Infertility is often a silent struggle. Unlike cancer or a broken leg, no one automatically knows you are going through it. This means that you are often juggling multiple medical appointments, complicated emotions, and all the normal hectic life stuff. No one cuts you any slack while you are trying to conceive. The work assignments are still due and the social obligations beckon. It can be hard to implement coping skills amidst this busyness. However, this is exactly the time self-care is crucial! Below are five calming techniques that anyone can implement almost anywhere.
- Four-Six-Four Breathing: Gently compress your left nostril and inhale through your right for the count of four, hold the breath for the count of six, and then exhale through the left nostril (release compression) for the count of four. Repeat in reverse order. Compress the right nostril and inhale though the left for the count of four and so on. Do this for 4-6 rounds.
- Belly Breathing: Place you hand on your belly and inhale deeply through your nose as you observe your belly rise, slowly exhale and observe your hand drop with your belly Keep your focus on your belly and you nose, switching between them. Do this for at least five breaths or for however long is comfortable.
- Visualization: Close your eyes and envision the sun shilling on you directly, warming you without overheating you. Focus on the sensation of the sun’s warmth.
- Stop and Smell the Roses (Literally): Inhale deeply any scent that is soothing to you. Don’t be ashamed to smell your neighbor’s flowers on an afternoon walk. Some people like essential oils like lavender. This process makes you literally stop and redirect your focus. Olfactory (nose) memory is well linked to emotions. Therefore, pleasant smells can bring you to your “happy” place.
- Drink: No, not wine. Insure you are staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea in the evening.
It is best to integrate these calming techniques on a regular basis throughout your day. This can reduce your overall stress. It will also make you more likely to utilize these calming techniques when you are completely overloaded. You can set a timer on your phone or schedule some relaxation breaks in your Outlook calendar. These five techniques each take less than a minute so aim for doing them every hour or two.