How do you “just stop thinking about it” when it comes to your fertility?Sep 16, 2022
If I had a dollar every time someone told me to “just stop thinking about it” and I’d get pregnant, I’d be a millionaire. I mean, what kind of advice is that?
And who can actually stop thinking about something that is really important? I for one cannot.
It’s like in meditation – as soon as I sit down to meditate, my mind is bombarded with a million random thoughts. It’s like my to-do list is just waiting for me to get into a comfortable position, close my eyes, focus on my breathing…….and BOOM! All of a sudden I remember that need to get toilet paper, that I forgot to pay the cleaner, and is that dentist appointment tomorrow? My body goes one way, and my mind goes the other.
And it’s the same premise with eating – as soon as I tell myself I can’t eat something, that’s all I want to eat. I watched a reel over on Instagram the other day, and it was talking about what is the most addictive food. And the answer? It’s the one you tell yourself you can’t have. Because when you tell yourself you can’t eat a certain food, you want it more. And we want it more, because we’re afraid we won’t get it again. The way to move through scarcity, is to make it readily available. It makes complete sense to me – and it also means I can eat peanut butter and chocolate ice-cream whenever I want!
So, the solution is NOT telling ourselves not to think about it (if that makes sense?)……as much as that’s what we’re told to do. The way to stop thinking about it, is to give ourselves permission to think about it.
You don’t have to shut your mind off, because that’s an impossible task. You don’t have to punish yourself for thinking about it all the time, because this is a really big deal.
Instead, let’s change the goal so it doesn’t become all consuming. Because the simple truth is that we don’t want to think about it 24/7. It’s exhausting and depressing, and keeping your body in a constant state of stress. And that’s not a nice place to be at all.
The first step in this process, is to allow yourself to think about it, and tell yourself that this is ok. Don’t forbid the thoughts, because as demonstrated, it doesn’t work, and will just perpetuate the problem.
Set some reasonable expectations for what is achievable and not achievable in terms of your thoughts. You can’t just stop thinking about something. It’s not practical. Because when you’re trying to conceive, whether you’re trying naturally, or going down the path of IVF or IUI, you still need to plan and take action steps.
But instead of it being constant, set specific “office hours” for working on it. Approach your fertility goals as you would a project at work. And this is how we also stop being consumed. You have your life, and your fertility journey is a project. Set certain hours that you’re going to work on your fertility project.
This may require setting some hard boundaries, but if you can set office hours for work you can do the same thing for your fertility journey. During your allotted hours, you can open up the space, and give yourself permission to work on it. Whether it’s downloading your emotions and processing your grief by doing some journaling, working with a fertility coach like me, doing a fertility mindset course, researching additional options and solutions, planning appointments etc. That way you can start to compartmentalize it a little.
You can also separate out your support network. If you’re sick of talking about your fertility journey at social events or with girlfriends, choose a specific person, or people to turn to. The obvious choice is someone who is a good listener, who won’t try to fix you. But create spaces to process, talk, vent and offload.
When you catch up with friends, set some boundaries in place. Let them know that you’re trying to create some space and distraction from it, and that you don’t want to talk about it tonight. Tonight, you just want to have conversations that don’t have anything to do with baby making, IVF procedures or your cycle. I’m sure your friends will appreciate it too. You never know, you may even have a laugh and feel like your old self again.
You can also organize fertility free zones by looking at what you’re consuming.
If your Instagram feed is only filled with fertility accounts, create another profile and fill it with things that have nothing to do with infertility. Whether it’s cute animal pictures, inspirational quotes, holiday destinations, funny memes – you can choose what you’re looking at.
In addition, listen to podcasts that have nothing to do with infertility. Read books about personal growth, or fiction novels, as opposed to baby making books. You don’t have to always be researching. You can listen to and read about fertility in your allotted “fertility project” hours.
The next step is to declutter your house. We had a room in our house allocated for the nursery. And for 5 years, that room was where we stored hand-me-down baby clothes and furniture we were given. At first it was exciting, then eventually we closed the door. Because walking past that room was a constant reminder of our struggles. I grew to resent that room. If this is you too, it may be time to remove it. Not for good – just for the moment. You can read about this further in a blog I wrote about it HERE.
Next is your relationship with your partner. If all your conversations revolve about your fertility struggles, it can get a little tiring. So, organize a date with your husband or partner and set some ground rules. You can have fertility free dates or put a time limit on the fertility chat. I’m well aware that it’s hard NOT to talk about fertility, because it becomes a habit, so get your partner on board. Ask him to point out and bring it to your attention when you’re talking about all thing’s fertility (in a gentle way, of course). Then you can steer the conversation away from it.
So if you’ve been punishing yourself for not being about to stop thinking about it, you can stop.
The idea is not to NOT think about it, but to create some space where it’s a fertility free zone. Physically, mentally, spiritually. Set some boundaries around it. It’s still a part of your life, but it doesn’t need to be a constant, all-consuming topic of conversation.
Because you are much more than your fertility journey. It is not who you are. Nor is it your prime purpose in life. And you deserve to keep living, while trying to conceive.
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.
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