How to Cope with Infertility Depression and Stress

When you and your partner started to plan for a family, you probably hoped it didn’t take long. However, life doesn’t always go as planned. The stress of coping with fertility problems can become overwhelming. Furthermore, when you try to increase your chances of becoming pregnant, you can become stressed. This can also cause depression. According to a study conducted at Ohio State University, stress can reduce your odds of becoming pregnant by 29 percent. Learning how to manage your infertility depression and stress can significantly improve your chances at conception. Our experts provided three effective ways to cope with infertility depression and stress. These methods don’t just provide relief, but can actually help improve your chance of becoming pregnant.

1. Start practicing yoga

Yoga involves a series of meditation and deep-breathing exercises. These naturally help you reduce and relieve stress. Doing one or two 90-minute yoga sessions per week can help reduce your stress levels by as much as 30 percent, according to a study published in the International Journal of Yoga.

If you never took part in yoga, don’t stress! Enroll in a beginner’s class and progress from there. You can also find many helpful beginner yoga classes online. When you finally do become pregnant, consider enrolling in a prenatal yoga class so you can stay fit throughout pregnancy.

2. Engage in cardio exercise

Cardio exercises such as running, swimming, cycling, and dancing help improve blood flow and circulation. This improves fertility health. Plus, cardio exercise helps the neurons in your brain learn how to react to stress in a more healthy way. Learning this results in a decreased risk for long-term stress. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests engaging in cardio exercise for 30 minutes, five days per week.

3. Dive into a major project

Tackling a major project, either personal or work-related, can battle stress by helping you feel more responsible and in control of your life. Some couples who face fertility problems tend to feel as if they’ve lost control of their lives due to their inability to become pregnant. However, assuming a leadership position at work or in your personal life can naturally help reduce your stress levels.

Ask your boss if you can lead a new high-level work project, or start working on a personal project you’ve been meaning to start such as writing a book, cleaning out the garage, or sorting old photos into a scrapbook. As long as you don’t feel stressed tackling a project, this should help take your mind off of things and create a positive distraction.

Women’s Care Florida offers evaluation and testing that can help pinpoint the cause of infertility and determine which treatment would be appropriate based on your health history. Contact WCF to schedule an appointment and to learn more about how we can help you take care of you.

Can Stress Cause Weight Gain? Ways to Stop Stress

Stress can creep up on you at any moment. Whether you’re having a busy day at work or are stuck in rush-hour traffic, stress is sometimes unavoidable. Before you immediately look into ways to stop stress, know having some minor stressors in your life can benefit you. However, you may the scale go up when you deal with bouts of increased stress. If you ask yourself, “Can stress cause weight gain?” the unfortunate answer is yes. Although a little stress is okay, too much of it can lead to health issues such as weight gain and obesity. In fact, a study published in the journal Obesity found a link between high-stress levels and greater body weight.

The correlation between stress and weight gain

The study looked at over 2,500 men and women over the age of 50. Researchers measured stress by a person’s cortisol levels, a stress hormone found in a 2-centimeter hair clipping (two month’s worth of hair growth), according to a New York Times article about the study.

When researchers asked themselves can stress cause weight gain, they planned to look at the amount of cortisol and the level of obesity. As a result, they found that the higher the cortisol levels, the greater the body weight.

In this particular study, researchers found a correlation but did not determine causation. In other words, they noted that they could not determine whether the high cortisol levels were a cause or a consequence of obesity. However, other studies have shown that high stress prompts people to turn to high-calorie “comfort foods.” Ever heard of the term “stress eating?” Well, there’s a lot of truth to that.

Ways to stop stress

Many ways to stop stress exist. Find alternate, healthier ways to cope instead of turning to food or binge-watching TV. Prevent stress and weight gain by following some of these helpful, stress-relieving tips:

Meditate

All you need is a few minutes a day to relax the mind and meditate. Find a quiet place to sit. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing. Try not to let any unwanted thoughts cloud your mind.

Listen to Music

Studies show that listening to music can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Either find music that will soothe your soul or crank up the beat and dance your worries away.

Exercise

You don’t just have to hit the gym to relieve stress. Walking, riding a bike, taking a yoga class, etc. are all great ways to get your blood pumping and your body moving. Exercise helps to release chemicals that make your body and mind feel good. Even a quick walk around the block will get the blood pumping and help take your mind off of what’s wrong.

Be Mindful

Being mindful is a difficult thing to do, but it can help. It means to essentially “slow down time” and to appreciate the little things in life. Notice the sun shining down on your skin, or feel the cold water as you splash into a pool. Not only will this help reduce stress, but it may give you a greater appreciation for your life.

If you’re wondering can stress cause your weight gain and want assistance, check out one of Women’s Care Florida’s weight loss programs. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our highly-skilled experts today.

5 Tips on Managing Holiday Stress

Long lines at the stores, skyrocketing credit card bills, and burnt turkeys are all the hallmarks of a stressful holiday season. With increased stress comes decreased health, making it hard to stay healthy and happy during the holidays. However, managing holiday stress is a new tradition you can learn. Follow the five steps below for holly, jolly, and stress-free holidays.

Set realistic holiday expectations

Everyone’s pictures on Facebook will show perfect holiday moments. You’ll see smiling children, dogs in cute sweaters, and perfectly baked desserts. However, you won’t see moments with crying kids, the dog making a mess, and the burnt pies tossed in the garbage.

The first step when learning how to manage holiday stress is to set realistic expectations. Life isn’t a Hallmark movie. Your kids will get upset. The family may fight. A gingerbread house might crumble. Nonetheless, the holiday season can still be great. Instead of focusing on the mishaps, focus on the exciting parts of the holidays. For instance, enjoy your children’s faces lit by holiday lights. Feel grateful for spending time with your family while you still can. Plus, think about how you’ll laugh about that coal pie next year.

Get started early

Managing holiday stress and black Friday shopping don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. Black Friday doesn’t have to be the first day of the holiday shopping season. Get started early on buying gifts so you can choose from a large selection and have time to wait for sales that meet your budget. Also, ask your family for lists so you can get what they really want.

In addition, get started on holiday cooking and baking early. simply freeze the dishes or cookie dough. These techniques will save you time during the holiday rush.

Share the wealth of work

If you are hosting holiday get-togethers, you have to clean and decorate your house, stock up on supplies and handle all the cleanup. Make hosting easier on yourself by asking others to bring dishes. Give your partner or kids a list of things to do to help, whether it is going grocery shopping or vacuuming the floors. By delegating some of the work, you can lower your stress and have more time to enjoy the holidays with your family.

Managing holiday stress by prioritizing

It seems there are more holiday traditions and obligations than the time during those precious few weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. You don’t have to participate in all of them; pick your favorites instead.

Don’t enjoy baking? Don’t make cookies. Don’t see the point in holiday cards? Don’t send them. Don’t want to go to the neighborhood holiday party again this year? Have a night in with your family instead. Though you might feel pressure to participate in everything, remember the holiday season is about being merry and bright. Do what’s right for you and your family to ensure you feel that way.

Take a vacation

If you associate the holidays with bad memories or just don’t enjoy the holiday season, don’t feel pressured to celebrate. Instead, take a vacation. Get away for a while with friends or family or even on your own. You can even enjoy a staycation wherever you are by visiting tourist attractions you’d normally skip or trying new restaurants.

Remember: there is no single, perfect holiday season. Everyone celebrates differently, so find a way to truly enjoy your celebrations without stress. For more seasonal tips, read “Fun Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays.” From everyone at Women’s Care Florida, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday.