It’s NOT Impossible
Enjoying the Holidays while dealing with infertility can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. The Holiday "Season" grows longer and longer with each passing year. From mid-October through well into January it’s all about the costumes and family traditions and a jolly old man at a time when you may be feeling less than jolly. For many, suffering from infertility means the Holiday Season ushers in tsunami-sized waves of grief and pain with constant reminders of what has yet to be realized: each costumed child knocking at the door, each family gathering, each story read, or each Christmas carol sung, can sting. And while we are well into this year's holiday season, there is still time to stop, re-evaluate, and make a plan so that you can enjoy the Holidays once again.
- Have a plan for yourself on keeping stress levels low. Set aside some time each day where you can relax and drain that stress away. Have a plan in place to tackle those unexpected flare-ups when relatives unwittingly ask silly questions or make painful comments. Periodically "treat" yourself to a massage, pedicure, or a simple shampoo and trim …all are relaxing de-stressers.
- Set aside some time to do something fun with your spouse or partner. Sometimes the best therapy is just knowing you can lean on each other for support. Plan a day trip or two for each other and celebrate your relationship. The options are all around you, no matter where you are, like take a long walk, pack a picnic lunch, go hiking, or visit a museum – but above all else, be generous with your time with each other.
- Join a support group. You can join a local or online group that will create a supportive community to help see you through the Holiday Season. Support groups can meet your needs on many levels, from knowing what comes next in treatment to knowing you're not alone.
It's not always easy to find optimism during the holidays; in fact, it can be quite elusive at times. When faced with days that are particularly difficult to navigate on an emotional level, celebrate and look forward to the new life yet to come. Ring in the New year with renewed hope and continue to use your resources, taking each day of the coming year in stride.