A fertility struggle is no joke. And there is no short-term “fix” to sudden carefree happiness.
I do believe that we can develop strategies for living WITH a fertility struggle rather than letting the fertility struggle run our lives. Part of this includes having a go-to list of ways to turn the “fertility funk” around.
To be clear – there is a lot on this journey that is a true loss. You are entitled to grieving these losses. That sadness is real, deep, and OK to sit with for a while. Processing the grief that comes with a fertility struggle takes time and a lot more intense work than what I’m outlining below.
When I talk about the “fertility funk”, I’m referring to the daily haze that can cover every part of our lives.
So when you notice the “fertility funk” impacting your daily life – robbing your joy, encroaching on your thoughts, and stealing from your present (which may not be all that bad in reality), here are some suggestions you can try in 5 minutes or less:
Move! Get up, take a walk, dance a silly dance, do some yoga poses, challenge yourself to push-ups – whatever. Move your body. It doesn’t need to be a full workout, just get your blood flowing.
Laugh. The Mayo Clinic shares that laughter can release stress and reduce tension short term – and the act of laughing has many long term benefits as well. Need something funny? Try listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, going out of your way to hear a good Dad Joke, follow a funny account on Instagram. Ask friends and coworkers for their thoughts. Pull together a list of a few “go tos” that almost never fail to make you smile. Then, turn to those when you need a pick me up.
Listen to a great song. Or songs. Make a playlist. Listening to music releases dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone in our brains. Prepare a few songs that transport you to great memories, make you want to dance, and make you feel loved and joyful.
Accomplish a small task. Sometimes, the act of accomplishing something – however small – gives us a sense of control we may be craving. Make a list of a few things that can be done in the next 24 hours and start crossing them off. Want more? Broaden your list to things that can be started today and completed in the next few days, week, or more.
Dress up. What makes you feel most confident in your appearance? Are you wearing that? This is not about impressing anyone but yourself…and it’s not about changes that take time. This is a swipe of lipstick, a spray of perfume, a pretty piece of jewelry, a change of clothes (to dress up or get comfy). Do this for YOU and remind yourself how gorgeous you really are.
Express gratitude. Stop and write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Allow yourself to really think about these things and what life would be like without them. Let the feeling of thankfulness give you a boost.
Smile. The act of smiling releases the “feel good” neurotransmitters, reducing stress, relaxing your body, and lifting your mood. Smile at the next 3 people you see. Not feeling it? If you’re just a bit down, it’s ok to fake it. You may be surprised to find that by the third person, that smile feels a bit more genuine.
I’d love to know what you think of these & what you’d add to this list – share in the comments below!