The holidays can be an extremely difficult time for those experiencing infertility. Holiday gatherings can cause anxiety, sadness, and even jealousy–it’s hard to see women who are pregnant or a family that has the baby that you are longing for. If you are dreading this holiday season, here are 5 tips to make it more bearable:
Change of Plans
If you are feeling overwhelmed by holiday festivities this year, it is okay to change your plans. Think about the parts of the holiday that are important to you this year and consider ways to prioritize those experiences and ditch the rest.
Social media and photo holiday cards can be especially triggering for some during the holiday season. Consider going on a digital detox and limiting your exposure during the holidays. If you find you are having difficulty, make a plan for opening holiday cards, which can include waiting until after the holidays to open them, or opening them with a friend or partner present.
Holiday gatherings can inevitably lead to awkward questions – even about when you plan to have kids. Talk with your partner about how you want to handle these question(s) and if/how much information you want to share about your fertility journey. It can be helpful to remember that people who ask inappropriate questions are often just looking for a way to connect. Quickly changing the topic if you are headed into an uncomfortable conversation can be all you need to continue connecting in a way that feels safe. Alternatively, you can always excuse yourself from a conversation and take a few minutes alone in the bathroom to regroup.
The hectic pace of holiday season can mean you end up neglecting your own emotional and physical needs. Schedule meaningful time for yourself so that you can head into the holidays feeling well cared for–going to a favorite or new gym class, meditating, journaling, reading, scheduling a massage, or buying yourself a holiday gift.
Difficulty with fertility can leave us feeling isolated and unseen. Seek extra support from a therapist, infertility group, close friend, or family member if you are struggling. Remember, it’s okay to ask for what you need and to make yourself a priority this holiday season.
Read more of Joanna’s blogs by visiting The Quarter Life Center Blog.