Coping Through The Holidays
The holiday season has begun. Excited children, crowded stores, decorations, and holiday parties are all set to descend on us. But because the winter holidays tend to celebrate families and children, these usually joyous occasions can bring up painful feelings when you are struggling to create and celebrate with a family of your own. In order to feel as good as possible during the holidays, you will need to develop some good holiday coping skills.
Here are a few suggestions:
Give up any and all feelings of guilt for how you are feeling. There is no right or wrong way to experience infertility. Your feelings may run the gamut from indifference to intense anger and despair and everywhere in between.
Choose the gatherings you attend carefully. If you are upset by being around children or babies gracefully decline invitations to events where they are likely to be present. Know your limits and stick with them.
Continue to get moderate amounts of exercise. Eat healthy and get plenty of rest. You will feel better if you treat your body with care.
Reach out to childfree friends. Their parties will be adult- focused.
Think of non-child centered holiday rituals. Take a vacation. Eat at a fancy restaurant.
Shop for the holidays online or from catalogs. You will avoid mall madness.
Attend religious services at the time when there will be the least number of children. Or attend on a university campus, as those services tend to be more adult focused.
Volunteer at a nursing home or homeless shelter. It may help to help others who are having a difficult time at the holidays.
Communicate with your partner to let him/her know of your feelings. Even if you and your partner are feeling differently about the holidays, it may help to share. If you are single, call a friend with whom you feel safe to share your feelings.
Meet and talk with others who are experiencing similar feelings. Finding that you are not alone helps. To do that, join us at our monthly Mind/Body Workshop. Visit www.pacificfertilitycenter.com/mb to find out more about the class and register online.
Peggy Orlin, MS, MFT
Pacific Fertility Center