If you’re a woman undergoing treatment for infertility, chances are you’ve heard a lot about your menstrual cycle: when it starts, when it ends, when you’re most fertile, when you’re least fertile. Although getting to know your cycle is a key part in understanding your fertility status, you don’t want to go overboard with it.
Being obsessed with anything – having a baby, getting a job promotion, running an 8-minute mile – is a sign of emotional and often physical distress. So, if it’s hurting our health, why do we obsess? Because we feel like we’re losing control, and, in reality, we are. Infertility is not a choice, but an uncertainty. This loss of control flips the panic switch in our minds as our instinctive fight-or-flight response takes over. Our thoughts tell us: “Hurry! Fix this! Solve the problem! Now!” Basically, we are afraid.
When you’re on this rollercoaster of fear and anxiety – measuring your basal body temperature every hour and pretending you have to pee so you can check your cervical mucus – you need to find ways to distract yourself from these overwhelmingly obsessive thoughts. You need to remember to enjoy life beyond the thought of having your own baby.
Here are a few simple distractions to break the cycle of obsessing over your cycle:
- Call up a friend
- Read a book
- Take a hike
- Get a massage
- Do yoga
- Start a garden
- Cook something
- Join a club or course
- Try photography
- Sing along to the radio
It may seem counterintuitive to relax in the midst of all your struggle and desperation. It may even feel like you’re letting go or giving up, but you must remember that it’s not. It is simply a humble admission that you are not in control. Once you face this truth and subdue your compulsive thoughts, there will be more room for other things in your life: joy, laughter, passion, peace, hope, perspective, and a little zest.