Practice Loving Kindness Towards Your Body
Many women experiencing infertility may feel that their body has betrayed them or that their body has not performed in the way they had hoped, assumed, or expected. These painful emotions can transform into feelings of grief, anger, self-blame, inadequacy, frustration, guilt, despair, or helplessness – all intimately entwined with a woman’s experience of her body. Although these emotions are completely normal, it is nevertheless crucial to appreciate your body and practice loving kindness towards it.
Relaxation Techniques: Engaging in relaxation techniques like body scans, deep breathing, yoga, and other meditative practices can help restore a positive experience within your body and a sense of wholeness. Incorporating these practices into daily life also reduces overall stress by keeping you mindful and centered in the present moment.
Keep Moving: Regular exercise and activity is a healthy way to cope during a stressful time and a great way to regain confidence in your body. Not only will you be reducing physical conditions that may contribute to infertility (such as overweight, insulin resistance, or chronic inflammation) but you’ll also be stimulating brain chemicals like endorphins and neurotransmitters that can give you a positive mental boost during phases of anxiety or depression. Making plans to exercise with a friend can keep you motivated and also serve as a source of emotional support.
Nourish Yourself: Treat your body with respect by being mindful of what and how you eat. Incorporating nutrient-rich foods like fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, raw nuts and whole grains into your daily diet is a great way to take care of yourself and make sure your body is getting the fuel it needs to support you on your physical and emotional journey. Choosing foods high in vitamins while avoiding saturated fats will ensure you’re getting the proper range of nutrients for reproductive health. At the same time, eating mindfully by preparing your own food and keeping portions limited is another way to encourage healthful choices as you try to conceive.
Practice Loving Kindness Towards Yourself
As you take care of your body during your journey, remember also to nourish your mind and spirit!
Reach Out For A Support Network: Whether you seek support from your partner, friends, family, professionals, or an on line community make sure you stay connected as you manage the ongoing stresses of infertility. Having a support network of people whom you trust and who can empathize with your struggles is crucial for maintaining the stamina it takes to deal with the physical and emotional roller coaster of infertility. As much as possible, cultivate the relationships with people who have a positive influence in your life, and limit contact with those who seem only to add stress to it.
Minimize Your Stressors:
Avoiding unnecessary tension is key to maintaining emotional and physical balance during infertility. In addition to limiting stressful relationships, there are certain other stressful situations that you can control in your life. Set boundaries in your professional life and personal life to ensure you are functioning within your limits; take a moment to re-evaluate your priorities and limit your energies to those things that are a “must” and not merely a “should.” Give yourself permission to say “no” sometimes, and remember to regularly set aside time for fun and relaxation!
A special thanks to Kalli Kofinas for sharing her tips on caring for oneself during infertility in this guest post. Please feel free to share it along. Read more on Kalli and The Maternal Wellness Center at Kofinas Perinatal below.