It’s important to take the time during fertility treatments to prioritize mindful self-care. A fertility journey can be physically and emotionally draining, and making space and time to practice self-care can help keep you grounded and healthy. Whether finding time for yourself each day or prioritizing an activity that makes you feel good, taking the necessary steps for self-care can help you navigate the challenging experience of fertility treatments.
In this blog post, we provide seven self-care tips to help you during your fertility journey. From recognizing your feelings to getting enough rest, these tips will give you the support you need during fertility treatment.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Fertility treatment can often be emotionally draining and bring up different types of feelings—frustration, sadness, guilt, and anger are all common emotions that you may experience. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings without judgment and give yourself the time to process them. Talking to a counselor or therapist can also be very beneficial in helping you understand your emotional responses.
It can be challenging to allow yourself the time and space to appropriately deal your feelings, but here are some tips to help:
Recognize that you’re experiencing a range of different emotions without trying to fix, change or push them away.
Allow yourself to sit with the emotion for a few moments and observe it as best you can—its intensity, physical sensations, associated thoughts, etc.
Ask yourself if your emotions need a response or an action right now and be sure to act on relieving any feelings of distress.
Choose how you want to respond—journaling, talking with someone, self-soothing activities such as yoga or deep breathing exercises—whatever works best for you at the moment.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Taking a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness can help reduce stress levels and bring you back to a place of calm. Through mindful meditation, you can learn to take intentional pauses throughout your day and reconnect with yourself—allowing yourself the time and space to think clearly and stay grounded. This can be a beneficial self-care tool for fertility treatment patients as it helps restore physical and emotional balance.
If you haven’t practiced mindful meditation before, that’s ok! Here are some tips for getting started:
Find a comfortable and quiet place to meditate.
Set aside a few minutes each day for practice, making sure not to make it too long in the beginning, so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Take some time to relax your body by closing your eyes, breathing deeply, and consciously releasing tension or stress with every exhale.
Focus on your breathing, counting each inhale and exhale if that helps you concentrate better.
Acknowledge any intrusive thoughts without judgment or attachment and gently bring back your attention to your breath as many times as needed.
When meditation is over, take a moment to observe the sensations in your body and how you feel emotionally before slowly getting up and going about your day.
3. Take Time for Yourself
Make sure to take time for yourself—whether going for a walk, getting a massage, or enjoying a movie. Allow yourself moments of relaxation and enjoyment away from the fertility treatment journey; these experiences will help you reconnect with yourself and bring your stress levels back down. By taking time for yourself, you will benefit both emotionally and physically, providing yourself with the energy and strength necessary for the journey ahead.
4. Practice Self-Compassion
Cut yourself some slack. Instead of getting bogged down in self-criticism, try to talk to yourself with kindness and understanding, like you would a friend. Recognize how difficult this journey may be, and be gentle and compassionate with yourself—even the smallest gestures can make a huge difference in reducing stress and finding joy during difficult times.
Here are some tricks for practicing self-compassion:
Permit yourself to make mistakes, feel emotions, and accept that it’s OK to not always be perfect.
Ask yourself what would be helpful in the situation and focus on being kinder and gentler to yourself.
Practice positive self-talk through affirmations or mantras whenever you can.
Acknowledge your strengths, successes, and any progress you have made toward your goals.
5. Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest is vital in helping your body and mind recover from the stresses of fertility treatments. Aim for eight hours of sleep each night, but definitely consider time for naps whenever possible. Even a 10-15 minute catnap can help recharge your energy levels, reduce stress, and improving your mental clarity.
Using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation before bed can also help you wind down in preparation for sleep. By prioritizing restful activities, you will have more energy to tackle daily tasks during fertility treatments, improving your overall wellbeing.
6. Eat Right
Eating well is essential during fertility treatments to maintain a healthy body and mind. Aim for a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These nutrient-rich foods offer the vitamins and minerals necessary to stay energized and focused during fertility treatments. Avoid processed or sugary snacks as they can disrupt hormone levels which may worsen infertility symptoms.
Additionally, incorporating prebiotics, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and other supplements into your diet can help regulate hormone balance during fertility treatments. Eating right is one way to take control of your treatment journey, giving yourself the best chance of success. However, please keep in mind that your body is unique and no two people respond to diets and supplements in the same way. It is always best to consult with your physician for personalized advice when considering any diet or supplement regimen.
7. Reach Out For Support
While there are many great resources for someone undergoing fertility treatments, reaching out for emotional support is vital during your fertility journey. It’s beneficial to have someone who understands the emotional strain and unique challenges that come with this process.
Talking to a trusted friend or family member can provide an outlet to express anxiety, fear, or sadness associated with fertility treatment. Additionally, having someone in your corner cheering you on can help give you the energy and motivation necessary to push through difficult times and stay focused on achieving your goals. Remember that you are not alone—there are people out there who can offer comfort, understanding, and reassurance when going through this journey.
Prioritize Self-Care During Your Fertility Journey
Practicing self-care is essential during fertility treatments. From eating nourishing foods, getting enough sleep, engaging in stress-reducing activities to seeking out emotional support—these seven self-care tips can benefit your fertility treatment journey.
This process is emotionally and physically draining, but taking time for yourself can go a long way in providing the strength and stamina needed to manage this challenging but oftentimes rewarding experience.