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Top 5 Ways to Stay Sane on the Infertility Island
a blog by Maya Moskin, September 16, 2014
Dealing with infertility can be very stressful on many levels. We’ve all seen those psychological impact surveys that state that women with infertility experience depression and anxiety similar to those diagnosed with cancer and other major illnesses. Infertility impacts so many parts of ones life. It’s a physical, mental, emotional, relational and financial experience that can really rock a person to their very foundation. That’s why finding ways to stay grounded and sane during your journey to parenthood is so important.
As an Infertility Island veteran, I spent four long years trying to stay calm during multiple ART procedures. Sometimes things I did actually worked. Here are my Top Five Ways to Stay Sane on Infertility Island:
- Find Your Mantra. Find a way to tell your brain everything is going to be ok, when it’s spinning with worries and uncertainties. There is a lot to worry about, for sure. And there are a LOT of uncertainties. But reminding yourself that nothing stays the same or that the baby that is meant to be yours will be can sometimes stop your monkey mind in its tracks. I often thought about all the positive things in my life and reminded myself that we are going to find a way to resolve this crisis. I won’t be doing infertility treatments forever. It took several years and multiple attempts and lots of compromise, but I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant with an adopted embryo.
- Do Something Physical. Your relationship with your body can be negatively impacted during infertility treatments. Sometimes there’s frustration that your body just isn’t cooperating, or even the feeling that your body is betraying you. There is also the hormonal weight gain or the inability to exercise like you once did. Finding a way to get back into your body and connect with your physical self can be very stabilizing. Your body is an amazing gift, it’s all you’ve got to live in. So embrace it, take care of it, and love it again. For me it was through yoga. Yoga helped me feel strong and centered. There are many different physical options to explore.
- Treat Yourself. Infertility can be very harsh and taxing, so self-care is an absolute must. Finding ways to be kind to yourself—from a massage to a day off work to a pint of ice cream to some retail therapy. Whatever you need to feel taken care of, it’s worth it to try and splurge sometimes, or to just set some time aside for a DIY spa night in your own bathroom.
- Take breaks. I was big on plowing forward. I always wanted to keep going on to the next thing that would move us closer to finding our baby. But my husband often insisted we slow down, take a break and regroup. I hated the concept, but went along with it and found that getting a little space from whatever disappointment we were coming off of and gearing up for whatever process was next for us was actually really helpful. It gave me perspective, time to heal, and also time to just be a normal person again.
- Avoid Obsessive Googling. Need I say more?