Our team at RHS offers helpful relaxation and stress reduction tips to assist you during treatment. Living the Fertile Lifestyle includes understanding the effects of stress on the body and its relationship to fertility. We believe the use of visual imagery and guided relaxation exercises can help you to learn how to relax and reverse the effects of stress.
Tips for Relaxation
- Don’t push yourself or your partner to socialize with friends or family that are pregnant or have small children.
- Don’t blame yourself or your spouse, or search for reasons why infertility happened to you.
- Give yourself permission to say “no,” without feeling guilty.
- Schedule frequent special nights out with your partner or a friend who you feel comfortable with.
- Take time off if your schedule is busy and do something special for yourself.
- Try to look at situations with a positive outlook rather than a negative one.
- Explain and educate family and friends about infertility or have someone do it for you.
- Practice relaxation techniques daily.
- Bring a portable CD or MP-3 player to aide in relaxation for treatment and procedures.
How to Reduce Stress During Infertility
- Give yourself and your spouse permission to have and express negative feelings
This includes such feelings as anger, sadness, envy and guilt. These are often not easy to tolerate in others or ourselves but are real and important feelings. Crying is a part of expression.
- Communicate your feelings to each other
This means talking about yourself and your partner. Because it is difficult and risky to do, it is tempting to avoid this, but avoidance tends to create hurt and misunderstanding, which can be more painful than facing difficult feelings.
- Respect each other’s differences
Every person’s coping style is individual. Do not judge yourself by your partner, because you are not the same.
- Recognize that you may get or give less if you are both stressed at the same time
Try to find other sources for getting needs met so as to increase your chances of getting what you need. This will help lessen guilt and anger when you can’t get or give what is needed to each other.
- Remember that you are partners who share the same dilemma
It is easy to focus anger on each other when no other target seems handy. At those times, it is important to try to remember that you are on the same side.
- Ask each other for what you want and need
Many people worry about burdening their spouses, which limits what they get and overlooks the possibility that their spouse could say “no” if necessary. The chances of getting what you want or need are greater when you ask, especially since no one can read minds.
- Don’t get polarized by extreme positions
People often have mixed feelings about things. If one spouse takes one position, it is easy for the other spouse to take the other position and never find a middle ground.
- Try not to protect each other
This often backfires in unexpected ways and can create more misunderstanding than it does good.
Read Dr. Erb’s blog on Your Emotional Health