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Struggling? Start Small with these three things to notice every day.
Every day I work with women who feel infertility is taking over our lives, and I often reflect upon two things:
- There was definitely not enough taught in schools about how we can foster resilience, cope emotionally in healthy ways and how important our mental health is.
- Infertility is HARD. It will most likely be one of the hardest things you will experience, and there are going to be really sh*tty days along the way, but there is (even if it doesn’t feel like it) some really easy things you can do to start to shift your thoughts and anxiety (although, because #1, I often find there is a LOT to get through, which is why I also have my 12 week course as a more comprehensive next step.)
One really simple thing that start shifting your emotions is these three things – it’s quick, and it’s doable. And then, every day, spend 5 minutes in the shower working through these and come back to me in 1 month and tell me if you have experienced a shift. You can reach out to me @robynbirkin on Instagram.
3 things to notice every day if you’re feeling depressed about infertility
🍍 3 THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR
Our brains are not wired towards the positive, but, this simple act can start to have a huge shift in your mental state. In finding 3 different things to be grateful for each day, your brain starts to consistently LOOK for awesome stuff, and research shows wide ranging emotional AND physical health benefits from a gratitude practice.
Studies have been conducted in several groups of people (Harvard is most well known for studying the effects of positive psychology) including Vietnam Vets and 911 Survivors and have found that in both groups, those who can appreciate the good alongside the bad have lower rates of PTSD.
Gratitude has also been shown to improve sleep, improve immunity, lower rates of depression and increase rates of happiness…. and it’s really easy to do.
🍍ENERGY DRAINS AND GAINS
We can sit far too long with things that do not serve us (social media, toxic friends – and some of these actually feel quite productive in the moment, but that instant gratification is… well… instant – so it’s like you need to continue pouring into a cup that never fills) and when infertility is already draining so much of our energy (we only have a limited amount of physical and emotional energy) we need to be filling our cup with more things that fill our cup: our energy gains.
Think about the things that give you a buzz (dinner with awesome friends, hiking, reading books – whatever that may be for you) and make sure you are doing them, not sacrificing them in a time of need (i.e. infertility!)
🍍 HOW YOU SPEAK TO YOURSELF
Hands down, one of the most important steps in self love and self confidence is checking ourselves (before we wreck ourselves).
And I work with many fertility warriors who just consistently beat themselves up. You would be outraged if anyone told you that you weren’t doing enough or that you were ruining everything because you are that toasted cheese sandwich or couldn’t fall asleep… Yet so many warriors talk like that to themselves constantly. Stahp!
How would your best friend talk to you? I bet she would be understanding and comforting and completely lovely. Speak to yourself like that. You are working SO hard and you are enough and you do deserve to be a mother.
It’s about catching yourself and calling BS when your brain starts to tell you that you aren’t good enough, and then reframing the conversation with compassion and grace.
So there you have it, my three really easy and doable things to try every day – I’d love you to spend one month doing these and then come back to let me know how you go!