One of the most annoying things that people say who don’t know much about infertility or IVF is: ‘If you just relax, it’ll happen.’
Sure. In theory. But relaxing isn’t going to do much in our situation, with my other half’s dumb ass sperm. I mean, those sperm are so relaxed, they ain’t movin’ anywhere! (Sorry, not sure why I’m going all street!)
Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to relax. But it’s hard when I feel I’m watching the life I thought I’d live gurgle down the plug hole while everyone else plays happy families.
It’s not just that, anyway. Work is a constant source of stress. It’s up and down like a yo-yo, and this week I’ve not stopped. So much for not doing overtime, and taking my breaks. I was up at 10pm last night, after starting at 8am. Then back on at 7:30am today, like the night never happened.
When you’re going through IVF, it’s important to limit stress. Take it easy, chill out, R&R… but how do you do this when life keeps throwing you curve balls?
I suppose I know what I can do more of, but putting it into practice is not always easy…
- Meditate – in the run-up to IVF round no. 1, I meditated every morning for six (yes, six!) whole minutes. And it felt good to clear my chattering mind, albeit very briefly. But I’ve not done it since. I should pick it back up again, really.
- Don’t drink too much… unless you need it – I’m doing pretty well (for me) on this one! But a weekend of social events awaits, and who knows how my willpower will hold out. I’m not going to beat myself up if I have one too many, though. This week has been bloody hard. And if it helps me unwind, then there you go.
- Drink less caffeine – tick! I’m down from three to two cups a day. Whoop! (I know caffeine isn’t stressful, but it can make some people anxious if they have too much, so I thought this might help).
- Sleep well – well, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night every day this week, thinking about work. Not good. But I’m going to bed at a reasonable time, so I’m doing all I can here.
- Write it down – this really helps me, actually. And although I’m not pouring my heart out into a diary every day, doing this blog is extremely therapeutic. It’s also helping me…
- Find another focus – other than IVF. See point 5. (Yes, I know this blog is largely about IVF, but give me a break!).
- Exercise – yes, another tick! I’ve going for a run twice this week, and will head to the gym first thing tomorrow. So I will get fit for IVF no. 2! Plus, it helps with number 6 on this list, too.
- Remember it’s only a job – I’m talking about my work now, rather than IVF, which is another job in itself. Look, I write stuff for a living. I don’t save lives, and no one will die if I get something wrong. So put it into perspective.
- Eat well – I have eaten so much broccoli this week, it’s coming out of my chuffing ears! I am definitely getting my five a day, and eating sensibly. And taking my five vitamin supplements. So that’s good, then.
- Say no to social stuff – I have done more of this, especially since our recent failed IVF cycle. And I’m trying to do it more. Yes, it’s important not to hide away from people, but if I want to look after my sanity, I need plenty of ‘me’ time to recharge.
So they’re my top 10 and, do you know what? I’m doing more than I thought I was to look after myself. So what’s your strategy for coping with life when it all gets too much? Please share your ideas below!