Holidays are an opportunity to take some time off, visit your family, make wishes, and come up with resolutions. While millions of people around the world think of holidays as joyous, others dread them.
For men and women with infertility, holidays can be upsetting, stressful, and downright frustrating. Even Santa Claus serves as a constant reminder of something you might be missing.
Thankfully, suffering is hardly an integral part of the holiday season. By changing the perspective and adjusting your lifestyle, it's possible to look forward to this time of the year and enjoy every minute of it.
1. Plan Your Answers
Holidays usually involve family gatherings. When asking about your baby plans, your friends and relatives may mean the best but often end up sounding rude. The seemingly kind "when will you finally make me a grandmother?" can sound awful to someone who can't do anything about it.
To take the stress out of the situation, plan a couple of neutral answers. Hand them out readily and don't be afraid of sounding repetitive.
- I'm not comfortable discussing this right now.
- What about your kids? How are they doing?
- No, I'm not making any plans.
- No plans right now, but I'll let you know.
To minimize uncomfortable situations and insensitive questions, try to avoid kid-oriented family events. While it may be hard to skip the family Thanksgiving dinner, you don't have to go to a cookie-baking party. Choose gatherings that inspire positive feelings. While family obligations are important, you don't have to accept all invitations.
2. Organize a Trip
While COVID-19 limits your traveling options, you can still find an amazing place to visit. True, planning a trip can add some frustration to the holidays. On the bright side, it will get you out of some family festivities.
Consider traveling to a place where you can focus on your needs, avoid emotional triggers, and replenish your mental energy. If you can leave all the fertility worries behind, you can have wonderful holidays.
Planning a trip may be a little stressful, but it will take your mind off holiday celebrations, accepting invitations, and negative fertility-related emotions. It will also give you something exciting to look forward to.
3. Take a Break From Social Media
No matter how much you try to navigate the holidays without incurring extra stress, social media makes it hard. Virtual holiday cards, photos of families and pregnant women, never-ending holiday talk, and gift discussions may be overwhelming.
Take a break from at least a couple of social media networks. If you need to choose, consider avoiding Instagram. This particular social media channel tends to have too much visual holiday-related stuff.
4. Check Back With Your Therapist
If you haven't seen your therapist for a while or haven't visited one at all, the winter holidays are a great time to do it. According to the American Psychological Association, 38% of Americans report increased stress during the holiday season.
You may not feel the effect the pre-holiday rush has on you yet. Once it hits you, negative emotions can be overwhelming.
Call your therapist and schedule an appointment. You can get valuable advice about getting through the holiday season. Meanwhile, you can talk to someone who understands your sadness and knows what to do about it.
5. Create Your Own Family Traditions
What makes you angry and sad about the holidays? Cross these things off your list. Create a new holiday tradition that doesn't have to remind you about infertility issues.
- Order Chinese food instead of cooking a turkey on Thanksgiving.
- Stay in a comfy and cozy hotel on Halloween (so you don't need to deal with a lot of children trick-or-treating).
- Arrange a non-Christmas movie marathon on Christmas Eve.
- Host an adult-only Hanukkah party.
Holidays are a great time to relax and spend time with people you love. If you don't like how it's done in your family, change it.
6. Delegate Your Holiday Mail
Checking holiday mail can be stressful. Perfect holiday cards with smiling families and children aren't something that gets your mood up this time of the year. Consider delegating your holiday mail to a partner or a friend.
If possible, take a break from checking your email this time of the year. Or, at least don't do it more than once a day. Send holiday offers straight to the spam folder. You can deal with them later.
You can take a look at the mail when the time is right. If that time never comes, don't worry. Holiday cards aren't something you can't live without.
7. Buy Gifts Online
If you want to buy holiday gifts, do it online. Going to the mall involves seeing decorations, listening to holiday music, and meeting dress-up Santa Clauses. This isn't always fun. In fact, it can be distressing.
Online gift shopping is much less stressful. It's also faster and safer. Consider ordering gifts in advance, so you don't have to do any last-minute shopping.
8. Reward Yourself
Holidays aren't just an opportunity to celebrate traditions. They are an excellent time to relax and take a look at everything you've accomplished this year.
Celebrate your strengths, victories, and achievements. Thank yourself for being strong and reward yourself for it. You definitely deserve something truly magnificent this year.
9. Get Support from Fertility Rescripted
If you are dealing with infertility on your own, you don't have to. While therapy works great, support groups can do an excellent job getting you through the holidays. Meeting new people who understand exactly how infertility feels can bring new positive emotions into your life.
One of the highly effective support groups is Fertility Rescripted. This community brings people with infertility together and offers a variety of support resources that keeps everyone moving toward a better quality of life.
Fertility Rescripted is a supportive community that can take some stress out of infertility. If your first instinct is to hide from the holiday craze, doing it together with someone who "gets" you can be much more exciting.
10. Stick With Your Routine
For many people, holidays mean eating more and exercising less. This usually has a negative effect on your physical and emotional health.
If you are still in a fragile state, you have to take care of yourself. Skip large family dinners and spend some time making yourself happy. Jogging on a Christmas morning instead of eating leftovers is a great holiday tradition. It can also get your mind off the holiday craze.
If you feel like ignoring the holidays, do it. Stick to your regular routine. Your body and mind will say thank you.
Take the Stress Out of the Holiday Season With BINTO
Getting through the holiday season with infertility can be complicated. While you are making plans to avoid stressful situations, consider giving your body some extra support.
With the right supplements, you can get all the vitamins you need to stay healthy and battle stress during the holidays and beyond.
At BINTO, we have a variety of products designed specifically to support your body while it's battling tension, anxiety, and even grief. To maximize positive results, we design custom packages for men and women with infertility.
For more information, book a telehealth consult with our team of doctors at any convenient time.