Coping with uncertainty – empowerment

Delays in the health service and concerns over interest rates and the cost of living are creating stress for everyone, but for those struggling to conceive all this uncertainity can be particularly distressing, Jackie Stewart, one of our counsellors, explains how empowerment can help you on the fertility journey in a guest blog.

Acknowledge your feelings

This is a time of great uncertainty and every day you may feel bombarded with yet more worrying news. This can be hard to cope with if you are already feeling stressed.

A good coping tip is to tell yourself that it is okay to feel sad, to accept your feeling and know that you are doing the best you can.

If you find yourself thinking ‘I shouldn’t feel like this’, this is a clue to a hidden layer of guilt for the way you are feeling. Allow your feelings to be present and you may feel less overwhelmed in doing so.

Independent fertility counselling

Connecting with others with similar experiences can be helpful – the Fertility Support Group provides an opportunity for sharing and support.

Breathing deeply can help you feel calm

Learning to breathe deeply can help you to keep calm, particularly if you ever experience feelings of panic.

During a fearful moment or panic attack, people tend to take frequent shallow breaths. This style of breathing may cause you to experience tingling in your hands and feet and to feel light-headed.

Practising breathing deeply when you are coping well will enable you to use this as a resource if you are feeling anxious.

Try this once a day for five minutes:

  • sit down, or lie down on your back.
  • make sure you are comfortable, loosening any tight clothing.
  • become aware of your breathing, its rhythm, depth or shallowness, and its speed.
  • put one hand on your upper chest and one just below your ribs on your abdomen.
  • slowly let out your breath.
  • gently breathe in, so that you feel your abdomen rise slowly under your hand.
  • breathe out again, feeling your abdomen fall, and make sure you exhale a little longer than you inhaled.
  • pause for a few moments and then repeat the process again.

If you find that only the hand on your abdomen moves, then you are breathing correctly; the abdomen is moving as your diaphragm rises and falls rhythmically. There should be little or no movement in your upper chest; your hand should stay still.

Empowerment in a time of uncertainty

Gaining information can help to empower yourself.

If you want more information about fertility treatment going forward Bourn Hall has set up a frequently asked questions page on the website. You can also contact the clinic by email through [email protected].

You may be able to organise a virtual consultation or ask questions which may be answered helpfully and easily to put your mind at rest by clinic staff.

To keep up to date with the latest facts and have a look at the Fertility Blog on the Bourn Hall website for more sources of support.

On occasion if uncertainty seems to overwhelm you, be still, let the fearful emotions wash over you. Sink into the peace within that is there to be found underneath it.

Some other helpful links and sources of support:

Podcasts – available on Apple, Spotify and other good podcast providers, suggested by Jackie as others have found them helpful.

Big Fat Negative

Fertility Liferaft

Fertility Podcast

Let’s Talk Fertility with Izzy Judd

Access Fertility Package

More information

If you have questions or concerns please do contact us by email: [email protected]

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