5 easy ways to reduce stress while trying to conceive
Embarking on a fertility journey can feel long and overwhelming at times. It is important to have strategies in place to help you cope with stress and anxiety, particularly if you are a Type-A personality that likes everything to be perfect at all times! These 5 tips will help you to reduce your stress while you are trying to conceive.
Try as best as you can to take things back-to-basics, by taking perfectionism off the table. Focusing on the basic pillars of health and wellness, can reduce stress without adding additional overwhelming tasks to your already very long to-do list.
If our stress levels remain high for too long, we can end up with elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone that is made up of the same building blocks as progesterone.
If our body is busy focusing on making cortisol, it places less importance on progesterone production, leading to a reduced supply. This can lead to several negative side-effects, particularly in respect to fertility including:
- Estrogen dominance
- Decreased ability to conceive
- Difficulty with mood stabilization
Progesterone helps us to grow a thick uterine lining which is then shed during menstruation. If we don’t have enough progesterone, then we end up with a lighter period, and a thinner uterine lining to support healthy implantation.
So we can see just how big of an impact stress can have on our ability to conceive!
Try these 5 easy ways to reduce your stress while you are trying to conceive:
Ensure you get regular movement
Be sure to move your body daily, even if it is in a very gentle way. Research has shown time and time again, that exercise is incredibly beneficial for stress and our mental health as a whole. Try activities like yoga, walking, and tai-chi to get your blood flowing.
2. Get enough sleep
Take this time to create a relaxing night time routine to help you unwind and get adequate sleep. Try taking time off devices to read, listening to a podcast, trying a mindfulness exercise or talking to a loved one. Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will help your body to get the rest it needs, without adding additional stress hormones into the mix.
3. Connect with others
Remind yourself of the supportive community that you have around you on this journey. Reach out to friends, family, support services at your fertility clinic or a counselling service if you need to. Research has shown that good social supports have a number of protective effects on our health (all of which are beneficial for improving our chances of conceiving) including:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Normal heart rate
- Reduced cortisol levels
4. Keep busy!
Type-A people are prone to overthinking and dwelling on the negative. Staying busy during your fertility journey can help you to stay positive and not focus on the things that we can’t control.
Take up a new hobby, clean out that cupboard, cook a new recipe or plan a day trip to somewhere you haven’t been before! Keep your mind and hands busy as often as you can to help reduce your stress.
5. Reframe your thoughts
Reminding yourself of the strength it has taken you to get to this point can be helpful for Type-A personalities. Try to avoid dwelling on negatives and focus on the facts. Spending time in a negative space will only make the process feel harder. Writing down your thoughts and linking them with facts can be a helpful visual and can help you to break negative thought processes.
For example, if you regularly think “I’m not meant to be a mother, this will never happen for me”, counteract this thought with several facts for example:
- I have several caring and motherly instincts and that is clearly seen in how I care for my partner and friends
- This may not happen right now, but that does not mean it will never happen
If you try these tips and are still struggling to find enough support while you are trying to conceive, book your free 30 minute 1:1 strategy call with me to learn how I can support you using functional nutrition, specialty lab testing, and targeted supplements. Can’t wait to speak to you!