Trying to start a family can be stressful—especially if you’re having trouble conceiving. You may find yourself feeling depressed, anxious, or isolated. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and that many experience these emotions during their fertility journey. The good news is, there are ways to help manage these feelings.
Understand what's bothering you
Be aware of your mood throughout the day, and take notes when you feel stressed. Write down how you’re feeling and what may have caused it. Once you get a clearer picture of what your triggers are, you can come up with a plan for reducing them.
Reach out to friends and family
You don’t have to suffer alone. The American Psychological Association recommends reaching out to family members or close friends to share some of what you’re going through. Sometimes getting a fresh perspective can be helpful, and they may be able to offer emotional and practical support. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people you know, joining a fertility support group is also an option.
Get some exercise
Exercise is a great way to improve your state of mind. When you’re physically active your body produces endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers. Something as simple as a daily walk can make a big difference in how you feel.
Get plenty of sleep
Stress can make it difficult to sleep, and sleep is important for your health and well-being. Try to get at least seven or eight hours per night. Reduce or eliminate caffeine, keep electronics out of the bedroom, and go to bed at the same time every night.
Many people turn to alternative therapies such as acupuncture for a range of health issues, including infertility, stress, and depression. An acupuncturist inserts ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, and this can influence certain body functions. For some people, acupuncture is an effective way to manage stress and anxiety, even when other methods have failed.
According to Mayo Clinic, meditation may help to reduce stress. Meditation is a mind and body practice that concentrates your mind on the present, minimizing thoughts of the past or future. Meditation may be used to increase calmness and relaxation, help with coping skills, and enhance overall physical health and well being.
If you can’t manage your stress on your own, it can help to talk to a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional. Remember—many people feel stressed, anxious, or depressed while trying to start a family. You don’t need to suffer alone.