If you asked me what my most frequent feeling has been while trying to conceive (TTC) I would say OVERWHELMED!
Sure there are some close runners up – anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment – but really all those roads lead to overwhelm.
Quite often when I meet someone who is going through fertility struggles they have this ‘deer caught in the headlights’ expression that I recognise so well from my own face at times. It’s often a case of total information overload!
Overwhelm is an awful state to be in. It can make you:
- Constantly be in a frenzy of activity with not much to show for it
- Freeze completely
- Do the exact opposite of what you are meant to do
- Feel stressed, snappy and misunderstood
Personally I am not very good at not knowing the answer. I see a problem and I want to I charge forward and fix it. As a result ‘overwhelm’ and I are frenemies who meet too often…
In the past I’ve been guilty of gathering too much information, to the point that it turns me into a crazy perfectionist … or the total opposite as it’s literally too much to process so I do nothing…
Well nothing isn’t quite true–I’ve spent a fair chunk of my time berating myself for not doing all the things I’ve read about!
Three years TTC and counting I knew I needed to get a handle on this as it was not sustainable.
My 4 top tips for preventing OVERWHELM when TTC
Expect there to be an ‘adjustment period’
Accept when you make lifestyle changes that it can take a while and can make your system go a little haywire. You’ve been living one way for so long, even if this new approach is better for you your body might need time to adjust.
In my experience nothing in the fertility game is instantaneous, things can sometimes get worse before they get better! If you are worried, check with your health care professional.
Focus on one or only a few changes at a time
Break it down–the old “how do you eat an elephant*? In bite size pieces!” approach. Make lifestyle changes that are sustainable, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on a few changes at a time.
If you are constantly frantically searching for the next thing to try before you have given this one a go you’ll only find overwhelmed!
Surround yourself with people you trust
Get a support team you trust. Go with your gut as well as your head. I took my time to find the relevant support people and health professionals. I’m upfront with all the health care professionals I see so everything is in sync to support me.
Go on your own journey
Remember we are all different — what works for me, what is the cause of my fertility challenges, will mostly likely be different to you. Get advice, share stories, but consult your professionals who know you before you try things.
Try to stick to engaging with those in the fertility community who are able to ‘tell it like it is’ but in a way that is positive and supportive, not negative and fear-mongering.
*Disclaimer: No elephants were harmed in the writing of this article.