Q: This is really hard for me to handle. What resources are available to me?A: RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association (www.resolve.org) has resources and various ways to get support. RESOLVE has an online support community, local support groups (now meeting virtually), webinars, and other content to help you connect, get support, and stay informed.
We know that the infertility treatment can be stressful. The conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic certainly add to that stress. There are things you can do to help reduce that stress. Your clinic can provide you with a referral to a trained mental health provider who can consult with you on how to manage the stress and emotions surrounding this extremely difficult set of circumstances. Many of these providers are prepared to offer telehealth options that may be covered by your insurance carrier. Here are some additional ideas:
- Get accurate and current information to reduce anxiety. Utilize reliable sources such as the CDC, WHO and ASRM.
- Limit your use of social media and other sources of news. Set a certain time of day for gathering news. Choose a time when you aren’t likely to be triggered. Stop using tech devices an hour or more before bedtime…turn them off.
- Utilize relaxation or mindfulness apps to reduce anxiety and tension and improve sleep. Focus on the present moment. Some examples of these apps are Ferticalm (for women), FertiStrong (for men), Headspace, MindshiftCBT, and Personal Zen.
- Distract yourself with non-COVID-19 related topics. Taking even ½ hour per day to focus on other things will help.
- Pay attention to the messages you give yourself. Positive self-talk can be powerful. Saying things like, “This isn’t the situation I expected, but it doesn’t mean it won’t work out eventually” can be helpful.
- Stay in touch with others in your support network. Use virtual connection via telephone or video chat to do this. Staying connected with others reduces the sense of isolation. RESOLVE is offering its peer-led support groups via virtual technology so that you can connect with others going through the same thing as you.