When you’re trying to conceive, comments from family can be a lot to deal with – especially during the Christmas period. Peppy’s Emotional Support Mentor Kelly Da Silva shares tips on how to cope.
For many people, Christmas is often viewed as ‘the most wonderful time of year’. But for those who are dreaming of starting or growing their family, the festive season can be tinged with emotions like sadness, stress or uncertainty.
While Covid restrictions may have overshadowed Christmas last year, life is slowly getting back to normality, which may cause you to turn your attention towards your fertility journey.
The topic of Christmas on its own can be overwhelming, let alone thinking of excuses for why you’re not drinking, dealing with pregnancy announcements and being met with invasive questioning from your family and friends.
More often than not, you may put on a brave face and pretend you’re fine.
But this can sometimes feel like you’re living two lives – one where you pretend that everything is alright, and the other where your heart silently aches in pain.
That’s why I’ve listed some ways to help you manage your emotions as we reach the end of the year:
1. Figure out why you may find Christmas challenging
Emotions are simply energy in motion and can be triggered by all sorts of things, including your own thoughts about upcoming events or what you’re going through on a personal level.
When you’re TTC, this can include:
- spending time with a pregnant family member or new parents
- being asked about your own daily plans
- seeing Christmas-themed adverts about family.
While it can be tough, it is important to reflect on your triggers and realise that these emotions come and go.
2. Practice self-care, always
Whether you’ve just started your journey, or have experienced some bumps in the road, it’s paramount that you and your partner take it easy and put yourselves first, especially during times when it can be tricky to spread the Christmas cheer.
Think about a space you can go to reset, calm and gather your thoughts.
For example, having an adults-only Christmas is perfectly understandable as while it may not be the one you had always imagined, it can serve as a beautiful opportunity to create your own traditions – or simply do something completely different.
3.It’s OK to miss events
Turn your ‘shoulds’ into ‘coulds’ when it comes to attending events where you may feel triggered.
Rather than thinking, ‘I should meet my friends and their children for a pre-Christmas lunch’, think ‘I could meet my friends and their children for a pre-Christmas lunch.’
This shifts the energy from feeling guilty to realising that you have a choice.
4. Set healthy boundaries
Before you head out for Christmas lunches, take a little time. Think about how you’d like to respond to any potentially difficult questions during the day.
When it comes to dealing with imposing questions, decide what you are willing to talk about and what’s non-negotiable.
5. Prepare your answers for questions from your circle
Statements and queries from your family and friends can feel like attacks. Rest assured that they’re often coming from a good place.
If you’re going to see them soon, pre-empting their questions and thinking of responses in advance could help you feel at ease during your meet-ups.
6. Share your thoughts with someone you trust
As much as you might want to keep your emotions to yourself, sharing what you’re going through with someone you love and trust can be key in encouraging you to release any baggage and stress you may be experiencing. This may be your partner, a friend, or even a therapist.
By being reflective and mindful of your thoughts and feelings at this time, you can find joy in the small moments and look forward to the future.
I’m wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Please reach out to me or your Peppy practitioner if you have any more questions. We’re here to help.