The holidays can be tough when you have infertility. I know – I’ve been there. You’re expected to be celebratory and festive, you might be surrounded by children, and if you are anything like I was, you just might not feel up to it. Sometimes I participated in holiday events, sometimes I declined. But either way, I practiced gratitude as a way to experience positivity at a time in my life when I was pretty down.
Ways to incorporate more gratitude into your life:
- Keep a gratitude journal. In a book or in the notes section of your phone, each day jot down the things, large or small, that you are grateful for.
- Nurture your relationships. Spend time with the people you love, and don’t forget to let them know what they mean to you and why.
- Don’t complain. Try this: commit to not complaining about anything during one meal, one outing with a friend or one day a week. (Ooooh… that can be a tough one. Try it though!)
- Start a gratitude jar (or box). Find a pretty jar or box (or decorate one). Each day, write on a piece of paper two to three things you are grateful for and put them in the jar. When you’re having a bad day, pull one or two out and read them. Those reminders can be pretty powerful mood boosters.
- Take a silent gratitude walk. This is a great mindfulness practice to do alone or with your partner or a friend. Pick a place to take go for a walk – ideally out in nature such as the beach or a park. Don’t speak during the walk (no phones either!), really take in what’s around you: sights, sounds, smells and colors, and be grateful for them.
Each night before dinner at my house, we state three things we are grateful for from the day. It’s easy to say: “I’m grateful for this meal,” but we try and dig a little deeper so that we’re really noticing and honoring moments from the day, big or small – anything from a long walk on the river with my dog, an unexpected phone call from a friend, or finishing a new offering for my clients. It’s a time to reflect on the good things – and there are good things, even when you’re going through a difficult time. And bonus: there are health benefits to a gratitude practice including better sleep and a stronger immune system.
What are you grateful for?