Dealing with stress

There is no denying it: struggling to conceive is a very stressful time. As we discussed earlier in the program, stress is not preventing conception. However, it is likely impacting your quality of life, so it is something that should be addressed.

Exercise

Extensive scientific research has demonstrated that exercise can help improve both your health and your mood. People who exercise regularly have a reduced risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, and also experience better moods, self-esteem, sleep quality and energy levels. All of these factors contribute to lower levels of stress and can help you to cope with challenging situations.

Relaxation

Relaxation activities will also help you to de-stress and maintain a positive state of mind. Different people enjoy doing different things to help them relax. Here are a few ideas:

  • Massages
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Warm baths

Schedule 'me time'

If you take some time out of your week to do some exercise and relaxation activities, you will automatically be in a more positive frame of mind and better equipped to deal with challenging situations when they arise. Try to schedule a small amount of time a few times a week where you are looking after yourself and doing these activities. Block this ‘me time’ out in your diary so that you remember to do it and so that you will not be interrupted.

Here is an example of a week from a busy diary with time blocked out in red for exercise and relaxation (‘me time’). Try doing this for a week and see how you feel.

Other tips

Here are a few other ways to reduce stress:

  • Being well rested is helpful. If sleep is a problem for you, it's important that you only use your bed for sleeping (and trying to make babies, of course). Avoid watching TV or reading in bed, and leave your phone and table in another room.
  • Make sure you are getting natural sunlight on a daily basis. Aim for at least 15-30 minutes, preferably in the morning.