The Christmas holidays aren’t easy for couples coping with infertility. These tips for enjoying Christmas — not just surviving the holiday season — may help you cope with not being pregnant.
“Isn’t it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for – I don’t know what exactly, but it’s something that you don’t mind so much not having at other times.” ~ Kate L. Bosher.
I know what I’m lonely for this Christmas (and last Christmas, too) – and I think she’s right. It is a little sadder not to have children over the holiday season, and my suggestions below won’t erase that sadness. A different perspective can help, though — so if you haven’t read Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Romantic Night, and One Woman’s Quest to Become a Mother – the holiday season might be a perfect time to pick it up! Orenstein’s book is a fascinating, beautiful, insightful story of trying to have a family.
And, here are several tips for couples who can’t get pregnant…
Coping With Infertility Over the Christmas Holidays
Decrease your alcohol consumption. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you probably aren’t drinking too much (or at all). But, if you’re taking a break from infertility treatments or know for a fact you’re not pregnant, then you may have a few holiday drinks! There’s nothing wrong with that – just remember that drinking too much can increase intense emotions, lower defenses, and make stress or depression worse. To avoid potential arguments or uncontrollable emotions in front of family, friends, and colleagues, keep the alcohol intake minimal.
Avoid talking about infertility at holiday parties. Take a break from the stress of trying to get pregnant. Keep your conversations focused on past Christmas traditions, fond memories, family experiences and new information about the holiday season. If you’re struggling with infertility depression, try to avoid the worst triggers of sadness and pain.
Focus on the holiday season. Coping with infertility during Christmas may be easier if your thoughts are focused one thing only: the holiday season. Instead of ruminating about marriage problems, plan to cope with them head-on in the New Year. Whenever the negative thoughts and emotions pop up, replace them with thoughts that keep you focused on enjoying the Christmas season: kids’ excitement for the holidays, past memories of wonderful Christmas times, favorite holiday movies and books, the beauty of snowy surroundings, the taste of hot chocolate and gingerbread.
Revive your spirituality. Christmas might be a good time to return to church, synagogue, or other place that encourages spirituality. Coping with life and family problems is at any time of the year is often made easier when a spiritual source of strength and courage is involved. Take time to pray, meditate, journal, or quietly reflect on the twists and turns of life…including what the future might hold.
For more tips for coping with infertility depression over the holidays, read Dealing With Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant.
Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Stress and depression levels increase if you don’t get enough sleep, don’t exercise enough, and aren’t eating nutritious foods. If ignored, these three simple factors can wreak havoc on your emotions, thoughts, and actions – which will magnify family problems. Christmas can be stressful holidays; mitigate this stress by keeping a healthy physical routine. Get enough sleep, enough exercise, and eat enough healthy foods.
There’s no doubt that coping with infertility over the holiday season is painful and stressful. However, marriage problems don’t have to ruin Christmas – it just takes discipline to focus on enjoying the best parts of the season.
To learn how other women cope with infertility over the Christmas holidays (and all year long), read Starting Over After Infertility – A New Beginning.
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If you have any thoughts about coping with infertility over the Christmas holidays, please comment below.