We are nearing the end of 2020, the year that brought so many unexpected changes and many ups and downs with the global COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, trying to conceive can bring up feelings of uncertainty and stress which has been highlighted for some due to the pandemic. With the year we have had we have also had to find ways to cope with new and unexpected circumstances and restrictions that have left so many with lingering feelings of isolation and a sense of loss. As we near the end of the year and some restrictions have eased, it’s a good time to consider what has been helpful this year and what you are hopeful for in the next few months and year.
Nearing the end of 2020
1. Acknowledge how you are feeling and reach out to others for support. Staying connected with friends and family is a good source of support. There may have been things that you wanted to achieve in lockdown or in 2020 and its important to practice self-compassion and kindness as this year was unlike any other and no one has a toolkit of personal coping resources to manage the unknown. By talking to others about our experiences, we can share in the commonalities and also hear from others on what helped them get through.
2. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or struggling, you might consider reaching out to a counsellor you know or one of the No.1 Fertility counsellors. It’s natural to be experiencing some stress in an uncertain time and finding ways that work for you to manage these feelings will be individual but could include, meditating, mindfulness, taking some deep breaths, exercise if possible and reflecting on past experiences of stress and remembering what coping skills have worked well and building these into day to day life more.
3. Try to not stay up too late watching the news or scrolling. Try to keep a consistent bedtime routine and this could be a time to try some new routines such as yoga or stretching before bed, meditation or even trying some apps with sleep stories can be helpful. When you wake in the morning, you could try a positive affirmation such as ‘today is going to be a good day’ and try to not look at your phone for the first 5-10 minutes upon waking as this can help set the tone of the day.
4. Practice kindness and self compassion. These are trying times, know that we can’t be switched on 100% so allow some space to look after yourself and do acts of kindness for yourself and others. Another simple but powerful tool can also be to practice gratitude. It can be as simple as each night as you get into bed, think of three things you are grateful for. Some days might be tougher than others and it can seem challenging to come up with them but it can be big or small things, including a nice cup of coffee, a walk in the sunshine or seeing a friend you haven’t seen in months.
5. Many of us have secretly loved aspects of Isolation. Emerging from the restrictions doesn’t mean we have to return to the way we have managed our lives in the past. It is a perfect opportunity to make some changes.
Many people have found that staying at home more has allowed them to rest, to have more quiet time, to take up hobbies /interests /exercise, visit parks or the beach, to have more time for relationships, to have fewer social commitments, to eat more home cooked meals, to not commute, to garden, listen to music, dance, spend time with pets, paint, draw, read, knit, sew, build etc.
This is the ideal opportunity to notice those things and hang on to them. Don’t let go. They are important.
If you need any more resources or you are wanting some support during treatment, feel free to book a session with the counselling team.