So here we are at that time of the year again. You know… THE most wonderful time of the year (insert appropriate Christmas jingle here); planning turkey dinners, jingle bells,  obligatory trips to see relatives we haven’t seen all year long.

And of course the festive Christmas music, the shops heaving with gift ideas, the hustle and bustle and slightly stressy vibe.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been asked if I’m ‘all sorted’ for Christmas.

I enjoy Christmas but I’m always super aware that it can be a tough time for many. It takes me back to the three Christmases I endured when I couldn’t have a baby. I say endured because that’s how it felt. I would gladly have shut my front door, popped on an adult onesie and watched 15 seasons of anything at all on Netflix – that didn’t have babies or pregnant women in it of course – just so I could wake up on the 2nd of January and it would all be over.

‘It’ being the constant reminders of the empty feeling in my heart and the ever-present pain that no one could see. The endless reminders of the longed-for family we didn’t have again this year. Passing parents taking their kids to see Santa. The sensory overload in shopping centres and the happy families preparing for the big day.

Of course I chose to see everyone as blissfully happy (although I’m aware that that is not the reality for everyone). But you see, I saw everybody that had children as having won the ultimate lottery of life! I used to try to contribute to my friends’ conversations by chatting about what my nieces and nephew were up to just to fit in.

It hurt. Big time. Trying to act all happy clappy while hurting, takes A LOT of energy.

And if you’re reading this right now and nodding in agreement, then you know that Christmas is just one of the occasions where you have to really paint a smile on your face because, well isn’t everyone supposed to be JOYFUL?

So how can you prevent yourself from turning into The Grinch this Christmas?

1. Don’t put yourself in uncomfortable situations

Avoid large shopping outlets where you know there will be lots of babies, buggies, santa’s grottos (you get my drift).

Do your Christmas shopping in the evenings when it’s quiet and give yourself a break, lady!

2. Meditate and journal

Meditation was my saviour during any big occasion which highlighted my feelings of failure. Christmas was the biggie. No matter how awful I was feeling, I made myself listen to relaxation and I ALWAYS felt better when I did this. Even 10 minutes can pull you out of a negative funk.

Writing in a journal is a really great way of getting stuff out of your head. I used to like to write all my negative thoughts down, then burn them or shred them (mostly in case anyone found them years later!) – but maybe you have another way of disposing of those thoughts so they can loosen their grip on you.

3. Practice gratitude

Yes I know – it seems on those really hard days like there’s not a whole lot to be grateful for, but this is exactly the time to look for the positives in each day.

Begin with the basics, such as being thankful for having food on the table, heat, your family, a good friend, etc. Write down 5 things every day. I promise, you will find them if you look carefully.

4. Be gentle on yourself

In the words of the very wise popstar Jessie J:

It’s okay not to be okay

Don’t force yourself to be in a happy place if you’re having a tough day. Sometimes you have to sit with the feelings. Acknowledge them, cry, rant, throw pillows around the bedroom (yes, I’ve been there).

When situations throw you (pregnancy announcements etc.), don’t sweep the feelings under the rug. That’s harmful for your fertility. Instead follow Steps 2 & 3 above or download my rest and reassurance mp3 audio here

5. Learn to say NO to situations and experiences which don’t make you feel good about yourself

Opt out of nights out that you know you don’t have the heart for and opt-in to people and events that feed your soul instead.

Sometimes when you say “no” to other people you are saying “yes” to yourself … and I’m all about loading up the self care.


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