The struggle is real. We hear people say that all the time, right? In a ridiculous #firstworldproblems sort of way. I mean, deciding to cure your hangover with pizza or a cheeseburger isn’t exactly a struggle. Well okay, maybe it is a bit in that particular moment. But not in the grand scheme of things.
Trying to conceive, on the other hand? Now that is a struggle.
It’s been the toughest and most real struggle of my nearly 37-year life. And I daresay that most women in similar shoes would claim the same.
Some days are tougher than others. Regular occurrences that would maybe be slightly stressful are suddenly intensified because the struggle of getting pregnant is always looming. Everything becomes more intense — at least that’s been my experience.
A bad day at work is made worse simply because this “unresolved issue” hangs over everything. An otherwise simple disagreement becomes a full-on battle because nothing is ever just the issue at hand.
There are so many layers to deal with in life — each one being something we need to deal with. Work. Household chores. Bills. Maintaining friendships and family relationships. So rarely do none of these layers need attention, but sometimes you nail it. Sometimes, the layers are gone — even just temporarily — and there’s that moment of peace. Projects at work are complete. House is in order. Bills are paid. Everyone in your life is loved by you and knows it.
Life is damn good.
For a minute.
But something always hovers. There’s never total peace. And I know that’s the case for nearly everyone in this world, but for those trying to conceive, there’s always a layer. So when all those other stresses begin to build, they’re building upon a really delicate and stressful-as-all-hell foundation to begin with.
Managing stress is important for everyone, but especially for those trying to get pregnant. I recently reached out to my Facebook fans to find out what they do to get ahold of stress. I was surprised by some of the unique things they do. Here’s some of what they said, and some of what I have to say about what they said.
1. Scream it out
Not at your spouse or partner or kids or anyone else of course. Not even at yourself. But to some of your favorite music. I’ve done this for years while driving in the car, but perhaps it’s time to bring this home.
2. Use a weighted blanket
Usually designed to help those with autism, weighted blankets have been shown to help reduce anxiety. Even just the thought is comforting to me.
3. Go out dancing
It’s so easy to get trapped in your own head during this struggle, and the last thing you feel like doing is going out. But force yourself. Let it all out on the dance floor. I don’t like dancing because I always feel so awkward. So the thought of going out and dancing actually gives me more anxiety, but maybe this will work for you.
4. Hug people more
So simple, right? How often do we actually admit we could use a hug? For me, I need them a lot. But rarely do I admit that or ask for one. In fact, I’ll sometimes even push affection away during my deepest moments in this struggle. Let’s all hug more.
5. Let yourself be sad
Feeling stressed or sad or any not-so-great emotions sucks. No one wants to feel this way. But you know, it is part of it. And maybe sometimes, we just need to feel like crap. We need to let ourselves feel like crap. Give yourself some time to do that, but don’t give all of your time to it.