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This time of year

Candy cane heart shapeThis time of year …" is mentioned a lot right now and these four small words wrap up what can be a challenging time. While this is the season of joy, it may be difficult to participate when you're feeling sad, exhausted or experiencing loss and disappointment. It can be particularly confronting to feel this way right at a time when the world around you is filled with images of celebration and holidays.

Holidays can mean gatherings with family and friends. At other times of the year you can perhaps avoid certain people that push your buttons or ask those very inappropriate personal questions but that gets harder at this time of year. You may encounter expectations of merriment and connection that you feel unable to meet. You may feel challenged in relationship dynamics, be surrounded by pregnancy and children, triggered in your own losses, having to put on a brave and happy face. You may feel lonely and isolated, sad and overwhelmed by the season that carries so many spoken and unspoken expectations of family and joy.

On the other hand, you may be going toward this end of year time, hoping to re-group, re-charge and take some time out of the infertility world. It is OK to use this time of year to resource yourself and to take a break from it all.

Genea's counselling team would like to remind you to please remember yourself and your own needs at "this time of year":
  • Now more than ever, be gentle with yourself.
  • Mind yourself in the gaiety of the holidays, in your vulnerability.
  • Reserve your own energy and support yourself.
  • Be mindful of over consumption of alcohol and medications, or of those around you over consuming.
  • Lean into support.
  • Self-compassion, being kind in what you say to yourself and how you care for yourself, is important for well-being.
  • The practice of gratitude for the smallest of things, can keep overwhelm at bay.
  • Have a Plan B, C, D, whatever gets you through.
  • You may have to try the holidays in a new way. You may need to do something that is more fitting for your needs this year, that is different from what you have always done.
  • Maybe say ‘no’ where you would normally say ‘yes’.
  • Listen to your body, listen to your heart.
  • Take that nap.
  • Take a walk on your own.
  • Take reprieve from the gathering.
  • Find a space in a quiet room.
  • Remember to breathe.
  • You are entitled to your feelings; give yourself permission to feel them.
  • Take the space when you need to.
  • Learn to say ‘yes’ to offers of help.
  • Allow yourself to be cared for by others.
  • When you do feel joyous or find yourself laughing and having fun in the moment, take that piece of time for you and be in it.

Genea's counselling is closed from 3pm Tuesday 24 December 2019 and will be available again for support on Monday 6 January 2020. Should you wish to access counselling support in this time, we recommend calling Lifeline 13 11 14, for 24-hour support.

Stay well and take care.

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.