Coping with a forced pause (Part 2)
You may feel inundated by the sheer volume of self-help and practical tips that are coming your way from all forms of media. It is wonderful that they are being so generously shared, there is a vast array of what to read, watch, do and create. It is good to keep the brain and body active but be good to yourself in your productivity expectations and make sure to turn down the external noise of pressures in what you ‘should do’, if this is all too much. There is an assumption that we all now have more time, and this may not be your experience. There is nothing like stress to curb the creative and the doing, but the other side is that creativity and doing can be helpful to ease stress. It is finding the balance of what is right for you and doing your best not to compare yourself with other people’s abilities. Notice your capacity for taking in information, decide how much exposure is right for you. Be aware of your limits as being overwhelmed is paralysing, it makes us freeze and can bring on anxiety.
We at Genea are sensitive to this and do not wish to add to your list. However, if you cope by doing and processing, this is a lovely podcast I found valuable from Dr Natalie Crawford MD (As a Woman #62 - 23/3/2020). Her suggestion is to write down a list of what you miss. You might be wondering what the benefit of this list is? It allows you to get the overwhelming number of thoughts out of your head by writing them down. It is an opportunity to acknowledge what you are missing, to work through your feelings and to manage accepting how it is for now. By accepting your current reality, this does not mean you have to like it at all. However, in accepting this is where we are at right now, the coping with it can be less of a battle and more about adapting. We can make more sense of things when we name them.
Her next suggestion is to write a list of what you still have and what might be ‘even better’. For example, you might be enjoying the fact that you don’t have a long commute now and you may feel relief in not having to put on a brave fertility mask. It is important to acknowledge what is good in your life right now. Finding meaning in the small things helps us cope. We are aware that these suggestions are not for everyone, it might just be a nice fit for you.
In our usual controlled world, we are not great with mess and the handling of it. The reality is life can be hard and chaotic. It might help in this time of being on hold, to take back some control in deciding what coping is right for you. We always have choice, even if it does not feel like we do, it can simply be to turn down the external noise and listen to your own voice. You may have to regularly reassess, recharge, reset and refocus, and that is ok. That is tweaking your coping, making it work best for you and in turn in your relationships with others. It is also called personal growth.
The desire for connection is normal considering our social isolation and we want to let you know that we are here, we are thinking of you and we are available for ongoing support. Contacting Genea’s counselling team might be a helpful way to refill your energy tank, have a debrief and talk to someone outside the confines of your home and head. Your internal critic could be quite dominant and overpowering right now, sharing could help. A listening ear and a space to be heard can ease stress and anxiety and help realign in your coping. You are welcome to connect with us.
To conclude; “Sometimes the strength within you in not a big fiery flame for all to see; it is just a tiny spark what whispers softly, ‘You’ve got this, keep going’.” (Unknown)
Our counselling team is available to our patients throughout this time, via email, phone or Skype. Please contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Genea Hollywood at email@example.com and Genea Oxford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Genea's Fertility Collective to find more advice and useful tips and tools plus the latest updates on COVID-19 and the impact on fertility treatment.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a Genea Group blog and as such information may not be relevant for all clinics. We advise that you consult clinics directly for further information.