Written By Lisha Cash, MSW, RSW
Yoga Mamas Social Worker, Psychotherapist
If you're on a fertility journey it's natural to feel like you're constantly riding a wave of deep emotions. Whether you're anxiously in the 2 week wait, feeling discouraged by a pregnancy test, or keeping your fingers crossed that you'll get pregnant, you're no stranger to feeling every emotion under the sun. But it's important to remember that underneath everything you are feeling and going though, you're a whole person, and you deserve to be cared for. Below are 10 ways you can check in with yourself along the path to fertility, so that you don't neglect the necessary practice of self-care.
Find Your Support Team: Determine who you can be vulnerable with to share the deepest aspects of this journey with.
Your Social Circle: Find the people that you can feel the most vulnerable and safe to share all aspects of your journey with.
Individual Therapy: Seeking out a therapist who understands infertility and can support you on an individual basis would provide a safe space to share without judgment.
Support Group: These journeys can feel isolating, especially when those around you have not experienced personal fertility challenges. People find support groups to be very helpful in feeling less alone and sharing their feelings in a space where others have some understanding of what they're going through.
Couples Counselling: For those with partners, if you find that the stress and overwhelm of the fertility journey has created barriers and challenges within your relationship, seek a therapist who is well versed in couples therapy and infertility.
Be Honest: Be open with what kind of support you need with those you are close to.
Lean On Others: You are not a burden, those within your support network want to support you. Let them in.
This Is Not Your Fault: It is so easy to blame ourselves for things beyond our control. You are not to blame. Give yourself grace with kindness and compassion.
Put Up Boundaries (If You Need To): It is okay to protect ourselves from certain friendships that may not bring value to your life or do not feel supportive during this time. If and when the time is right, you can reconnect with those you have missed.
Try To: Take it one day at a time. Sometimes too much focus on the “what-ifs” and the future can feel overwhelming and create a fear of disappointment. Some find it beneficial to focus on one step at a time, one test at a time, one appointment at a time, one day at a time, rather than focus on the big picture.
Remember, your mind and your body are closely connected and both need consistent care to flourish and thrive. Checking in with yourself, opening up to others, seeking help and all the other ideas mentioned above are small actions you can take daily to love yourself. Try to create space for those practices, places, and people who help keep you grounded on this journey.