April is National Stress Awareness Month. If you have struggled with infertility, you know it is exhausting in more ways than one: financially, physically, and emotionally. While juggling the stress of infertility, it can be easy to forget about your mental health. Paying special attention to your emotional welfare is critical to helping you get through the journey.
The hardest thing about infertility is that it's outside of your control. The result is self-blame, feelings of insecurity, isolation, grief, and shame. All this negative thinking will increase stress, which can eventually lead down the road to depression and anxiety.
Because the stress infertility can take such a toll on people's emotional well-being, it's important for those struggling to pay attention to their mental health. Below are some easy things to do to take care of yourself during this time.
- Communication is key – Let friends and family whom you trust know what’s going on. Letting people in the loop is very beneficial when you start to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. And especially keep an open dialogue with your partner. Putting aside your feelings to help the other is not helpful for you at all. Be each other’s support.
- Relax and stay in the present – With all the future planning and worry about what happens next, it’s hard to stay in the present moment and unwind. Find something to do at least once a week that is all about you. Only think about the present and nothing else.
- Find a support system – Finding a community is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. You’re there to encourage one another and be there for times of heartache. This eases the burden off of you. You can find a community support through infertility groups, church or school groups, or even on social media.
- Seek professional help – This is one of the last things people seem to want to do. They do not want to admit to themselves they might need the help of a professional in their time of struggle. But mental health professionals can provide support, education, and strategies to help people cope during this difficult time. It is also extremely helpful if you and your partner go together.
1 in 8 American couples face infertility so it is important to know you are not alone. There are resources and programs available to help you and your family through this time.
Many couples and families have overcome their infertility stress and struggle through embryo adoption. To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org