Wine is out of the question. And you might not feel like getting it on. How to relieve stress when trying to conceive might seem like a daunting task. But with a little creativity and motivation to step out of your comfort zone, you've got this.
Trying to make a baby is hard work. That work can entail scheduling sex around your fertile days, getting the right lubrication on tap, or rushing off to the doctor's office to get hormonal injections and making sure your donor sperm arrives on time. See what I mean? Stress central.
However, you can destress by trying new activities, and pushing yourself to be creative in a way that has nothing to do with fallopian tubes. Licensed Clinical Social Worker told Psychology Today that if you step out of your comfort zone, you can relieve stress and grow as a human. (Which will take your mind off the fact that you're trying to grow a human.) You also want to do things to relax your body, because as you know, stress can harm your physical self, because as Health noted, your body stores levels of cortisol on a cellular level. Not only is this not a fun state in which to live, it's not an ideal environment to grow that human you want so badly. But don't worry, the following are ways to relieve stress and help you see the big picture when you're trying to conceive.
1. Play With Puppies
The Today Show's website reported that playing with animals relieves stress. Why not visit your local shelter and volunteer to walk some puppies? You might have trouble not taking one home.
2. Hula Hoop
Mayo Clinic endorsed hula hooping as an ideal aerobic exercise for women. But it's also a totally fun and carefree activity that lets your body find its natural rhythm.
3. Try Acupuncture
The American Pregnancy Association noted that there are some links between acupuncture and fertility. But as an added bonus, it gets your chi flowing and increases circulation, which Prevention noted can relieve stress.
4. Make A Collage
A collage is an artful way of expressing yourself that lets you get out of your head and be creative for an afternoon.
5. Take An Improv Class
Just like a collage, an improv class gets you out of your head. Improv requires you to be totally present and in the moment, not worrying about your fertility. According to WebMD, this falls under a form of mindfulness, which relieves stress.
There are health benefits to gardening, according to CNN. Not to mention putting your hands in soil and caring for something external is an ideal stress reliever, especially when you're trying to conceive.
Masturbation relieves stress, according to Everyday Health. It's also a partner-free activity to enjoy your sexuality without having to worry about conception.
8. Try Craniosacral Massage
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association noted that there are some links between craniosacral massage and fertility. This type of massage increases circulation of the fluid around your brain and spine (AKA the places where a lot of people hold stress) to improve operation of the central nervous system.
9. Eat Crunchy Foods
Did you know eating crunchy foods can relieve stress? According to Prevention, it's not only the nutrients found in these healthy foods that banish anxiety, but the activity of biting down and "crunching."
10. Take A Writing Class
Feeling like your thoughts about baby-making have nowhere to go? Put them on the page and summon your inner Woolf.
11. Work With Clay
Looking for relief of outside worries? Health Fitness Revolution discussed the therapeutic benefits of working with clay. Not only are you making beautiful pottery, but you are completely focussed on the movements of sculpture, which takes your mind off baby-making.
12. Try Acupressure Massage
Although acupressure has been linked with pregnancy back pain, acupressure massage can also relieve anxiety, according to WebMD. This type of deep tissue work keeps you in the moment in addition to its health benefits.
Rituals like stretching help increase circulation, according to Mayo Clinic and help you feel connected to your body, rather than alienated by it, which is a common feeling if you're not getting pregnant when you want to.
14. Visit A House Of Worship
I'm not telling you to pray for a baby, but I am suggesting you visit a house of worship. Without sounding saccharine, inside the vast and ancient walls of a cathedral, my personal problems are dwarfed within a larger universe. Hey, it works for me.
Although binge watching Netflix and chilling is certainly relaxing, so is reading. And at least a book can transport you to another world while steering you away from the temptations of those pregnancy message boards.
16. Try Thai-Massage
Thai-massage is a combination of yoga and massage that will help you stretch a little harder, allowing you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, literally.
17. Scream Into A Pillow
Huffington Post and the ladies from The BreakWomb put together a funny video about how screaming into a pillow is a cure-all for stress related to, well, being a mom.
18. Take A Photography Class
Remember when photography was more about composition and less about Snapchat? Tap into the fundamentals of taking a good photograph by signing up for an old-school photo class. Getting out and seeing the world through your new lens will relieve you of baby-making stresses.
19. Watch Pandas
You can watch pandas live at the Edinburgh Zoo with a 24/7 live-camera feed. You're welcome.
20. Work On Your Resume
The website Careerealism, which specializes in resume crafting and presentation suggested that the best time to work on your resume is not when you're job-hunting, but rather before. Plus, reviewing your accomplishments will help you see yourself as an integrated person, not just a baby-farmer.
21. Just Dance
The American Dance Therapy Association touts the psychotherapeutic use of movement to make you feel better. So, why not take a dance class and get out of your comfort zone? Or just dance at home and reap the benefits of mind-body awareness.
Harvard Health Watch journal noted that altruism or volunteering is linked to stress relief. It's important to see outside yourself and remember the world is larger than you and your family planning. Besides, don't you want to make the cosmos better for your little one in the long run?
23. Go Swimming
A study published in the International Journal of Stress Management that found floating in saltwater triggers the body's relaxation response and thus, lowers your stress levels.
24. Make A Scrapbook
Psychologist Nina Savelle-Rocklin told Huffington Post that scrapbooking helps relieve stress by helping you focus on a physical activity. Meaning this activity can divert attention away from trying to conceive.
25. Go To A Museum
Want to get out of the apartment and see some art? Who doesn't. Maybe that's why the United States Library of Medicine recommended art as a therapeutic way to deal with stress. Whether you're in a big city or small town, there's always art to be seen.
26. Start A Blog
The Bump recommended journaling your thoughts when dealing with stress from trying to conceive. Not only will you prevent yourself from ruminating, but by starting a blog you can invite others to share your experiences.
27. Listen To Classical Music
PsychCentral noted that listening to slow, quiet classical music can lower stress hormones. Plus, your neighbors won't complain while your jamming. So, there's that.
28. Learn To Cook
You might be trying to bake a bun in your oven, but perhaps you shouldn't be so figurative. Instead, actually try making some bread. The Wall Street Journal reported that cooking is linked to improved mental health.
29. Take A Guitar Class
Another way to push yourself out of your comfort zone is to finally take a class doing something you've always wanted to do. Learning a new skill, like playing the guitar can keep your mind off trying to conceive.
30. Try Aromatherapy
Therapist and social worker La Shawn M. Paul told Huffington Post that aromatherapy can trigger happy emotions. Paul noted that scents associated with nature (like flowers or essential oils made from floral notes) remind you of the large natural world around you.
31. Declutter Your Space
In another article, Huffington Post reported that decluttering your physical space can help reduce the clutter in your mind. Baby-making might never be stress-free, but neither is life. So, roll with it.