I read in the paper recently that a new international study by the Journal of Consumer Research found that “listening to sad music was the best way to recover from a relationship break-up as it had the same soothing effect as a sympathetic friend”. It got me thinking about two things:
• How do you nurture yourself when you’re feeling low, what helps you to feel positive? and
• What do you do just for you/how do you play?
How do you nurture yourself when you’re feeling low?
As you come to accept your childlessness there will be times when you feel great and times when you don’t feel so great. My experience is that it’s important to recognise those not such good times, acknowledge them and take time out to care for yourself. It’s also useful to make a note of what triggers your negative feelings so that you can see whether there’s a pattern.
Personally I’m not sure I agree completely with the report. Maybe, when I want comfort a sad song or a good weepy film fit the bill, but then that makes me feel worse, or at least no better.
Listening to music and singing make me feel good.
I usually turn to music to cheer me up. For me there’s nothing better than a good loud sing to make me feel more positive (when I’m in the house on my own). A quick search on the internet tells me that singing brings health benefits; apparently, amongst other things it can boost your immune system and alleviate stress, both of which sound great to me. And if you sing in a choir this facilitates a sense of community, something which is often missing from our lives as childless women.
I can confirm this. Being in Rockchoir has really helped me to be more positive; I’ve gained confidence, met some lovely people and most of all I’ve had some fantastic fun. Other things which work for me are exercise, especially a bracing walk in the country, as does immersing myself in a good book.
What do you do for you/how do you play?
Going through the infertility journey is stressful and it can be easy to get caught up in the stresses of work and forget to make time for you. I know it may be tempting to focus on your career and to forget to look after yourself.
One of the ways to bring happiness and fun into your life is to play more.
This year I plan to be more creative so I’ve recently taken delivery of a small quilting kit. I’ve never done quilting before and I was rather hoping that it would, at least be cut out. I was disappointed therefore to find that it is pieces of material and a (lengthy) instruction book. In a rush of enthusiasm I also bought a felt kit which is in the same format. They’re going to be a bit of a challenge and I know I’ll get a great deal of satisfaction when I finish them, even if they don’t exactly look like they’re supposed to.
In the last couple of years I’ve finished a complex embroidery kit, had a go at decorating cupcakes, iced a Christmas cake, and next weekend we’re going to a murder mystery evening; all of which are well outside my comfort zone.
If you’re not sure what you’d enjoy, maybe ask yourself:“What would make me happier?” It might be having more of something good or less of something bad. And if you’re not sure of the answer, ask yourself: “what did I used to enjoy when I was younger?” The chances are you’ll also enjoy it now.
Maybe singing works for you; or maybe you do other things to nurture yourself and to help you feel better. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I encourage you to have a go at something new this week, you will find that it brings more happiness into your life.
I know how you feel because I’ve been through the rollercoaster of infertility treatment and come out the other side without children. I now lead a positive life and am passionate about helping other women to do the same.