Overcoming the challenges of the festive season
Christmas and New Year, well let’s face it, pretty much all of December and most of January can be challenging when you’re struggling to conceive or having fertility treatment.
The focus of celebrations on children can be a constant reminder that you haven’t begun to build your family yet, leading to sadness and a feeling of isolation.
Opening your letterbox can become a daily source of distress with the constant stream of Christmas cards featuring family photos filled with babies and kids and toy catalogues.
Facebook can be filled with another Christmas pitfall in the shape of hourly Santa photos.
Maybe it’s hearing about colleagues and friends’ plans for summer trips away with their kids or the new year realisation that another 12 months have passed without achieving your dream that pushes you to breaking point.
Whichever factor makes this time of year especially difficult for you, it’s important to remember you’re not alone in feeling this way and you are not a bad person for feeling a little jealous or left out when others are happy.
While there’s no magic solution, there are some practical tips to help you prepare for the next few weeks and hopefully achieve an element of peace and relaxation.
Make a plan
- Think about the events and celebrations in your calendar and pick and chose which ones you really want to attend. You don’t have to go to everything, everyone’s busy at this time of year, and you can afford to stick with the functions which you’ll enjoy and feel free to avoid those that are likely to cause you worry.
- Run through some simple but firm responses to the dreaded questions about your plans for children.
- Agree on a signal with your partner for those times when you need a rescue or a quick escape.
- Consider how you might deal with pregnant relatives and their small babies.
Make (and take) time for you
- Find the meaning of this time of year for you. Perhaps it’s your faith or maybe it’s the chance to volunteer your time to help those less fortunate. Create some new traditions that will help you survive and prosper.
- Think about what you need to get through and don’t be afraid to ask for it - even if it is quiet time and space.
- Call on a friend. Have a friend or family member who you can talk to or let off steam without judgement. Someone who doesn’t expect you to pretend that everything is okay. Put them on speed dial.
- Pamper yourself and your partner and take time out from focusing on your fertility. Give yourself permission to have a break.
- Search out the positives in the here and now and celebrate your strength.
Embrace the beginning of a new year, this may be the year that brings you the joy you have been waiting for. Dive in!
For other tips and advice, or to hear the words from others in the Genea team, please read more from our fertility blog.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a Genea Group blog and as such information may not be relevant for all clinics. We advise that you consult clinics directly for further information.