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Christmas 2020 – is it over yet?

rocket sperm and stars - Genea AustraliaFinally, we’ve reached the end of 2020, the end of a year like no other!  

We made it through to this point in time, despite feeling at times that some months were never going to end and we’d never get back to a semi-normal life. This year has been (and continues to be for some of us) a challenge on so many levels, from the simple to the complex. So, let’s take this time to express gratitude that we made it! Bye, Felicia!

But just as we’re high fiving ourselves for crawling through the dumpster fire that was 2020, along comes that special time of year. You know, the one where muzak all over the place seems to feature Mariah Carey on repeat. The Festive Season. It can bring dread to the most buoyant of people dealing with infertility but this year there’s an extra layer of … gah!

That’s why Genea Fertility Counsellor Orlaith Sheill wants us to know that it never been more important to manage our expectations around the end of year holidays. This year is different. Any sentimental or emotional attachment to how the time should or could be spent, really needs to be kept in check.  The reality is that we are going to be doing things differently.  The restrictions, even though lighter, will impact and there continues to be an underlying level of uncertainty. This will be challenging for many who cannot see their special people.  You may miss your meaningful people and the things you love to do together and feel unsure what rituals to put in place this year. This of course is hard, but it is temporary.

This year end it is about coming back to where you are at and considering what you can do to mark this time and to take care of yourself. We are all being impacted by the collective anxiety and grief of this year. So, think about these ideas to try to step off survival mode:

•    Perhaps it is an opportunity to take a break and have a social media detox;
•    Or simply stop and read a book – one that has nothing to do with fertility;
•    Enjoy a nanna nap … every day;
•    Take a walk with no purpose other than just to be outside;
•    Conversely, this year-end might be your opportunity to reconnect and reach out to others. Even if it is a virtual connection, it’s still a connection and might be the salve you need.

You might look at this as a time for resetting your body and mind. Many of us have been on automatic pilot so it might be a good time to pause and focus on you. You may be feeling exhausted, disappointed, and not sure what to do with these feelings. That’s okay. This might actually be your time to notice the emotions, feel them, work through them, and build yourself back up.  Not only did you manage a pandemic year, you experienced fertility treatment at the same time, this is an incredible feat.  

You should be proud of your resilience, strength and hope. If someone said to you in 2019 that this would be your 2020, how would have responded and what do you say to yourself now? You may not have believed you could have managed all that you have this year, and yet you did.

Your Genea Fertility Counsellors are hesitant to give you a ‘how to’ list right now when the reality is that none of us have lived through anything like this time before. So, we encourage you to give yourself permission to be resourceful these holidays. Do what you can, make it up. Remember to focus on what is going well for you, what you do have, what you can control, and, above all, show yourself kindness.

You might also find it helpful to read some of the more “traditional” festive season blogs we’ve shared in the past for tips on coping with this time of year.

Self care tips over the holidays
Overcoming the challenges of the festive season
Our Counselling team is available to our patients via email, phone or Skype. Please contact them on counselling@genea.com.au or Genea Hollywood at perth@genea.com.au.

Genea's counselling is closed from 3:00pm Thursday 24 December 2020 and will be available again for support on Monday 4 January 2021. Should you wish to access counselling support in this time, we recommend calling Lifeline 13 11 14, for 24-hour support.

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.