The stress of not getting pregnant – or coping with fertility problems – can create a downward spiral. These emotional health tips will awaken your creativity and have a positive effect on your mood and perhaps even your fertility…
If you know you’ll never get pregnant, read Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found. You’ll see you’re not alone, and you’ll learn how to overcome the worst of your infertility depression.
A practical tip that increases emotional resilience is decluttering. Why, how? Because eliminating chaos increases energy and emotional well-being, which may give you the “oomph” you need to cope with your fertility problems. I’m serious! Clutter causes stress, which doesn’t help when you’re not getting pregnant.
To declutter, evaluate your space and eliminate what doesn’t bring pleasure. Donate the stuff you don’t need to charity – rework your space until you feel happy and relaxed. The happier and more peaceful you feel, the better you’ll be able to cope with your fertility issues. Decluttering isn’t exactly a way to increase your chances of getting pregnant, but it will help you feel better.
Emotional Health Tips for Women Not Getting Pregnant
These tips will help you focus on your creative, spiritual side. They’re both practical and emotional, and will help reduce the stress of not getting pregnant.
Back to a cluttered house and how it decreases emotional health: “Clutter creates stress and, in extreme cases, depression,” says Candita Clayton, author of Clean Your Home Healthy: Green Cleaning Made Easy. “It’s difficult to relax when you’re surrounded by laundry, work or reading materials because you subconsciously feel like you have things to do.”
Explore your crafty side
I’ve never been drawn to making crafts, but when I’m forced to help create things for wedding showers or miscellaneous projects, I really enjoy it! What about you — when was the last time you did something “crafty”? You don’t have to paint perfect sunsets, knit flawless hats, or sew meticulous quilts to benefit from creating stuff. “The actual process of making art can alleviate emotional stress and anxiety by creating a physiological response of relaxation,” writes Cathy Malchiodi in Art Therapy Sourcebook. Creative activity increases serotonin in your brain, which improves your mood. This tip may not cure your fertility problems, but it can help you feel better…which will help you cope with trying to get pregnant or infertility.
Walk a labyrinth
A labyrinth is a single circular path that you follow in to a center point, and then out again. It’s a focused, meditative walk that decreases tension, increases physical healing, and strengthens the mind-body connection. You can even use it as a fertility prayer! Education consultant Hali Chambers has a labyrinth in her backyard. “But you don’t need one out back to de-stress,” she says. “You can buy already-painted, fold-up canvas labyrinths in many sizes. Or you can paint your own.” Finger labyrinths on paper or computer screens can have the same calming, relaxing effect as full-size labyrinths.
Get dirt under your fingernails
I’m not into gardening, but I have to admit that I feel great when I garden, weed, or toil out in the yard. University of Bristol researchers think the answer is bacteria. Soil contains the friendly bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae, which increases the metabolism of serotonin in the brain. Since a lack of serotonin is connected to depression, scientists hypothesize that this bacterium may improve mood, ease stress, and maintain a strong immune system. If your fertility problems are overwhelming and you can’t stand to read one more tip for getting pregnant, focus your energies on landscaping or gardening.
Explore your exercise personality
I used to jog all the time, until I tried different types of exercise and discovered that I love yoga. I just didn’t know it! It took me years to discover the best yoga DVDs, and now I want to do yoga nonstop. If you’re coping with infertility, try different exercises until you find the one that works for you. Otherwise, you’ll just stress yourself out – which will not help you get pregnant. “The stress of engaging in exercise that is not of our choosing can outweigh its health benefits,” writes Dr Pierce Howard, PhD, in The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. If you force yourself to lift weights at the gym, you could be doing your body more harm than good.
If you have the emotional energy to keep trying to get pregnant, you might find How to Prepare for Pregnancy helpful.
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As always, I welcome your thoughts below…I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it might help you to share your experience of not getting pregnant below.