Helpful Ideas To Practice Self Care During Infertility
If you’re looking for ways to practice self care during infertility, then you have come to the right place sister!
Let’s be real honest here. Infertility sucks. You can’t sugar coat it or put a cherry on top to cut through the bitterness. It’s just hard.
If you’ve been down this road you know that it can be very long, emotional, and filled with many twists and turns.
Not only are you trying to figure out how to conceive and make this reproduction thing happen, but you’re also trying to navigate the world around you…all the people, the friends having multiple babies, the family gatherings, and ALL the baby showers.
It’s so overwhelming!
You just don’t.
Here are 5 Ways To Practice Self Care During Infertility
- Know your triggers
- Social media fast
- Emotional and creative outlet (journaling, prayer, music)
- Find your people
Knowing how to do this well and often will be vital for your emotional, mental, and spiritual health during this journey.
Let’s learn and grow together!
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How do you mentally deal with infertility?
Know Your Triggers
My first tip for how to practice self care during infertility is to know your triggers. Know what can send you in a downward spiral or create all kinds of unpleasant feelings in your heart.
You’re already super stressed because you can’t conceive, so the last thing you need is to feel constantly defeated, hopeless, or jealous.
I’m not sure what my triggers are, can you elaborate on yours?
My main trigger is spending too much time on social media.
How do I know this?
There have been times when I’ve spent 20-30 minutes scrolling through my newsfeed and at the end of it I felt like crap.
Thoughts went through my head, like this:
- Are they seriously pregnant again?
- How is it so easy for these people to conceive?
- They look so perfect in every picture with their coordinated outfits, perfect smiles, dreamy background. Barf!
- I need to get off of Facebook. This is not good for my heart.
When I’m going through a more sensitive time in my infertility journey, this is what social media can produce in my heart.
The way I deal with it is by taking a social media fast. My longest break was 11 months.
It was so wonderful for my heart and mind!
Triggers can take many forms:
- The baby sections at stores
- Baby shower invites and trying to decide which ones to attend
- Hanging out with other moms who are talking about their babies
- Pregnancy announcements on social media
- Watching certain movies or TV shows
- Christmas cards
- Family gatherings
- Baby dedications at church
- Mother’s Day
I’m not saying that you need to avoid anything that’s a trigger for you. That’s not reality.
But what I am saying is to know your triggers, and be strong enough to put some healthy boundaries in your life.
If baby showers are hard for you, then be very selective about which ones you attend. That’s totally ok.
Skip them if they’re too painful! People who truly care about you will understand.
Set yourself up to be healthy emotionally and mentally throughout this journey, and don’t apologize for your boundaries.
You don’t have to defend your choices. Concentrate on taking care of yourself!
Practice self care during infertility by knowing your triggers and putting up good boundaries.
Another great way to practice self care during infertility is to exercise.
I’m not talking about hitting the gym 4-5 times a week, because that’s not a realistic expectation for many of us.
It is important, however, to keep moving.
If your body is at its best, it can only help (hopefully!) in the conception process.
Even if you’ve been given a devastating diagnosis of never being able to conceive, at least you are channeling the sadness and grief in a healthy way.
Exercising regularly is difficult for me. Can you give me any tips?
Consistent exercise is challenging for me too, so I hear ya!
These days there are so many options for working out and tons of resources out there.
Here are a few tips for incorporating exercise into your weekly routine:
- Find a walking buddy
- Exercise with your spouse
- Online workout videos (there are TONS on YouTube)
- Join an outdoor boot camp like Camp Gladiator
- Make a workout calendar and try to start with twice a week
- Start an exercise group with your friends
- Workout while you’re watching TV
When it comes to exercising, the hardest part is starting.
Practice self care during infertility by doing something great for your body, like exercising!
What are some ways to practice self care during infertility?
Social Media Fast
Another way to practice self care during infertility is to do a social media fast.
I know I mentioned social media as a trigger for me personally, but I think this self care tip needs its own category.
We live in a society where everyone feels the need to be putting on a show and displaying their best selves to the world.
Whether it’s the latest family portrait session, the first place finish at the swim meet, a job promotion, or the closing on your new home, there’s an outlet to be able to show and tell people everything happening in your life, whether they want to hear it or not.
Finding out you’re pregnant is very exciting! I remember how excited we were to tell friends and family when we were expecting.
In the same breath, when you’re in the trenches of infertility, scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing tons of pregnancy announcements doesn’t go over very well.
After a while it may seem that everyone can get pregnant but you and your spouse.
Man, we are SO bad at this! Why does it have to be so freaking hard to get pregnant? This SUCKS!
Here are a few benefits (in my opinion!) of taking a social media fast:
- Clear your head from all the pregnancy and birth announcements
- Fill your mind and heart with other things
- Avoid possible triggers
- More time to be working on yourself!
- Be more productive
If taking a break from social media sounds inviting to you right now in your current struggle, I say do it! Try it out for a day, then a week, and see if you can make it a month.
I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it at all! I know I didn’t.
Be kind to your mind and heart during infertility by taking a break from social media.
Emotional or Creative Outlet
Another helpful way to practice self care during infertility is to have an emotional or creative outlet.
It’s important to have some kind of activity that you can invest time and energy into, to keep you healthy emotionally and mentally.
Here is a great list to get you thinking:
- Listening to music
- Playing an instrument
- Painting or drawing
- Crocheting or crafting of some kind
- DIY projects
This list is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many things you could put into this category.
Why is it important to have an outlet when going through infertility? Will it really help me in my journey?
I’m no expert, but in my experience, going through infertility is an emotional rollercoaster. Having some kind of outlet where I can focus my energy on something outside of the hardship I’m experiencing, has been very life-giving!
Some of my outlets are: praying, playing the piano, blogging, hand lettering, writing letters, and cooking. These are all things I absolutely love and have been great outlets for me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually!
It’s very unhealthy to keep all of these emotions and feelings bottled up, or to be thinking about your issues 24/7.
Stress most definitely takes a toll on our bodies. As women walking through something extremely difficult, we need healthy outlets for our emotions!
Here are some other great infertility articles that I recommend!
Practice Self Care During Infertility And Find Your People
I saved the best self care tip for last.
Anyone who’s gone through infertility knows that it can be a very isolating journey.
Your friends and family members seem to be growing their families with no issues, and here you are still not pregnant.
It can feel like everyone is ahead of you in life, and there’s nothing you can do about it. SO frustrating!
Even though you may feel alone, remember that not everyone in your life needs to be included in the details of your journey.
Infertility is extremely personal, private, and unique to every couple.
Opening up and being vulnerable with others requires a great deal of strength and trust.
When you’re walking through this journey, the one thing that you need to do is to find your people.
You need to have 1 or 2 girlfriends in your life who will stick with you through it all. They are your safe place, the ones who will listen to you share the good, the bad, and the very ugly with no judgment.
Your people should have these qualities:
- Honor confidentiality
- Listen without judgment
- Be ok with ugly crying
- Pray with you and for you
- Understanding and compassionate
- Be willing to see you at your worst
- Honor your story by not pressing you for more details
- Be ok if you just need to sit in silence
- Willingness to acknowledge your grief and hardship
If you have a couple of girlfriends in your life who embody these characteristics, hold onto them. They are good as gold!
These close friends or family members might make all the difference!
Let’s Wrap Things Up
Thanks for hanging with me through the entire post!
Your willingness to read this far shows a desire to practice much needed self care during your infertility journey.
For all of my note takers out there, here is the list one more time:
5 Ways To Practice Self Care During Infertility
- Know Your Triggers
- Social Media Fast
- Emotional or Creative Outlet
- Find Your People
As you trudge through this season, remember that you are not alone. There are so many other women who are going through this too.
Infertility is a marathon, not a sprint.
Try to implement some of these tips, and show yourself grace along the way.
Give yourself the gift of self care. You can do this sister!
Praying for each of you in this season, and that you wouldn’t lose heart.
Lots of love to each of you!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~Romans 15:13