Figuring out how to survive Christmas holidays when you can’t get pregnant is tough, but not impossible! These tips for overcoming infertility depression (or just the frustration of not getting pregnant) are from Harold Levinson, MD.
Here’s what he says about people struggling with depression…
“Depressed people don’t always respond well to holidays and vacations, when others appear happy and life seems beautiful,” says Dr Levinson. “This contrast often intensifies their own sense of inadequacy, jealousy of healthy others – and thus may intensify their already existing feelings of depression and even anger at their own inability to ‘snap out of it’ and enjoy life as they believe they should.”
Being with happy kids and parents at Christmas may increase infertility sadness and depression — and one of the best ways to survive it is to be prepared! If you’re struggling with infertility depression, read The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness.
And, here are five natural ways to survive the holidays when you can’t get pregnant…
How to Survive Christmas When You Can’t Get Pregnant
“At Christmas, we’re all expected to be happy, joyous and delighted to share gifts and appreciate all that life offers us,” says Dr Levinson. “Depressed people who cannot meet these expectations often feel worse.”
1. Watch your prescription medication. “To make sure your prescription medications aren’t negatively interacting with holiday activities, follow my cardinal rule: if adverse affects occur, blame the medication and/or doses first,” says Dr Levinson. “Lower the dose and determine if negative affects are lessened. Indeed, increased doses may occasionally be needed – depending on the circumstances. Also, alcohol, lack of sleep, etc., may negatively impact medication. Keep these factors in mind – especially if depression or anxiety intensifies. Anxiety may intensify depression, and vice versa.” If you’re taking medications for fertility treatments or supplements to increase your chances of getting pregnant, just be aware that the holidays may affect them.
2. Be aware of the weather and the full moon. A natural treatment for depression is to pay attention to the weather! “During the holidays or on a vacation, external variables may be crucial in affecting mood and anxiety, such as sun, cold, altitude, humidity, barometric pressures, and so on,” says Dr Levinson. “Indeed, a ‘lack of sun’ can intensify depressed feelings. And even the full moon may play a role in some individuals. By contrast, too much sun and heat may have adverse affects and thus physiologically intensify mood variability and even the responses to existing medications. Sometimes, previously helpful medications may suddenly stop working or have negative effects.”
For more tips on surviving Christmas, read Dealing With Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant.
3. Plan for PMS – it can increase feelings of depression. Dr Levinson says, “It’s also important to note that endocronological changes (menstruation, ovulation, etc.) may affect mood and medication/dose responses. Patients planning vacations over the holiday season should keep these factors in mind and plan accordingly.” PMS can make it more challenging to survive Christmas holidays when you can’t get pregnant, especially if you’re sensitive to those monthly symptoms. Natural PMS treatments can help you feel better — but natural treatments can interfere with other medications. Make sure you talk to your doctor first!
4. Double-check your antidepressant medications. “Antidepressants can trigger or intensify depression and anti-anxiety medication can trigger anxiety,” says Dr Levinson. “Awareness of the above insights are crucial for people on antidepressants/anti-anxiety medications. Insight will rapidly lead to self-correction or compensatory behavior. Again, if you’re taking prescription medications, talk to your doctor about how the Christmas holidays may affect them — and you.
In 5 Ways to Be Happy as a Childless Couple, I describe how I’m coping with not having children at Christmas…or any time of the year.
5. Know your triggers. Dr Levinson encourages us to remember that Christmas and the holiday season often expose individuals to new, possibly uncomfortable situations. You’re often leaving a known and comfortable environment to go to a new and uncertain one, and can be dealing with social comparisons, family expectations, disappointments, etc. Again, the more you’re aware of these factors, the better able you’ll be to survive Christmas holidays when you’re coping with infertility.
For more tips, read 10 Ways to Cope With Infertility Over the Holiday Season.
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Do you have any thoughts on these tips on how to survive Christmas when you can’t get pregnant? I welcome your comments below…