Beach, BBQs, and family reunions. Kids are out of school and adults are taking vacation to soak up the lazy days of summer. It’s a relaxing, playful time of year. However, the joys of summer can serve as painful reminders of what people dealing with infertility don’t yet have.
Focusing on yourself and your feelings is imperative to surviving the summer. Give yourself permission to do whatever feels right to you in the moment. Dr. Jennifer Mersereau of UNC Fertility in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers some tips on how to cope with family fun in the sun when you’re struggling to have a family.
Just Say No
Not up for a trip to the beach with cousin Kelly and her three adorable kids? Don’t think you can handle seeing your high school bestie who just had her first baby? Just say no. Declining invitations to gatherings that may bring up painful or uncomfortable feelings is self-protective, and perfectly acceptable. If you’re close to the person who invited you, they’ll understand. And if you’re not close to them they probably won’t care. Give yourself permission to say no if it will alleviate some stress in your life.
Hit the spa. Or the yoga studio. Or the hiking trails. Do whatever you like to do to help yourself unwind and stay centered. The slower pace of summer is the perfect time to decompress. Who knows? You may just be one good massage away from unlocking the secret to coping with infertility during summer. At the very least, you’ll be relaxed trying to find out.
UNC Fertility patients have found the following stress reduction techniques to be very helpful:
• Listen to your favorite music
• Catch up with a good friend
• Take a long bath
• Treat yourself to something new
• Practice meditation
• Get a massage or facial
• Read a good book
• Take a yoga class
• Go on a road trip
Spend Time with Your Partner
Summer is an ideal time to plan special activities with your partner. Farmer’s markets, road trips, beach weekends, and art festivals are great ways to reconnect and recharge and to, as much as possible, take your mind off your infertility struggles. Try new things, or rediscover old activities you used to enjoy. You may find that it’s not only a helpful way to get you through the summer, but a useful method for coping with the stress of infertility long after summer’s fireworks have faded.
Honor Each & Every Feeling
You may feel like you’re totally in control one day, only to be in complete despair the next. It’s crucial to recognize your feelings as valid and, importantly, completely normal. Lean on your support system. If you’re having a rough day call a loved one, or meet a friend for some ice cream. Connecting with those who care is one of the best ways to cope with infertility any time of year.
If you’re struggling with infertility and could use more coping tips call UNC Fertility at 919-908-0000 for an appointment to meet with our compassionate, knowledgeable infertility experts.