If you’re struggling with infertility, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 struggle to conceive or carry a pregnancy to full term. For many couples, the pressure and stress around trying to start a family can be especially difficult and overwhelming around the holidays. At California Center for Reproductive Health, our team of fertility doctors and specialists offer a range of services across several convenient locations in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Valencia, Encino, and Alhambra.
Holiday coping strategies when you’re dealing with infertility
Every couple is different, and the struggle to conceive and start a family will affect you and your loved ones in different ways. Here are a few tips to help you navigate and enjoy the holidays through what can be a painful and difficult time.
Give yourself permission to feel bad
It might sound counterintuitive, given the emphasis on feeling happy, joyful, and positive at all costs during the holidays. While you should prioritize your own mental health and emotional well-being by participating in activities and events that make you feel better, burying your emotions or “putting on a happy face” for others can do more harm than good, and exacerbate stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
It’s OK to say no and turn down invitations
The holiday season can be a parade of back-to-back parties and social engagements that can get overwhelming even during the best of times. When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s perfectly acceptable (and advisable) to politely decline invitations if you’re just not feeling up to it. Remember that there’s always next year. If large gatherings and social events are too painful for you to handle at the moment, suggest meeting with friends and loved ones in a quieter, more intimate setting or anywhere you feel more comfortable and supported.
Maybe being around children and babies is exactly what you need to feel better, or maybe an adults-only environment is all that you can manage right now. Spend time with people that make you feel supported and at ease.
Do something different for the holidays
There are no hard and fast rules that dictate how you must spend the holidays, especially during a difficult time. If traditional holiday celebrations are too much for you to handle this year, consider doing something entirely different, like taking a trip that takes you out of the holiday pressure cooker, or celebrating in a new and different way. It’s also perfectly acceptable to opt-out of the holidays entirely if that’s what feels right for you! There is no right or wrong way to spend the holiday season as long as you’re prioritizing your health and well-being.
Communicate your needs to friends and loved ones
Your family, friends, and co-workers may have the best intentions, but it can be difficult to know what to say when someone is dealing with infertility. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on or prefer not to talk about it, setting your boundaries ahead of time can help you avoid getting stuck in awkward and uncomfortable situations.
Learn more about your options
If you’re ready to start a family or have dealt with infertility in the past, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist at one of our convenient locations.