Is it time for a break from trying to conceive?

Is it time for you to take a break from trying to conceive?

Okay… so… now what?

And how do you actually take a real break from trying to conceive when this is something you want so badly?

How do you turn off the constant tracking, the checking of symptoms, always making choices in favour of your fertility?

I get it. I remember having these exact thoughts after our 3rd loss. I desperately needed to take a break. I was broken. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

I knew I needed to take a break but I wasn’t really sure what a break was meant to look like. I also felt lost and really sad that this might be an indefinite break for us.  I wrote about that here if you’re interested.

So if you’re currently in that space. If you’ve realised it’s time to rest and let go of the stress of trying to conceive for a while, these are my tips for what to actually do while you’re on a break. (If you’d prefer to watch, scroll to the bottom of this post to find the video).

What to actually do when you’re taking a break from trying to conceive

Take a real break

I know it can be tempting to say that you’re taking a break, but actually your thoughts are still constantly whirring around as normal. Tracking. Planning. Searching…

I really recommend giving yourself a real break. You won’t experience the benefits unless you give yourself the mental and emotional rest from trying to conceive.

Stop tracking.

Stop planning when you’ll conceive.

Stop reading forums (maybe even leave them for a time).

Stop thinking about when you’ll start trying again.

Stop checking for pregnancy symptoms.

Stop putting off things because you might be pregnant when…

A proper break means that you go on as if you’re not planning on having a baby. Of course, you might have an agreed date in the future when the break will be over and you’ll come back to trying again. But for now, try to give yourself a proper rest and let go of all the active planning.

Focus on health to feel good 

When you’re struggling to conceive all of your choices around health become about ensuring fertility. This can become exhausting when every choice from what you eat, to how you move and how you socialise is determined by the science of fertility.

Taking a break will hopefully allow you to relax the rules and change your perspective on health. Instead of focusing on doing everything ‘perfectly’ for fertility, I’d much prefer if you focused on feeling good in your body.

This doesn’t mean eating rubbish food every day because in the moment an ice-cream feels better than broccoli. It’s about getting connected with your body enough that you can recognise what foods give you energy and vitality and which foods make you feel sick and bloated.

Spend your break from trying to conceive getting your body as healthy as you possibly can, so that you can live your wonderful life in a body that feels good, not so that you can conceive. (Although it is probably worth mentioning that this approach to health – without stress and overwhelm- often improves fertility anyway).

For me, a big part of living healthily to feel good is moving (practising yoga) in a way that compliments the different stages of my cycle. If this is something you are interested in, you can download my free fertility yoga guide for more information.

Write your happy list

To combat feeling lost when we took our break, I decided I would proactively focus on feeling happy again. I wrote a list of all the things I had been putting off until ‘after I fall pregnant’ or ‘after the baby arrived’ that would make me feel happy.

They were a mixture of big things and small things. Date nights. New linen. Holidays. Haircuts. Anything I could think of that would bring me a tiny bit of joy.

At first it just felt like going through the motions. I was still incredibly sad and grieving. But little by little, these small tasks helped me to stay focused on living a happy life, regardless of what I had lost. My happy list played a big part in helping me to come back to hope.

So I’d encourage you to write your own happy list and try and tick something off every other day or weekly and come back to the list whenever you’re feeling anxious or lost.

Find your way back to hopeful

A question I get asked all the time is – ‘How do I know when it’s time to end the break?’

The answer – ‘You will know’ is incredibly frustrating, but it is the truth.

When you feel hopeful and positive about the prospect of trying to conceive again, you’re ready.

When you feel that urgency and anxiety around conception has gone, or at least faded to a whisper, you’re ready.

When you feel restored physically and emotionally for whatever your ttc journey may hold, you’re ready.

You will know.

In the meantime, keep living your wonderful, happy life. Sending you love and hope.

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