Scientific research tells us that gratitude is one of the best ways to beat stress and help patients cope with the physical and emotional demands of infertility treatment.
There’s no faster way to feel better emotionally than to acknowledge the many reasons you already have to be thankful, and to share the good fortune you have with others.
But practicing it is easier said than done. And when faced with some of the worst challenges of infertility like pregnancy loss, an authentic feeling of gratitude can be almost impossible to muster.
If that sounds like you, know that this is completely normal. This has been one of the most challenging years many of us will ever face, even without infertility - so cut yourself some slack.
The good news is that you don’t have to practice gratitude perfectly for it to work, and it can even be fun.
Here are a few simple, practical ideas for naturally infusing more gratitude into your everyday life - and feeling better today.
- Treat yourself to a nice new journal and keep it by your bedside. Before you go to bed each night, write down 3 good things that happened each day. Anything counts, however small!
- Take a few minutes each day to stop, breathe, and not think about anything. If you can't quiet the internal chatter, listen to a guided meditation from an app like Calm. There are even guided meditations focused on gratitude. If you don’t already meditate, trust us - it’s habit forming. You will start to crave this time!
- Look for the learnings. Find the lessons in your challenges you're grateful to learn, even if the journey to that lesson was difficult. Use your new journal to work through it and find the nuggets of wisdom.
- Volunteer your time or make a donation to an organization that supports a cause you believe in. It's cliched but true: giving back can help you feel better about your own challenges and provide a satisfying sense of purpose. There are many ways to volunteer safely, too, especially if you can provide support or services virtually, from your laptop or phone.
- Express yourself. Take up space in the world. Don't shrink or hide. You deserve to be here, to be heard, and to be loved for who you are. The more self-love you have and nurture, the more grateful you might feel for each new day.
- Spend time with loved ones, even if just over Zoom. Can't join your family for Thanksgiving due to COVID? Host a Zoom dinner and wine tasting. Have every household pick up the same wines and try them together with your Thanksgiving meals.
- Take tiny steps to make other areas of your life more joyful, pleasant, easy, or simple. Even if infertility feels like a burden weighing you down, you can remove friction from your life in other areas to help keep your mood afloat.
- Embrace the infertility community. Find a support group. Connect with other infertility warriors on Instagram. Everyone’s infertility story is different, but chances are someone’s felt or feeling exactly the way you do, no matter where you are in your journey.
From all of us at CARE Fertility, we're here for you, and we're grateful for you. In this season and always.
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