The eggs didn’t fertilize. No sperm was found. The embryos fell apart in the dish. The pregnancy test was negative, again. To boot, you’re out of money and utterly and totally exhausted. Your mind is an empty room on a cold, gray day, filled only by the scattered noise of rustling leaves outside. And now the holiday season is here. Great.
I know it’s not the normal you. Being infertile is like having walking pneumonia: it just seems never to getter better or go away. Yet, you have a whole busy life in front of you, one that you must face everyday, rain or shine. So how are you supposed to survive the holidays. By getting some control back in your life. That’s right, turn on the blinker and get out of the fast lane. And here’s how:
- Take smaller steps. Give the stress, anxiety and depression associated of infertility some time to run their flu-like paths. You will make it, and you will be stronger because of it.
- Take a break from emails, texts, news, stock quotes. Simply agreeing to take the next month off and start again in the New Year can make all the difference in the world.
- Enjoy friends. Long walks with a soul mate or old friends can work wonders for your well being. Hugs are pretty powerful too.
- Express yourself. Cry on a shoulder and not in a closet. Hell, just cry! Keep a journal of your feelings. A belly laugh or a primal scream is even better. Empathy is a very rich and particularly human experience with immense healing power.
- Relieve stress. Exercise, yoga, massage and acupuncture are fabulous ways for men to “vent” and relax.
- Be mindful. Take your eyes off the screen and lose those circular thoughts. Take note of the present. Quietly observe life. Breathe to relax. Just breathe. You are an organism, not a machine.
- Say no to parties and other large, happy crowded events. For now. Find strength within and around you.
If you just can’t possibly switch to the slow lane, then at least stay connected with mindfulness and download a meditation app. In the words of jazz singer Shirley Horn in Here’s to Life: “May all your storms be weathered, and all that’s good get better.”