As a couple going through infertility treatment, you know how stressful the process of infertility treatment really is. This stress only increases as treatments occur and then dealing with the grief and loss that comes around a monthly cycle. Stress can increase our fight or flight response affecting the potential success of treatment. Breathing, mindfulness and nurturing self can aid in reducing stress and prepare both your body and mind for the treatment process and can be incorporated into your day to day.
Not that you aren’t breathing already, focused breathing can help. Start simply by slowly breathing in through your nose and slowly counting to four. Exhale through your nose and slowly count to four again. Repeat this action five to six times following the same pattern. On your last time breathe “in” a positive thought about yourself and breathe “out” a negative thought you have been struggling with. Focused breathing can be done at work, home, on your commute, just about anywhere.
Mindfulness takes some time and practice to stay in the moment. It is difficult to stay present and focus in the moment. Start by choosing an activity or interest. For example, practice mindfulness while folding laundry. Think about the way the clothing feels on your hands. What do you smell? Describe each step you take to fold clothing or towels. Or do you roll your clothes? What do you fold and what do you hang? If other thoughts, negative or positive, replace them with the activity at hand. No judgement, just take time to notice what is going on in the moment.
Nurturing yourself can come in lots of different ways. Getting a manicure, taking a long hot bath, taking a walk, watching your favorite movie, take a nap or sleeping in, indulge in your favorite treat (without judgement or counting calories), or getting a massage are just a few ideas. The important thing is to find something that you would not normally do for yourself. Schedule it so you ensure that making time for yourself is a priority.
If you or someone is experiencing the stresses of infertility treatment and can use support, click here and set up an appointment today.
Matt Bartlett, M.Ed, LMFT