online, it’s ok to take some time away from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more! While it can help people stay in touch, it’s ok to take a holiday vacation from it if you find it painful.
Avoid Comparing Yourself. Whether it’s a fertile relative, a cycle buddy, or a friend who posted their 100th picture of their baby, it’s natural to feel envious of someone who has something you’re struggling to have. Please don’t judge yourself too hard for having these feelings. You are human. Everyone has their own journey and even their own history we may not know about. To compare your experiences to someone else’s when you either don’t have all of the facts or not in a mental space to do so isn’t helpful to you. Remember to be gentle with ourselves to create a space of self-understanding, compassion, and self-love.
You Don’t Have To Make Merry. While most holiday plans are either remote or virtual, you don’t have to attend anything you don’t want to. Give your self permission to RSVP, “No, thank you but happy holidays!” It’s absolutely acceptable, to be honest with yourself on your comfort levels this season and what will be helpful versus upsetting. However, if you feel like it will make you more sad to miss out on anything, RSVP, yes. There are no right or wrong answers – only what works best for you!
Practice Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. Show yourself the same compassion you’d show to a cherished friend. Mindfulness helps us see the clear picture of what’s happening and not get stuck in self-doubt. When we are down on ourselves, feeling deficient, less than, or in yearning mode, our perspective is compromised. Bringing mindful attention to all that is happening allows for a big picture to emerge. You can download your FREE guided fertility visualization.
Book your free Supercharge Your Fertility Discovery call. We’ll develop a personalized plan so that you can get pregnant naturally. Please also visit our Resources page for more information and products to help you on your fertility journey.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance and later a gut infection.
Don't forget to check out my Resources page for more information and products that will help you on your journey to getting pregnant.
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