Anya Sizer of the London Women’s Clinic
Part II of the article on managing the stress of infertility, Anya Sizer ofThe
London Women’s Clinic discusses how you can personalise the techniques used to
manage this particular type of stress.
infertility stress management
are all unique individuals and both our reaction to stress and the tools to
help ourselves cope will be personal. There is no one size that fits all.
Patients are encouraged to write a stress log recording:
- What specifically happened?
- What were thetriggers?
- What happened physi cally and psychologically?
- What if anything helped?
We can then begin
to see the areas that trigger the most stress and how we experience stress. We
can look at how best to help and support ourselves.
Support falls into
three categories: physiological, practical and psychological. Patients are
encouraged to brainstorm the things that work best for them and to be proactive
in making these a priority.
Physiological fertility stress management
Learning to stop and take a breath at a slower pace than usual, counting to
five. Then exhaling slowly.
Taking a moment to become aware of areas of the body that may have become
tense. Constricting these areas then gradually letting go...a classic example
being holding stress in our shoulders...
Low-impact excercise in particular can be a fantastic way to get endorphins
going and to regain perspective. Yoga is an especially useful resource.
Finding those things that you can loose yourself in from singing to reading, to
watching box sets of Poirot. Anything that you find focuses the mind and gives
you some respite from fertility issues.
Mindfulness: A wonderful tool
in which you literally focus intently on just one thing at a time and do this
at various moments throughout the day, noticing what you experience take a few
moments to notice what you can see, taste, touch, smell and hear. Or take time
to eat Mindfully rather than simply seeing food as fuel.
Practical infertility stress management
How can you best help yourself: From nutritional support, to acupuncture or getting help with the cleaning, be proactive in building a support network. Brainstorm a list, take the top five and make sure you do something towards building that team.
Who or what is not helping: Infertility will put an enormous strain on your resources and test even the most patient of people.There may be friends that are usually quite draining that may need to take a back seat, or projects to put on hold.The key thing to remember is that this is no time to be superhuman.