Resolve to use technology to de-stress

Happy New Year! Are you one of the millions who has vowed to pursue a New Year’s resolution?

Maybe you will try to improve your life through dieting, exercising, stopping smoking or learning a new skill. A new year symbolically means a new beginning and a chance to get it right.

For our patients, their New Year’s resolutions may focus on fulfilling their dreams of parenthood. But another worthy resolution is to learn how to live with the stress that comes with infertility as well as with life’s other challenges.

You will never be able to steer away entirely from difficulties, but you can learn coping methods and strategies to weather your trials and tribulations. Our team can suggest resources to accomplish this goal, including referrals to licensed mental health professionals and recommending participation in fertility-focused services such as fertility yoga and mind/body meditation programs.

Mindfulness apps

In addition to these approaches, anyone with a smartphone can download meditation applications, better known as ‘apps.’ Several websites (listed under references) have ranked and described these apps based on user reviews and the website’s quality standards. Some of the more well-known apps the sites assessed include Headspace, The Mindfulness App, and Calm, but there are many others you can download that could suit your needs better. Though none of the general meditation apps focus specifically on fertility stresses, their goal is to help you manage stress with frequent meditation and relaxation exercises.

Convenience and saving time and money are some of the advantages of using this type of technology. Most have free trials as well as paid subscriptions and offer a range of exercises for both novices and more advanced participants. Reminders to meditate, timers and music are other features they provide.

Fertility apps and downloads

Created by reproductive psychologists and mind-body experts Dr. Ali Domar and Dr. Elizabeth Grill, FertiCalm was developed specifically for infertility patients. It addresses coping strategies for 50 categories and life situations such as baby functions, stressful circumstances, holidays and fertility treatments. It can be downloaded for both the Apple ios and Android and offers 500 custom coping options, including tips, suggested responses and relaxation exercises.

Though it does not currently offer an app, Circle + Bloom sells popular guided imagery and meditation downloadable mp3 files customized for a variety of infertility diagnoses and procedures, pregnancy loss, and pregnancy and childbirth.

HRC Fertility does not endorse any particular product or service. We recommend you ask for referrals from satisfied users.

Social media groups

Social media can be a double-edged sword for infertility patients. Even if you try to avoid seeing photos and status updates about pregnancies, infants, and children, you might find participation in private Facebook groups to be a meaningful outlet to communicate with other women who are having difficulty conceiving and undergoing treatment.

Instagram is another social media outlet that has become a popular communication tool for the ‘trying to conceive’ community. Social media technology is available for people to connect in unprecedented ways. There also are small, but growing, groups for men who want to discuss their fertility journey.

Resolutions beyond infertility

Selecting a new year’s resolution that has nothing to do with infertility or with improving your health to enhance your fertility is a great way to relax. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new hobby like knitting or painting. 2019 may be a great year to try your hand at an unfulfilled passion that can take your mind off your troubles and redirect your stress and anxiety.

Try to remember this in 2019: you are more than infertility.

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