How to look after yourself at Christmas

When fertility issues and Christmas collide, it can seem that things are spiralling out of control and what are meant to be fun festivities can actually add to your worries and stress.  

Parties, client lunches, family dinners, present opening sessions and catch ups with friends are all on the agenda, but this is often when questions about starting a family and having babies are asked, and let’s be honest, we don’t always want to answer them.

While the probing is often meant with the best of intentions, with a side serving of nosiness, at this time of year when the pressure for perfection is on, it could well make you want to shut the door on the world until January.

Hibernating in your PJs with Netflix and popcorn might seem like a pretty good option, but life goes on. There will be times when someone might say something you aren’t comfortable with over the next few weeks, so we have had a look at how to deal with things and keep yourself OK at the same time.

Be prepared
Deep down we know that baby questions come from a good place, but they can take you by surprise and set emotions off, so having an answer prepared can help steer you through Christmas. Simply saying ‘we will let you know when we have any news to share’ is suffice and you can then change the subject to the weather, offer to go and get more drinks or head outside for some fresh air.

Accept how you feel; it might be Christmas, but you don’t have to put on a show.

As you look at family and friends with their children, it is only natural for you to feel sad, jealous or upset, and that’s perfectly OK.  Acknowledge how you feel, work out what’s going on and if you need to leave, or be by yourself for a while, no one is going to think badly of you, and you need to remember that.

Do something for you

Yes, Christmas is about loved ones, but you won’t be able to pour from an empty cup if you don’t take care of yourself. Having a facial, going for a walk in the park, watching a film or going to a carol concert and having a glass of wine afterwards are all small treats that can take your mind off things and help you to relax.

Get away from it all

It might be that you want to get away from it all, and if that’s the case, Christmas on the beach or skiing on fresh white snow might just be the change of scene you need. Pack up and head off with your partner, friends and who says you can’t take a solo adventure to bring a little joy into your life once again?

Don’t be afraid to say no

While there are certain expectations when it comes to Christmas Day and a big lunch, you don’t have to say yes to every invitation that comes your way. If you know that Christmas Eve with your bestie and Boxing Day with your sister will be all about other people’s babies and children, you don’t have to go. Of course, you love them, but all those little fingers and toes could be too much in one go, so explain what’s going on and remember that your health and wellbeing are more important than any gifts and canapes.

Give back; we can all get caught up in our own problems, but if you look around, other people will be dealing with issues you might be able to help with.

Serving lunch at a soup kitchen, visiting a hospice and chatting to patients and their families or doing some shifts at your local charity shop, will give you something new to think about and it will make a massive difference to someone else who is in need.

Talk about it

Staying silent won’t help you, it could just make things so much worse. If the cuteness overload is getting too much, talk to your partner, mum, sister or manager and they will be only too happy to help you get things off your chest. There are also a number of online communities out there, charities, counsellors and we are always happy to chat, so things don’t get out of hand.

Hannah Martin, founder of Talented Ladies Club, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist, adds to this and say, “If you want to get pregnant then you need to take care of yourself, so don’t be afraid to use the festive season to be selfish. If you need to lie down, then do so. If you want to eat some really tasty food and not feel guilty, do it. If you don’t want to go to an event that will be packed with families and their children, don’t go.  If down the line, you do get pregnant that will be wonderful but it also means that the next few years will be spent looking after the needs of a baby and chasing after a young child, so take this opportunity to put yourself first and enjoy Christmas your way.”

We know while Christmas is meant to be the best of times, it’s not always the easiest of times, but you aren’t alone, and we know you can do this.

Happy Christmas to you, from us.

With thanks to The Harley Street Fertility Team

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