Trying to get pregnant can be disappointing at the best of times – but at Christmas or Thanksgiving, it can be devastating. These ten ways to cope with infertility over the holiday season may help…
First, a Christmas quip from Andy Rooney.
“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day,” said Rooney. “Don’t clean it up too quickly.”
You don’t need kids or positive pregnancy sticks to enjoy the glorious mess that Christmas brings! It really is your attitude that makes or breaks the holiday season. Me, I’m sad that we won’t be celebrating Christmas with a little one, but I’m also very happy with my husband and career.
One way to cope with infertility over the holidays is to reminisce about Christmases of your past. For a full list of classic, timeless Christmas stories, click on The Most Loved Christmas Stories by Irene West. Read on for my tips on coping with not getting pregnant over the holidays…
10 Ways to Cope With Infertility Over the Holidays
1. Give yourself a break. This requires discipline – but instead of focusing on fertility treatments, how much you want a baby, or the strain infertility puts on your marriage, take some time off! Get out of town, volunteer with to wrap gifts at the mall, or learn about Christmas celebrations in different cultures. Do something different to take you out of yourself for awhile.
2. Stay spiritually grounded. To cope with infertility over the holidays, stay in touch with God or Buddha or the Universe – whoever or whatever grounds you. Take time to breathe deeply and say a prayer, or just sit on a park bench and reflect on this season of your life. If you’re disconnected from your soul or Spirit, you’ll find that coping with infertility is almost impossible.
3. Get fresh air. The more active you are outside, the more energy you’ll have to deal with stress. Getting fresh air will oxygenate your brain and energize your body – so go tobogganing, sledding, skating, snowshoeing or walking. Stay healthy over the holidays, which means getting enough physical exercise.
4. Start new traditions. A great way to get off the infertility roller coaster is to let go of old holiday traditions and start new ones! Instead of going to your mom’s for the holiday meal, consider hosting it at your place. Instead of fighting with your dad or sister, let go of old arguments and don’t even think about starting new ones. Instead of exchanging the same old gifts with your spouse, try something new, like a trip to Mexico or a hockey game and dinner in a fancy restaurant.
5. Be prepared. If you’ve been coping with infertility for awhile now, you know that certain people will ask certain questions. Find ways to field awkward questions, or questions that bring you down. Don’t get mad if Auntie Bertie asks for the thousandth time why you’re not pregnant yet…preempt her by telling her right off the bat that you’re not knocked up! Be assertive, and anticipate those awkward moments. You’ve faced them beforem and you know they’re lurking…
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6. Pamper yourself. Treat yourself – and your best friend, mom or sister – to a day at the spa. Or make a spa afternoon or evening at home; give yourselves manicures, pedicures, massages and facials in preparation for holiday parties. Pampering yourself is a great way to cope with infertility depression.
7. Get enough sleep. To stay healthy and happy over the holidays, make sure you’re getting the amount of sleep you need. Make time for naps or sleep-ins on the weekends. Be creative, and nap in the car or at the office if you need to. The more rested you are, the less stressful it’ll be to cope with infertility at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
8. Get enough light. If you struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or depression, make sure you’re getting enough light, even if it’s indoor. Consider buying a light box and or researching natural ways to lighten the winter blues. This will reduce your holiday stress, improve your mood, and help you cope.
9. Do what you love. Remember what you love to do – what makes you feel happy, healthy, and peaceful – and make time for it! Sing, dance, read, write, walk, paint – do whatever makes you feel emotionally healthy. Include your partner, because as a couple coping with infertility, you need all the laughter and joy you can get. Let go of guilty feelings and other people’s expectations, and stay connected to your heart.
10. Find the meaning of Christmas. What does Christmas or Thanksgiving mean to you? What did it mean to you 10 years ago? 20 years ago? Reconnect with your old feelings of joy, peace, happiness, and laughter. Look through your old photo albums, read books like The Most Loved Christmas Stories, watch movies like Scrooged or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, go to Christmas Eve services or Mass. Let whatever the meaning of Christmas is to you help you cope with infertility this season.
For more suggestions, read Ways to Cope With Infertility Depression on Thanksgiving Day.
If you have any questions or thoughts about coping with infertility over the holidays, please comment below…
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