As anyone who has undergone fertility treatment knows, the journey to parenthood has the potential to be daunting. There’s a lot on your mind (and on your schedule), and staying optimistic can feel like its own challenge – when you’re already feeling rather challenged.
This is why it is so important to take a proactive approach to remain optimistic during treatment. Negative feelings have a habit of begetting more negativity, and although we would never proclaim these feelings to be anything less than understandable, we do think that finding a silver lining can help make your experience as a patient easier.
1. Review who you follow on social media – We’ve heard a lot in the past ten years or so about how social media can affect our mood. If you’re actively following profiles that make you feel unhappy or discouraged in any way, it’s OK to take a break from following those individuals. There are many social media accounts that are directed at fertility patients and strive to set a supportive and inspirational tone – if those suit you, then they are good matches for this time in your life. We tend to use social media as a source of relaxation, but if we’re not mindful of what we take in, it can lead to negativity.
2. Consider joining a fertility support group – Support groups (online or in person) are an excellent resource for those undergoing treatment. They can be a place to vent, to share concerns, to ask questions, or to simply hear stories from others who are going through the same tests and treatments you’re experiencing. Most patients who attend groups like these report that they find relief and they feel better after attending a meeting or writing on a forum; their mood is lifted because they know they are not in this alone.
3. Have a go-to plan for self-care – Self-care comes in many forms: taking a bath, sitting down and finishing a book, going for a bike ride or a swim, having dinner with friends, taking a nap, writing in a journal, seeing a movie, and more. Making time for yourself during fertility treatment is very important. There is a lot asked of your body as well as your mind during treatment, and when combined with the stress and responsibilities of daily life, it can overwhelm you quickly. If you feel drained, then it’s probably already past the time when taking a break is a good idea. Getting to know how you best wind down and what raises your energy level is a great step for patients to take.