One of the things that gets forgotten when trying to conceive is to take care of ourselves emotionally and so we turned to the wonderful Sarah Banks to advise on the best ways we can look after ourselves during our journey.
We put so much focus on eating right, having sex at the best times, avoiding doing activities that we enjoy and help us relax. Our mind is constantly on doing everything we can to conceive, and it makes us feel anxious, on edge and stuck in a rut.
I had to give up dancing in competitions throughout treatment. It was the only thing that helped me relax, and having to give it up just made me feel that infertility was taking something else from me.
I didn’t see my friends as much as I should have done, because it was difficult to listen to baby stories, and I had given up drinking so didn’t feel like going on nights out. I was working long hours at work to prove my worth in something and distract myself from my only career goal – to have a family.
Struggling to conceive is hard enough, but having to give up the things we enjoy and that help us relax just adds more insult.
We forget that we should still be happy, that TTC can take a long time, and it’s a long time to be sad and deny ourselves of the things that we enjoy.
We forget the little things that make us smile, and we tend to focus on what we don’t have and all the things that are missing from our lives, which makes us feel even worse.
Its time to start putting focus back on your emotional wellbeing. On doing things that make you happy, making time every day to do something (no matter how small) that makes you smile.
Realise how important you are, and how important it is to look after your emotional health. You can’t keep going every day if you are not looking after yourself and you are feeling like you are running on empty.
If you feel like your emotional health needs a bit of TLC, have a look through the below activities and give them a go. They are designed to put the focus back on you, so you can see all the things that you’ve achieved, remind you of the things that you enjoy, and give you the support that you need.
Create a ‘Thankful list’
Think of 3 things every day that you are thankful for – make a note of these and refer back to them when you are having a bad day or negative thoughts.
Recognise and celebrate your achievement – ‘What I’ve got going for me’ journal
- Make a list of your positive qualities
- Include in the list your past successes
- List your top 3 most fulfilling accomplishments in life so far
- List the biggest thing that you have overcome in order to be successful
Take time out to do something you enjoy
Allow yourself some time to do something that will relax you, take your mind off the treatment and re-charge yourself. This may be a hobby, going for a beauty treatment, an exercise class, or something like the cinema.
Write a journal
Writing in a journal reduces stress and anxiety and can allow you to vent frustrations and upset. It can also help you uncover strengths and solutions that you may not be able to see on a day to day basis, which will help you with your thankful and achievements list.
Join a support group
Attending a support group will show you that you are not alone in thinking you are a failure, others feel that about themselves too. It will show you that your feelings are completely natural. It will also offer you support, understanding and friendship.
Create a ‘Daily happiness plan’
Think about all the things that you enjoy and make you smile. It can be something really small (speaking to a certain friend, reading a book), to something really big (having a weekend away). Once you’ve got a list you can plan something in to every day.
Sign up here to receive my daily happiness plan. It has been designed to help you focus on the things that make you smile, remind yourself of the things you enjoy and help you plan something that makes you smile in to every day.
Please make time for yourself, you are so important