We’d like to introduce you to Harriet and Lauren, two amazing women, who are hoping to make a positive change with their campaign #PostItPower by helping those struggling with the impact of infertility on their mental wellbeing, with words of advice and guidance from the incredible ttc community
Here, they tell us all about their personal fertility journeys and the reasons behind the campaign, launched on World Mental Health Day(Thursday, October 10).
“This World Mental Health Day, me (@Laurenifen) and my fellow TTC pal Harriet (@Bee_Dreams) have launched a mental health campaign on Instagram which we hope will find a helpful place among our community. Before we tell you about how you can get involved, let us tell you a bit about what today means.
“Today is a day for global education, awareness and advocacy against stigma. Mental health is a condition – a state of psychological and emotional wellbeing that affects all of us, all the time, to varying degrees, on an ever-changing continuum. It isn’t just about having (or not having) a mental illness, it’s much broader than that. It’s about being able to meet the ordinary demands of daily life and function in society with comfort, contentment and positivity. It’s a mindset which helps – not hinders – the undertaking of any of the challenges life can throw our way.
And life can throw us many…
“Challenges that are hard to bounce back from. Complicated. Painful. Difficult to make sense of. Unpredictable. Lonely. And one such challenge that ticks all of those boxes – and more – is infertility. Both myself and Harriet know how the pressure of infertility feels
“I never really gave my mental health any attention until trying to conceive turned into IVF which turned into IVF round two and and now looking ahead at round three. Somewhere along the way, my mental health took a knock. Infertility has made it harder for me to enjoy some of things I used to, it has affected my sleeping patterns, my lifestyle, my plans, my mood and the focus I have (or don’t have) at work. And it has taken quite substantial effort for me to start getting things back to “normal” – part of that has been listening to my mental health and making time to do things that boost it.”
Harriet feels the strain too
“I have been trying to become a mum for the past 4 years. Who would have thought it would be so hard? What I didn’t expect was how much it could impact my mental health. Being diagnosed with depression and anxiety was a shock, none of my other life challenges had led to this. I struggled with this diagnosis to begin with but now I want to spread awareness of how much infertility, IVF and ttc can impact your mental health and that is ok to not be ok.”
Infertility and all the tangled emotions, uncomfortable treatment and uncertainty that goes with it, is the hardest challenge many of us will ever face. It’s the hardest challenge we have ever faced. It impacts every area of our life – relationships, work, money, plans for the future, physical health and, of course, mental health. Studies have likened the distress of infertility to grief – akin to a response observed in patients who’ve received a cancer diagnosis – and a recent IVF Babble poll found that 97 percent of you were finding it hard to cope at work because of the emotional strain trying to conceive has on your mental wellbeing.
So how do we look after our mental health? What can we do to give it a boost?
Well, it can take a bit of trial and error to find out what works for you; maybe it’s running, yoga or meditation. Maybe it’s speaking to a counsellor. Or writing. Maybe it’s spending time with friends. Laughing, singing, dancing, painting, knitting or walking your dog.
Whatever it is, we’d love for you to share it with us
We are asking you to share what you do to boost your mental health. Here is how you can get involved:
- Grab a Post-It note (or screenshot one of the templates from our Instagram story)
- Write down your mental health tip
- And share it on Instagram using #PostItPower.
You can share to stories or your main grid with as much – or as little – detail as you’d like
We will be re-sharing every single one in a highlight reel – an Insta-catalogue of mental health tips for people to dip in and out of whenever they need. So you never know who you might inspire with yours.
Today’s World Mental Health Day let’s endeavour to speak up without shame and listen without prejudice. Let’s recognise emotional pain as real pain. Understand the need behind the feeling. The cause behind the symptom. Seek help when we need it. Find support. Find professionals. Find treatment.
Let’s make looking after our mental health part of our routine
Our daily routine. Whatever that looks like for you. Because your mind is completely, thoroughly, delicately, indefinitely and brilliantly unique – look after it.
Get involved using #PostItPower and make sure to tag @Laurenifen and @Bee_Dreams for your chance to win a box of ‘Love, Beauty & Planet’ goodies* (*made with all natural, vegan ingredients).