by Andreia Trigo
Have you been feeling more anxious lately? This was the question I asked on my Instagram stories a few days ago and an overwhelming number of people said YES!
Watching the world change overnight has left the human population in a state of shock. Dealing with a new way of life in such a short period of time has been very hard to say the least. For those faced with the heartbreaking news that their fertility treatment has been stopped, there is an added layer of pressure and fear, as their future as parents feels full of uncertainty. With this fear comes an enormous amount of stress – a natural response to an unprecedented situation.
However, when anxiety starts interfering with daily activities and keeping us from enjoying small moments of joy, we need to do something about it.
Over the past week I have been thinking about infertility, and how it is also an unprecedented situation – out of our control, and yet somehow we are still here, coping day after day. And maybe because of it, we are in a better place to cope with this epidemic. Because we already have some experience of coping with situations that we cannot control. Maybe we can build on top of the coping skills we already have. And maybe we can find new ways of looking after our fertility whilst in lockdown!
These are some of the strategies I have been using:
Maintain a routine
When you have to stay at home for so long, it almost seems that you lose track of time, and all days become alike. Waking up at a certain time, getting ready and dressed, having meal times and going to bed at your natural time will help your body keep up its rhythm.
This is a wonderful mindfulness meditation that I do every morning to condition my brain towards feelings of gratitude, motivation and confidence, so that I can cope with whatever challenge the day throws at me.
You can listen to my morning fertility mindfulness meditation here.
Being at home is a great opportunity to eat a bit healthier. You have more time to read recipes, cook a healthy meal and avoid take away or fast food.
Exercise at home
Find a bit of space anywhere in the house to do 30 minutes of daily stretches, abs, burpees or weights. You don’t need any tools to keep active!
It is important to have time for yourself. Choose activities that give you a sense of pleasure and joy. Maybe that book you have been meaning to read for so long?
Being at home allows us to spend more quality time with family. Maybe cooking together, or playing board games? And for dear ones that live far, using Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom are great tools to feel a bit closer to them.
When I first started working from home, it was a bit challenging to adjust. There are a lot of distractions, from family, to house tasks and even social media. Having a dedicated space to work and keeping your work hours just for work seemed to work well for me!
In a time when so many of us are feeling extra anxious, stressed, fearful and depressed, online support seems to be key. I received such good response to a webinar I did this week that I’m turning it into a weekly thing! It’s a great way to connect with others who understand what you are going through. Reading articles on IVF Babble, engaging with the Instagram community or with Facebook groups are great ways of getting support.
Always reach out to someone if you are feeling like you can’t cope. We are all here for you.
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc is a multi-awarded nurse consultant, author and TEDx speaker. Combining her medical experience and her own infertility journey, she developed unique strategies to help people undergoing similar challenges achieve their reproductive goals. Her mission is to improve accessibility to fertility care and support worldwide at minimal cost to populations. She is the founder of the Enhanced Fertility Programme, the evidence-based programme that improved help for fertility, currently in use by several clinics and patients worldwide