Times are stressful right now! Not only are you already working to keep stress at bay as you navigate the often-stressful fertility treatment journey, you’ve also had to experience the first major pandemic of our lifetime.
Our hearts go out to you.
Take Heart and Use Proven Stress Management Tools
We’ve had many people express their fears around bringing a child into this new and unprecedented reality we are navigating together. The reality is that while this is unprecedented for us, humans have been quarantining and surviving much worse pandemics and global upheaval, and we will all get through this together.
In the meantime, it is essential that those of you who are trying to cope with heightened COVID-19 anxiety - on top of your jobs, fertility treatments, and sheltering-in-place adjustments - pay careful attention to your mental and emotional health.
These proven stress management tools are all backed by clinical studies. In addition to helping you to breathe, calm your nervous system, and get the rest and relaxation you need to remain healthy and support reproduction, they can be called upon for the rest of your life.
1. Cultivate a slow-paced, soothing daily morning ritual
The “snooze, jump out of bed, and GO!” habit that so many of us have adopted is counterproductive to our wellbeing. Creating a morning ritual, even if it’s a mere five- to 15 minutes, can provide a strong and grounding foundation you can rely upon for the rest of the day.
- Stretching generously before getting out of bed and once you stand up.
- Taking five deep breaths in and then five even longer breaths out (studies show that exhaling for a bit longer than you inhale stimulates the parasympathetic system that relaxes you). Click here to read an in-depth explanation about the importance of conscious breathing and relaxation/stress relief.
- Slowly inhaling the steam and sipping a delicious cup of herbal tea or decaf coffee
- Avoid the perpetual and incessant news stream if it causes you anxiety (we assure you; the collective conscious will keep you informed!)
- Spend a minute or two (or more) in silence and stillness - a great opportunity to concentrate on your breathing.
2. Avoid reading daily COVID headlines
While states and counties have waffled a bit around what is open and what isn’t, there are a few COVID-protection guidelines that haven’t changed at all:
- Washing your hands regularly with warm soap and water (20 seconds+) is the best way to wash away potential coronavirus droplets and works even better than hand sanitizer.
- Staying at least 6-feet away from others and wearing your mask prevents the large majority of potential infected droplets from getting beyond the wearers’ masks.
- While there are exceptions, most fatal coronavirus victims are 70+ years old and/or had comorbidity factors.
Reading daily headlines only contributes to existing stress and anxiety. Your work, community centers, and schools will communicate directly with you regarding what you really need to know in your day-to-day life.
3. Support your local yoga/pilates or gym
Unless your fertility specialist has said otherwise, mild to moderate exercise is recommended for women who are trying to get pregnant, as well as after you’ve conceived, even after the initial IVF cycle’s two-week-wait.
Local yoga and pilates studios, as well as many gyms, offer affordable classes via video platforms such as Zoom or YouTube. Support them by contributing a small fee and taking advantage of these opportunities to exercise on a regular basis, which relieves stress, supports weight management, and releases endorphins and other hormones that support stress release and relaxation.
4. Focus on relaxation tips for fertility treatment stress release
It’s nearly impossible not to experience stress a result of an infertility diagnosis and the resulting treatment cycles. The longer you’ve pursued fertility treatments, the more stressful it can be.
A while back, we posted this article on Tips for Stress Release During Fertility Treatments, and all of those points are 100% relevant here.
- Keep your calendar free of anything that doesn’t bring you joy
- Use free/low-cost mindfulness or meditation apps (a good addition to your morning or pre-sleep routine)
- Get out in nature (never more important than while sheltering-in-place)
- Take advantage of the stress-free and touch-free services offered by specialty fertility pharmacies
- Keep the romance alive in your partnership
- Create a soothing nighttime ritual to promote relaxing, healthy sleep habits
It’s completely normal to experience fertility anxiety during COVID-19. Don’t be afraid to address any and all of your concerns with your fertility specialist or the dedicated pharmacists and staff at your specialty pharmacy. The Freedom Fertility team is here to help and support you in every way we can.