Answer from: Sarah Banks
One thing that often gets forgotten when we’re trying to get pregnant and going through fertility treatment is that it’s important to take care of ourselves emotionally and physically. We stop doing the things we love. We don’t take as much time out for self-care for various reasons. It might be if you love doing certain forms of exercise that you don’t know if it’s allowed whilst going through treatment, so you cut back on some of those things. It might be that your ideal way of relaxing is going out drinking and celebrating with friends, and you’re not drinking, so you don’t want to be going out with them. It might be that you really enjoy going on holidays or weekends away, but because you’re saving for treatment, some of those things have had to get stopped.
I think we focus so much on getting pregnant month after month that we often forget that we should be taking care of ourselves and making time for self-care. It can take a long time, and it’s a long time not to be doing things that recharge our batteries and make us feel good and make us smile. We assume we shouldn’t be doing those things, and there are certain things we can’t do, so we stopped doing them. It’s really important to make time for self-care. One of the things I often say to people is to create a daily happiness plan; it’s one of the things in my planner. It’s really important to schedule in time. I think days fly by when you’re working, when you’re doing medication for treatment, when you’ve got appointments. It’s really important to schedule time every day, however small. Whether it’s two minutes, whether it’s an hour, whether it’s half a day but schedule something for every day that makes you smile. That could be that you want half an hour reading. It could be watching your favourite TV show or ringing a friend that makes you smile but plan something in for every day and make it a habit to make sure you make time for it every day. It will recharge you emotionally and physically doing some of those things. It stops you from feeling like you’re stuck in a rut and that everything you enjoy has had to stop because you’re going through treatment or because you’re struggling to get pregnant.
So, create a plan and make sure that you’re doing those each day and then think about some of the good things in your life that you’re grateful for and you’re thankful for. It just gives us that positive mindset around things that makes us focus on ourselves. Self-care is all about focusing on what works for you. Think about the things you’ve got going in your life, the good things in your life, the good people in your life, the hobbies that you enjoy doing so that you can then add those into your plan. It’s important to think about what works for you. What self-care means for you emotionally and physically, and make sure you’re planning time into your diary and your day to do that.
How important is self-care during IVF or TTC?
No matter whether you are trying to conceive naturally or going through IVF self-care should be your number one daily routine. Learn more.