How to emotionally handle the infertility waitDec 21, 2021
When you’re going through infertility, you wait for every next step, stage and milestone. Your entire life can start to feel like a never-ending wait.
Why waiting is so hard
Even when you finally get your positive result, you’re still waiting for the next step—for the next appointment, the next test, the next trimester.
The waiting is one of the hardest parts of the whole experience. When you want something so badly, you develop a ton of nervous energy around it. You’re constantly living in a moment of uncertainty where there are no guarantees, and you have complete lack of control.
It’s no wonder that all these things combine to create a deep level of anxiety.
But what if you could channel all that nervous energy into the things that you can control?
Why to control what you can
Your whole body matters when you’re trying to conceive. Remember this includes your mind, meaning your mental and emotional health. That’s why I want to offer you some daily habits that you can implement today. Even if you can just start with one of these things, it will make a difference.
Controlling what you consume
We make decisions everyday about what we feed ourselves. This includes literally feeding ourselves, like food and beverages. But also what we feed our brains daily.
Let’s start with food. I like to think we always know what we should or shouldn’t do related to eating, but even if we know the right choice, we still have to actively make that right choice. Always ask yourself if your choice is going to help you now or later? Will the future you thank you?
Drinking water is a great place to start. I know this one sounds so simple and easy, but that’s what makes it a great habit to implement! It is recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
If you weigh 150 lbs, this means you should be drinking 75 oz of water each day. I love this daily habit because it is so measurable and trackable. If you’re looking for something to control, you can certainly control your water intake!
Beyond what you put in your body physically, think about the other things you consume throughout the day. Do you consume news? Social media content? TV shows? Every single one of these things impacts your emotions.
If you’re scrolling on Instagram, are you following someone that makes you jealous? Are you constantly looking at the lives of people with babies and then feeling down about yourself? Maybe it’s time to unfollow those people, at least temporarily. Follow the people that inspire you and make you feel good.
I went through 3 rounds of IVF with each outcome ending differently. I initially went through the process without doing any of these daily habits, and then eventually got to the point of practicing all of them. These things gave me purpose and a sense of accomplishment that allowed me to handle anything that came my way for the rest of the day.
Here are 5 daily habits you can control today:
Following a sleep schedule
Sleeping consistently and going to bed at the same time really sets you up for getting your day off on the right foot.
Moving your body daily
Don’t worry, you don’t need to run a marathon. But research shows that moving your body helps change your mind and gets you out of funks. Find time to stretch, walk your dog, or do yoga. Whatever it is, just make the time to get up and move around.
Making your bed
This one might sound so silly and even too easy, which makes it a great place to start! I heard the coolest phrase once: “The state of your bed shows the state of your head.”
Think about that. Right now, what does your bed look like? And what does your head look like? Do they match up?
Starting the day by making the bed is a simple way you can start each day with a completion. By starting the day completing something, you’re setting yourself up to continue that for the rest of the day.
A daily practice of gratitude
There are different ways to practice gratitude but the best way is to write it down. Focus only on things that happened in the last 24 hours. We can all be thankful for our family or a roof over our head, but it’s important to stay present and in the moment. I know this can sound fluffy, but it truly makes you recognize the good around you. When you see and look for good, you find other good. When you only see that everyone around you is pregnant, you’re only going to see that everyone except you is pregnant. But when you’re looking for good, you’ll start to see the other signs and symbols around you that this is good.
Journaling, meditating and/or praying
Spending time to be calm and in the moment helps your body, mind, and emotions to center and focus you and thus put you in control. A lack of control is such a common feeling that we all have, so this one really helps alleviate that by taking time for yourself to feel in control.
When you are having a bad day or you get bad news, it makes sense that you may not want to go to sleep. It makes sense that it’s hard to make good choices when it comes to exercise or eating right. You feel like you don’t want to put yourself first. But if you can start to implement these daily habits now as non-negotiables, and put yourself first even in just one of these ways, it will impact your future success and happiness. It’s what will get you out of bed and turn your day around. Whether you’re dealing with the wait through infertility, a new pregnancy, or something else entirely, all of these habits will help.
Pick one. Try it tonight. And then keep trying it for 21 days. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
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