Years ago in the midst of my infertility journey, I did something totally spontaneous, maybe what some would say was out of character for me. Looking back, I actually can’t believe I had the guts to do it. So what, may you ask, did I do?
I booked a spontaneous trip to Cancun, Mexico! I drove to the airport on December 20 and boarded a plane just to get away from all of the holiday hoopla. I had had enough! I had been trying for over three years to have a baby, to no avail. It just didn’t seem right. I was an infertility doctor. I had connections and resources. So why couldn’t I get pregnant? I tried everything and still no baby. I knew another December would throw me over the edge, and I was right! Santa Claus, flying reindeer, candy canes, stockings and loads of gifts for nieces, nephews and friends’ kids. School parties, holiday sing-a-longs, caroling, snowmen, sledding, bla, bla, bla…… I was shopping at the mall, standing in line right behind a toddler who was begging her mom to take her to Build -a-Bear when suddenly I burst into tears. I left the mall and drove to a travel agent, who booked me on the first plane to Mexico. I came back on December 27th feeling quite refreshed.
Now I am not saying that is how you should cope with infertility during the holidays. I was fortunate that I could literally ‘escape.’ Since then, I have come up with my own list of coping strategies that I like to share with my patients. Here are some of them:
• Find child-free activities
Attend plays, concerts, afternoon teas, or fashion shows, all of which are usually kids-free zones.
• Limit the mall shopping.
Really, do you need the aggravation of going to the mall? They are loaded with kids and Santas. Just skip it. Internet shopping works just as well.
• Allow yourself to be sad.
It’s ok – it will pass. Expressing your true feelings will be good for your mental health instead of bottling up everything until you want to explore.
• Bring good will to someone who needs it.
Bake for an elderly neighbor. Visit someone in the hospital. Donate blankets to the homeless. Spend time with the kittens in the animal shelter.
• Develop your own tradition.
Maybe pick a restaurant and celebrate with a special friend or bake cookies with a cousin.
• Do something for yourself.
It doesn’t have to be as extravagant as a vacation to Mexico. A massage, manicure, pedicure, facial might do the trick.
Just know that in January you will start to feel better. The “happiest time of year,” for everyone but you, will pass.
Have questions? Email us at email@example.com.