Five Things to Help You Survive the HOLIDAYS

The holiday season is here. With all the lights, festivities and hoopla, being around well meaning friends and family while navigating the infertility zone can be lonely and/or irksome at best.

We have Five Survival Tips for the Holidays, with YOU in mind.

Limit your events. Saying “no” is not only OK, but good for you. As you pick and choose a few events to attend (or just one), you can also decide where, when and who you want to see. Come later to an event, say around dessert time and stay long enough to see and check in with loved ones while knowing you can leave if you believe there will be the possibility of an unwanted conversation about your infertility journey. Allow for a little more space in your life. Or, just say “thanks for the invite but we are taking some time off this year.”

Set boundaries. Visiting the homes of your extended family can bring both joy and pain. You might be feeling awkward or isolated as you hear news of a new baby and the dreaded question about your fertility journey comes up. Take a breath.This is when you go and hang out with those you know for sure are loving and supportive of where you are at right now. Call people you think might be at any event ahead of time and let them know you might lean on them if things become stressful. You will be glad you did.

Help someone else this season. It’s been proven that helping someone else brings joy to the person helping almost more than the person being helped. Get outside yourself and find a place to volunteer a few hours here and there. Have an older neighbor who might like some company? Are you an animal lover? Help out at a shelter or offer support by cleaning out those old towels and donating them to pet sanctuaries. Write a letter or send a care package to our overseas service persons. You get the idea. Find your niche.

Renew your relationship with your significant person or just yourself. Maybe this is the year you play hookey and take a spontaneous trip somewhere you have always wanted to go. Find a new holiday ritual for the you and your partner or you and a favorite person in your life. This could be a fun way to expand your relationship and bring a new closeness as the year ends.

Take care of yourself. Easier said than done, but this one is very important. The holidays bring all the familiar hustle and bustle, and if it normally has been a favorite time of year, then not “feeling” it can add to the stress and frustration. Take a long bath, book a massage, call a close friend you have to talked to in awhile, go see that movie you have heard about, take the dog for a long walk while you notice the leaves changes and the clouds moving across the sky, sing as loud as you can to your favorite song while in your car or the shower, check out the window decorations, make a special dinner for you and your significant other or close friend or just buy a good book or binge watch something new. It’s your time and you get to write the story here.

You got this. And don’t forget about the breathing thing…

(Thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Grill for the inspiration for this post)