When you’re TTC, dealing with fertility treatment, or infertility – the holidays can be overwhelming. Alongside the increase of social gatherings, is the increase of stress surrounding said gatherings.
Even though this time is particularly hard – there are ways that you can prepare yourself for a more easeful and perhaps joyful holiday season.
It starts with some preparation so that you can have systems in place that are supportive – like setting boundaries for yourself, prioritizing your mental/emotional/physical health, and finding ways to let the light in.
I called in my friend and colleague Elena Clamen for this episode. She is a licensed mental health counselor and expressive arts therapist in private practice in Massachusetts. The focus of her practice is reproductive mental health. Elena supports women and couples navigating infertility, IVF, donor conception, surrogacy, pregnancy lost, postpartum, and more. She provides both individual and group support. In addition to her clinical work, Elena is an adjunct instructor at Lesley University in the Expressive Arts Therapy Department. She served as a member of the Resolve New England Board from 2008-2021.
Elena offers our listeners great strategies for navigating the holidays so that you are not only surviving but also enjoying yourself.
Here are some highlights of the tips and tricks we talked about on this episode:
- Expectations of joy throughout the holidays – regardless of what is going on
- Control what you can – preemptively address the host to let them know that you may have to leave early
- Setting boundaries
- Allowing yourself to feel joy
- Holding joy and grief simultaneously
- Creating new traditions
- Creating non-negotiable time for yourself (yes! You have the time)
- Deep Rest
- Movement & the power of walking and fresh air
Elena’s compassion and knowledge added so much to this conversation. With these added tips and techniques – we hope that you are able to let some light in this holiday season and have more easful moments in your gatherings.
If you’re listening to this around the end of November or the beginning December and would like to join the special Holiday Yoga Series with Kerry – go to this link:
Elena runs a weekly primary infertility support group – anyone in the United States can join these group sessions. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Art therapy and Fertility Yoga Workshop: Feb 13th, 2024