How do you find BALANCE on your Fertility Journey?May 09, 2022
If you’re an all or nothing kind of gal (like me), finding balance at the best of times can be a challenge. I guess you could call me an overachiever. I was taught that if you’re going to do something, you should put in 110% or don’t bother. I have always strived to be the best – whether it was winning the first prize trophy at a dancing contest, being the head cheerleader, or getting promoted at work. I push myself harder and harder.
I’m only just realizing now that this is a f*cking exhausting way to live your life. It’s something that I continually have to work on today.
So, it was only natural that on my fertility journey, I took it to the next level also. Except that’s not how it works, right?! You can work your ass off to get pregnant – tick all the boxes – take the supplements, drink the fertility tea, modify your diet, meditate (or at least try and only get more pissed off in my case), do acupuncture……and still not see those two lines on a stick.
I never found that hard work was the key to unlocking my fertility struggles. What I did find was that magical unicorn…….BALANCE…..is.
If you too are wondering how you achieve the balance between doing ALL the things you’re told you “should” be doing, and still having a life, you’re in the right place.
How do you make sure you’re giving this your best shot to get pregnant, without it consuming you mind, body, and soul? How do you do IVF well….and still live life fully?
Here are some tips to help you achieve balance on your fertility journey AND still have a life outside it.
Firstly, what are some of the things you’re spending your time on, that aren’t helpful right now?
Let’s start with our mindset.
For most of us, self-punishment and regret forms a big part of our thoughts. I used to spend hours caught up inside my head going over every detail of a failed cycle. Was it because I drank coffee, or had too much wine when we caught up with some friends? Was it because I missed a day of taking my supplements? Should we have moved to IVF sooner? Did we wait too long to have babies? Why did I stay on the pill for so long – is this what caused it? Did we make the wrong decision in doing another IVF cycle off the back of the last one? Should we have waited?
If this is you, you’re not alone. This perpetual thought process takes up WAY too much of our time. And it’s completely useless! You can’t go back and change things, you can only move forward.
Which brings us to our other friend (not really)……worry. We spend so much time wondering about things in the future that may never happen. I love that quote – I have 99 problems and 98 of them are entirely made-up scenarios that will never eventuate. Let me be clear, I’m not saying you don’t have anything to worry about – this is infertility we’re talking about. It’s huge and the decisions we are forced to make are really important. But continually asking yourself “when will I be ready to move to IVF” or “what am I going to do if this cycle doesn’t work?” or “when will enough be enough for us” is wasting your time. The truth is that you don’t know how you’re going to feel until you get there. So, trying to predict it right now is impossible, and is taking up precious time and mind-space. Tell yourself that you will ask (and answer) those questions when they’re relevant.
When you feel your mind wander to self-punishment, regret and worry, do something to break the thought pattern. Clap your hands, tell that voice to shoosh, get up and go for a walk with some music. Anything to stop the thoughts in their tracks and clear up some space.
How much time do you spend on social media? We scroll endlessly, falling down that rabbit hole, and for what? Do we feel better or worse? Social media is such a powerful way to find connection, but it can also cause us confusion, feelings of lack, and trigger us in ways that sometimes takes our breath away. I’m not here to tell you to get off social media, but merely find balance.
Try this experiment next time you open Facebook or Instagram – after scrolling on there, ask yourself, how do I feel now? My view is that if it’s not helpful, it’s harmful. So, if you want to feel at peace and calm, and after wasting an hour on there you only feel anger and sadness, you can eliminate it from your life.
Or if you’re not ready for that, you can modify your social media feed – follow accounts that make you feel uplifted. And set time limits for your use. I don’t know about you, but when I get into the scroll zone, I can lose a whole hour!! So set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes, and when the alarm goes off, it’s time to move onto something else.
Untick some boxes.
We all want to do everything in our power to ensure we get pregnant, right? But how do we achieve balance here? Because these are the things that can strip away the joy of living. We get into this cycle of doing things we HATE our cutting out things we LOVE, because someone told us we SHOULD do it. And while we love that everyone is trying to help us by suggesting miracle cures, it only serves to make us feel shittier, guilty and overwhelmed.
So, let’s make a list of ALL the things you’re physically doing to get pregnant right now. Once you’ve made that list, have a look at them. WHY are you doing them? Do they make you feel good physically and mentally?
As an example, one of my current coaching clients was monitoring and charting her temperature every day to predict her ovulation. Every single morning she’d get up and have to ensure she was taking her temperature at the same time. If she didn’t do it at the same time each day, she worried that it wouldn’t be accurate. With every spike or drop in temperature, she’d worry that it was because of something that she’d eaten the day before, or because of the amount of stress she was under at work. There was no escape from the constant reminder. It was keeping her stuck, taking time, and causing additional stress.
Another example could be acupuncture. If you hate it, you’re as stiff as a board when you’re lying on that table, it’s defeating the purpose.
If the things you are doing are causing you more stress and anxiety, you need to question whether it’s worth it, and whether they are doing more harm than good. Are there some things on your list that you can cross off? Give yourself permission to STOP doing all the things.
What gives you joy?
Now that you’ve eliminated the things that are a waste of time, or that are causing you angst, let’s create another list.
What are the things that you LOVE doing, but have cut out of your life in the hopes that this is the thing that’s preventing you from getting pregnant?
It could be a morning coffee, that glass of wine when you go out to dinner with friends, it could be carbs. Here’s the thing I know from personal experience – you don’t have to be perfect to get pregnant. Keep reminding yourself of this, and stop the self-punishment and guilt. When the things you have cut out are robbing you of having an enjoyable life, it’s also counter-productive.
Now, I’m not saying to go out and drink coffee, wine and eat processed food all the time. But a little balance is necessary. Choose two nights a week that you can have take-out and a glass of wine. Limit your coffee to one a day, or even switch to decaf so you still get the experience.
What are the little things that give you joy? A walk on the beach, listening to music and dancing, taking that holiday instead of planning it around your next IVF cycle, reading books, painting, taking a bath. Make the list, and add some color back into your life, without the guilt.
You deserve to still have a life here.
It’s time to tip the balance toward things you LOVE to do.
I’m giving you permission to put YOU first and stop punishing yourself. Because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice everything to have a baby.
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
Are you ready to BEAT STRESS + BOOST FERTILITY?
It's no secret that stress can have a negative impact on your fertility.
That's why people keep telling you to "just relax", which is NOT helpful, and only fuels your stress.
But HOW do you reduce your stress, when infertility is stressing the heck out of you to begin with?
HOW do you slow down, feel at peace, achieve a little more balance in your life and say good bye to the inner struggle?
Download this free PDF for 3 simple hacks you can implement today to tip the scales in your favor.