If you’re facing fertility treatments, you probably have heard many things you can do to help improve your chances of success.
But the list can be overwhelming. You may be grieving the loss of getting pregnant “naturally.” Or maybe you are several steps into your family building journey and you’re tired of what seems like a never ending list of actions.
Take a pause. There’s lots of ways you can improve your fertility experience without “doing” more. The following ideas are about “being.” Be gentle with yourself. Be thoughtful about what works for you.
Be aware of what gives you positive, peaceful, energy – and what drains it. Try them all or just one, but aim to make a habit of finding ways to care for yourself as you seek a more peaceful and calm fertility experience.
1. Speak kindly to yourself
What have you told yourself today? Have you thanked your body for what she is doing? Or are you angry and frustrated, consistently sending negative messages? Things like “My eggs are bad”, “I’m too old”, or “My body is failing me” can put you in a downward spiral.
Consider instead what happens when you pause to appreciate what your body IS doing. Is it strong? Healthy? Are all the vital organs functioning? Even just appreciating the fact that you are breathing can be a good start.
Or, if you’re simply too tired, too bruised, too heavy – pause and listen to your body, to your mind. How can you respond in a way that’s cathartic, caring, gentle? What would you say to a friend in this situation? Give yourself the same care.
2. Create quiet moments
Life moves fast. Going through fertility treatment can make us move faster, think more, our minds and
bodies racing, racing, racing. Stop.
Set aside a daily time to be still and quiet, to simply breathe. Schedule the time at a natural transition point in your day which will help make the quiet moment part of your routine.
Try meditation or creating a mantra. Practice breathing exercises and identify trigger points where they’ll be most helpful. Write in a journal with no self-censorship but, instead, with a goal of capturing the racing thoughts so that you can still them.
3. Switch one thing
The list of things to change or that you might be doing “wrong” when it comes to fertility can feel more tedious than empowering. Focus instead on changing one thing that may not be helping to something more “fertility friendly.”
For example: Swap out your morning cup of coffee for a cup of herbal or rooibos tea. Choose an apple over a bag of chips. Buy a natural cleaner for your house or beauty product for your body. You get the idea.
Switching one thing may bring satisfaction from “checking the box”, or it may start you on a path to changing lots of things. Doesn’t matter…you decide what makes you feel in control. It is not about doing all the things; it is about a state of being.
4) Get outside, into nature
Studies show that getting into nature boosts our well-being by reducing obsessive, negative thoughts.
Make a point to get to a park, the woods, a nature preserve. The wilder and more natural the setting the better. Just walk, breathe, stand, or sit. Repeat.
Let nature slow your negative thoughts and introduce thoughts of wonder, peace, or appreciation. Notice the plants and how they respond to the wind. Listen for the sounds. Marvel at a creature.
Breathe deeply and notice your mind slowing down. Make an effort to think of at least one positive thing before you leave.
5) Create support
Fertility treatment is not something to go through alone. While you may not be up for telling friends or family, there are people who have been in your shoes who can help. Services like Fruitful Fertility (fruitfulfertility.org) are excellent ways to get connected with people who have been in your shoes. If you’re looking for a local, in person, support group check out Resolve (resolve.org). Or, join a Facebook group or online community.
Fertility coaches are a newer resource for women and couples going through fertility treatment. They can provide support as well as a guiding hand, strategies to cope and calm, and encouragement for you to face each day of your fertility journey a little bit stronger.
Visit MyFertilityCoach.com for more information and to schedule your complimentary coaching session. We look forward to helping you to have a calm, peaceful, IVF cycle.