Despite our best efforts, end of the year, holidays can be painful, stressful, and unhappy. A lot can be expected of us. We are under the pressure to attend various events, put on a happy face, and enjoy every minute. Experiencing infertility during this time can add a large amount of emotional stress to an already stressful situation.
We may not be able to take away all of that stress, but we do have some tools for you to help combat some of those negative feelings and emotions. Our friends at RESOLVE have compiled an excellent list of Dos and Don’ts during the holiday season.
DO: Be selective about accepting invitations to parties and holiday celebrations, especially the ones at which you know there will be a lot of children or pregnant women. Remember: you don’t have to say yes.
DON’T: Feel guilty about not participating in all the traditional family events. You’re going through a difficult time, and you need to concentrate on helping yourself and your partner get through the holidays.
DO: Plan to spend time with couples or friends who don’t have children if family festivities are too much to bear this year. Consider arriving just in time for the holiday dinner, rather than the night before if you find it painful to be around your young nieces, nephews and cousins.
DON’T: Rely completely on family traditions to fulfill your present needs.
DO: Spend time doing things you like best.
DON’T: Pretend that there’s nothing wrong and carry on with “business as usual.”
DO: Decide in advance how you will handle difficult and insensitive questions.
DON’T: Be caught off guard by unexpected or embarrassing questions about your plans for having a family. Plan your responses, but don’t feel that you have to disclose all the details of your situation either!
DO: Try to help others in need. Visit an elderly or bed-ridden relative; volunteer at a hospital or nursing home; or participate in a holiday program to help the homeless. Cheering up other victims of the holiday blues has a rejuvenating effect.
DON’T: Close yourself off to positive feelings and new experiences. You may find that you have a special ability to make others feel good, even though you’re not feeling upbeat yourself.DO: Set aside time to share your feelings with each other.
DON’T: Get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and forget about each other. You need each other’s comfort more than ever.
Bottom line, even through this overwhelming time, you are not alone. Your holiday cheer might look a little different this year, but the Center for Reproductive Health is fighting beside you, every step of the way. Please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here for you. (509) 462-7070