Infertility Support During the Holidays – Treating Myself With Love & Awareness
The holiday season is in full swing. And it catches us– carries us along, with its rhythm, it’s drama, it’s bright lights, it's promises of sweetness and joy. It’s a time of family and togetherness.
Joy and happiness.
There’s where it hurts though, doesn’t it?
Our family, without a baby. Still.
Why do we resist our families, as we know them, during the holidays? Why do we want to?
Because the family we’ve been dreaming of and working towards doesn’t exist. Yet.
I wrote the below several years ago. It’s worth re-publishing.
Please remember that this blog was about me. Maybe it will inspire you to find the places where you go in times of stress and sadness.
How do we take care of ourselves?
How do we take of each other?
This is my way of helping take care of you– a gift to you.
Tell me, how do you want to spend the holidays?
Holiday Support Throughout the Season
This is a very personal blog, based on what is helpful to me, the places I go when I feel stress or anxiety. They are probably not identical to how you cope or where you find holiday support through the season, and yet some may seem very familiar.
Getting clear with what I am doing as opposed to what I could be doing is a way for me to see through the murkiness. I have choices, it's reassuring to remember that.
I don't know if this will be helpful to you or not. Maybe you need to make your own lists, see where the things are that trigger you and how to release in a healthy (or not so healthy) way.
Coping with Holiday Stress
The holiday season is in full swing. Some of what goes on is so loving and fun and full of joy. And some of it is just plain hard, holiday stress. Especially if you are dealing with not being pregnant. Again. Or fertility treatment cycle failed. Again.
Maybe not every coping method has to be healthy. At least not every day, occasion or minute.
Ten ways that I punish myself during the holiday season:
- I eat too much of too many wrong foods – including drinking alcohol and caffeine.
- I stay longer than I am comfortable at social events.
- I don’t exercise.
- I make too many plans and don’t plan enough down time.
- I don’t attend yoga classes.
- I stay up too late and get up too early.
- I don’t read.
- I don’t pray and meditate regularly.
- I don’t pay attention to how I am feeling and therefore can’t respect my feelings.
- I endure rather than enjoy the holiday season.
Ten ways that I support myself during the holiday season:
- I appreciate my loved ones.
- I make phone calls to people I don’t normally speak with.
- I put on my pajamas and stay in them for hours past what is normally socially acceptable.
- I cook and clean in spurts.
- I look at the physical beauty of the world.
- I watch good movies.
- I listen to those around me and let them in.
- I hear my heart beating and my breath coming in and out.
- I actively work towards finding light in my life.
- I get up. I move a muscle, change a thought.
Ten things I COULD do to support myself during the holiday season:
- Take a walk every morning.
- Go to yoga class twice a week.
- Pray and meditate.
- Paint, draw, weave, knit.
- Go to sleep by 11 pm every night.
- Embrace the loving relationships in my life.
- Spend time with my beloveds.
- Make social contact regularly with supportive and loving people.
- Have fun. Plan fun. Laugh more often.
Infertility Stress Reduction – Remember Choices
It's easy to get caught up in the season, for good and for bad. It's equally as easy to forget that we can make choices for stress reduction.
I'm going out for a walk. That's my choice.
As is my writing to you.
Maybe your choices would be helpful to someone else.
Could you share them with us?
If you do write to me, it does not post automatically. I can post your choices and stress reduction ideas anonymously.
Make a choice to share, I'd love to hear from you.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.