The holidays are bittersweet for many people, including those who are trying to conceive. While they mean well, loved ones may bombard you with questions about your fertility journey. It may also feel like everyone around you is enjoying the holidays with children. So how do you cope with infertility during the holidays? Here are our ten tips.
1. Choose events wisely
So many parties, so little time. The holidays are notoriously stressful for a reason. Try not to feel obligated when it comes to every invitation you receive.
Pick and choose the events that mean the most to you. If you sense that a gathering is going to make you feel uncomfortable, tell them you will try to make it next year.
2. Decide what you are willing to share
People don’t mean to pry, but it can often feel like it. The never-ending stream of questions may be difficult to field, not to mention all of the unsolicited opinions.
Whether you’re in the initial stage of testing or preparing for IVF, decide what you’re willing to share. Go into each gathering with a plan and don’t be afraid to tell people you’d rather keep your fertility journey private. Have an exit strategy if the questions become too much.
3. Only travel if you want to
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, especially this year.
When you’re struggling with infertility during holidays, it’s important to keep your stress levels in check. Only travel if you truly want to. If not, tell your family and friends that it’s best for you to stay home this year.
4. Find a way to manage holiday mail
Seemingly perfect holiday cards about other families can leave you feeling jealous and empty. Devise a plan for opening them.
If you need to leave them in the envelope until you’re in a better mental state, there is no shame in that. Perhaps you can even designate your partner or a friend to open them for you. Do what is right for you.
5. Consider taking a break from social media
On that note, social media can bring up difficult emotions. While we all know it’s more of a highlight reel, it can be hard to keep this in mind as you scroll through all of the smiling faces.
Take a break from Instagram and Facebook if you’re starting to notice yourself feeling down. Take note of whether this makes a difference in your ability to stay positive.
6. Get plenty of rest
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy life, no matter who you are. Make it a priority to get quality rest despite all of the hustle and bustle.
Is a party going particularly late? Politely excuse yourself and go get the sleep you need. This will help you feel positive and ready to tackle each day.
7. Manage your expectations
Continue to live your life and enjoy time with family and friends but manage your expectations.
While it may feel like the holidays are a great distraction, there may be emotional triggers along the way. If you mentally prepare for this, you’ll be more likely to bounce back.
8. Treat yourself
Don’t get so caught up in gift-giving that you forget to treat yourself. Trying to conceive is a journey filled with anticipation and stress.
If you’re dealing with infertility during the holidays, this is the perfect time to give yourself a gift for going through all of the ups and downs of the last year. Not searching for material things? Treat yourself to a spa day or an indulgent dessert.
9. Create your own traditions and rituals
Traditions are just as exciting for adults as they are for kids!
Whether it’s a special holiday meal or a simple outing, take this opportunity to start your own ritual. This can be an exciting milestone you will look forward to for years to come.
10. Get the support you need
Remember, you don’t have to go through your fertility journey alone. Infertility during holidays is tough, but there are many people out there in the same position. Read a book or listen to a podcast about starting IVF to find a little encouragement from others who have gone through similar challenges.
Looking to connect with other people? Find a support group in your area or online. The members can help you feel comfortable and understood as you navigate the holidays, providing a safe space to decompress.
Find help during your fertility journey
The Fertility Institute of New Orleans was among the first private fertility clinics in the United States. Today, we are proud to change lives through IVF, egg freezing, and many other fertility treatments.