5 Tips for Coping With Infertility At Christmas

Today, I want to talk about something that is very topical and is all around us right now – Christmas, the holidays or whatever holidays you may be celebrating where you are. And there’s no doubt that it can be a challenging time when you are struggling to have a baby because it’s everywhere, isn’t it? Like happy families are everywhere, visits to Santa, there’s no escaping this particular holiday.

All holidays are hard when you are struggling to have a baby, and I remember this really well. What’s harder about this particular one is the family get together, the awkward question, the sense of not belonging because you don’t have a child. It can really be a challenging time.

I want to share with you some of my tips for navigating the season while still keeping your sanity intact, and while still able to feel like you can enjoy some of the magic of the season:

Tip #1: Digital Detox

As much as you possibly can, step away from Google and give yourself a bit of a Digital Detox. You might end up using your time off this holiday doing research and looking into different options. Now, I’m all for making a plan but I’m also all for not overloading and overwhelming yourself because when you go to that place you are triggering your fight or flight response, which is the very opposite of what we want to do when we’re trying to have a baby.

Make sure that you give yourself a bit of a Digital detox, get away from that comparisonitis which can happen on social media, where we see happy families, someone announcing their pregnancy, all of that stuff.

Set yourself some rules that over the Christmas period, you may not open your social media app until after 12 o’clock in the day, certainly won’t do it last thing at night before you go to sleep. And maybe just disengage a little bit from forums and lower vibe groups that you may be involved in.

I’m a massive advocate of support on the fertility journey but sometimes it can turn into a kind of where everybody is bringing everybody else down. You want to support but might end up feeling worse than you were when you started. So just be mindful of where you are placing your attention online.

Tip #2: Boundaries

I struggle with this myself a lot in the past. Say No when you want to say No, instead of the word Yes coming out of your mouth when you didn’t mean to say Yes. I have said in the past “No is a complete sentence”, and this was never as appropriate as being invited to things over Christmas that you know you don’t want to go to, and you find yourself saying Yes for whatever reason.

That’s enough. You don’t have to go into a big long explanation about why you can’t make something. If you know it’s going to lower your vibe and if it’s just going to bring you down, please be a little bit selfish and know that it’s okay to say No to invites.

Tip #3: Rehearse Your Line

If you do find yourself at this event and the ones you have said Yes to, and you’re getting those awkward family questions about children. You know that awkward aunt that always says the wrong thing in front of everybody – “When will there be a baby?”, “Any news?”  

What I want to invite you to do, is to have a little bit of a rehearsed response. Have one or two standard responses where you are taking control of the situation and not shrinking when someone asks you the question.

You can say, “Not yet, but you will the first one to know if we have news”. Or being really honest, and almost putting it back to the person again saying “Yes we would love a family” and just leaving it at that. Because ultimately it’s okay for you to give a quite direct response to the question and I believe that sometimes its important for us to educate people too, on the questions that they should or shouldn’t be asking.

So think about those rehearsed response for those awkward questions. And just notice how that feels better, and how you can manage those occasions a lot more easily.

Tip #4: Take Time to Restore and Rejuvenate

Take the time over the Christmas season to restore and rejuvenate yourself. Rather than doing all the planning for what to do in the new year.

Remind yourself that it’s important to recharge your batteries, to meditate and take some time to give yourself positive mantras about your abilities to become a mother or whatever it might be. Everything changes, just remind yourself in those difficult moments. And it will never be as hard as it might be in this moment.

Something will come from all of this. Sometimes its hard but I would say to you that when you are looking at the difficult situation around you, choose where you place your focus and if you don’t like what you’re looking at, turn away from it. Adjust your gaze and decide what you want to see and how you respond to it. Because none of us has any control over the things that happen around us, or what comes out of the mouth of the people around us, but we can control how we respond to it.

And even the longest night eventually turns to daytime. So remind yourself of that all the time. And there’s another quote that I heard many years ago – “Everything is will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end”. That is a lovely mantra in those times when things can be just tough.

Tip #5: Tapping Into You Own Inner Child

Tap into your own little inner child this Christmas. We lose that childlike wonder of Christmas and the Holiday season when we are in pain. Again, it’s about reminding yourself that it will not always be this hard. Choose to sometimes look around you, at those difficult situations and think to yourself that will be me. And if it’s not today but there’s a huge chance that it could be tomorrow.

Look through the eyes of the child that you were trying to turn away from. Because one thing that really struck me when I was struggling myself was that every time we decide to get upset and become jealous and feel angry about what someone else has that we don’t have – every time we turn away from the pregnant woman or the woman walking with her child or the family we see going to see Santa, every time we turn away from that, we’re pushing away the very thing we want. We’ve got to just to find a better way both from the perspective of the mind-body connection to fertility and boosting fertility but also just to have a happier life while we’re waiting.

It’s okay not be okay all the time. It’s okay to feel mad, to feel sad, to feel really bad at times. Allow yourself to feel the feelings. But know that they will pass, they will change, as I said even the darkest night turns to day, and things are always changing, allow yourself grace and understanding and you will move through this season more comfortably more calmly and feeling a bit control.

I hope this helps you and I wish you a Happy Christmas and Holiday season!

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