Trying to create your family through IVF can be stressful, especially when you don’t get pregnant right away and the bills start piling up with each cycle. Trust us, we’ve been there.
A look at various studies do show that that there may be a link between stress and the inability to get pregnant, however, the studies haven’t really being able to explain how stress and pregnancy are linked. With that being said, stress isn’t healthy whether in terms of your pregnancy or not, and will not only affect your mental stability, but could also be harmful to your relationship with your partner, family, and friends as you undergo IVF. So it’s important that you try to reduce your stress levels during IVF.
As crazy and as hard as that might sound, we’ve created a list of five ways in which you can de-stress during this part of your parenthood journey. Check them out:
1. Treat yourself to a spa day
There’s something about other people taking care of us that allows us to relax — which is why you should take a spa day to relax. Get a Groupon or just find a way to put the money together but go all out on this. We are talking about a one-hour massage, pedicure, manicure, facial, the whole works. Massages have effectively known to reduce stress (among many other things), while the additional features will just allow you a moment to relax and sit while others take care of you, something that is hard to do when you feel the need to take care of yourself or your partner during the IVF treatments. This might be something you want to do separately if you’re a couple — a chance to breathe — or it might be something you do as a couple, to reconnect and remind each other that the stress can’t keep your love apart.
2. Start practicing yoga.
Yoga is extremely beneficial to relieving stress, as well as improving your mood, fitness, and posture. So whether you practice intermittently or have never tried it before, make a commitment and start going to some yoga classes. The repetitive motion of the moves allows your mind to clear of all the thoughts about IVF, as does the meditation part of the practice. And if you can’t afford to go to a class continually, many cities will often provide free yoga classes weekly or at discounted rates — plus there’s always Youtube.
3. Take a break.
Taking a break from IVF is probably the last thing you want to hear. You might feel like if you continue to try and try and push yourself, it will all work out — and maybe it will. But if you feel yourself falling over the edge of stress, you and your partner can’t seem to be in the same room, or it’s consuming every part of your life, then a break from IVF may be the thing you need. Besides, research shows that breaks don’t hurt your chances of IVF success. So hear us out — a break could be as short as a month. During this break, you can focus on yourself or your relationship with your partner, enjoy wine again, have as much sushi as you want, and just remember who you were before you were obsessed with all that is IVF. A break might be the thing you need to get your head right and go back into IVF battle.
4. Go on vacation.
Did you know that vacation can lower your stress and decrease depression? It’s true! So take a vacation, whether it’s a solo journey if you’re a single parent by choice, or as a couple going through IVF. It’s totally worth it! This could be overseas to a new place you’ve never visited, or somewhere close to home and more economical, but still relaxing and fun. Just get away from your life for a few days or a week (even better!) and come back feeling refreshed and happy.
5. Start a new hobby or project.
A great way to de-stress during your IVF treatments is to start a new hobby or a project — that has nothing to do with having kids or IVF or “family” in general. By this we mean, your project shouldn’t be designing a baby room. No, find a hobby or a project that is entirely for you as a person. This might be learning how to crochet, taking up karate, getting into scrapbooking, or learning how to brew beer. Whatever it is, focus on it. Learn all you can about it, and integrate it into your life so that you have something fun and new to focus on besides IVF. For when you’re doing something fun and relaxing, it can relieve your stress and make your IVF journey that much easier.