THE BLOG
11/30/2016 02:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Tis the Season to Try to be Jolly

2016-11-29-1480462964-8071617-flowerwhite.jpg'Tis the season. The world is expecting everyone to be jolly. No surprise, you don't feel like the bubbles in a glass of champagne. More like flat ginger ale, you say? Forced gaiety is this season's curse. It takes a toll emotionally to be in pretense-land. What's a person to do when the only solution to feeling glum is to bring home your baby? How does one cope when Mars seems closer than your goal?
Here is a grab bag of coping skills. Reach in. I'll bet at least one can bring relief.
1. Don't try to be jolly. Allow realness. Let 'er rip. Tears are therapeutic. By the way, sonogram has shown that a caterpillar, once in its cocoon, completely melts down, parts rearrange, and presto--out comes a butterfly. Have a meltdown--as needed.
2. Give vent to your feelings. Capture them and put them out--to a loved one, a trusted friend or relative, or on paper (and then ceremoniously burn or rip and scatter as confetti). If all else fails, scream into a pillow or on a rooftop. You won't go down the drain. You will drain the frustration.
3. Alternatively, fake it 'til you make it. Buck up and participate. You may have a good time. It would be normal to collapse in a heap afterwards because you can't and shouldn't fake it to yourself. Make sure your phone is handy. Someone needs to come and pick you up.
4. Connect with those who will validate your feelings. Isolation can be deadly. Who can you melt into for solace? Hopefully your partner. (If there's a glitch in that department, know that crises are opportunities. Get help.) Connection requires communication. Words can be overrated. Just ask to be held.
5. Connect with your breath. It's a handy little gadget. If done slowly, it can alter blood pressure, muscle tension and near-hysteria. Try it now. Long, slow, deep. Ahhh!
6. Embrace the opportunity to change how you respond. Turkeys abound elsewhere than the dining table. Well-meaning people say stupid things. Expect to be blindsided. Imagine "insults" bouncing off you and zapping the deliverer. This can be amusing.
7. Skip town. I'm not kidding. It's your right to create your own tradition at a time when you need to land in an infertility-free zone. (Of course, this can get dicey if no one knows you're in a battle to introduce Eggberta to Mr. Squiggles.)
8. Create. Paint your living room magenta. Buy fabric and make placemats (email me for simple directions). It falls short of pro-creation, but any creation can be a satisfying distraction.
9. Unless you're the headless horseman, the mind and the body are a unit. Taming the mind, tames the body. Taming the body, tames the mind. Research has shown that letting-go and just being in the present moment with a variety of meditative coping skills releases the grip of frenzy and can return the body and mind to neutral. The Relaxation Response, Guided Imagery, Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis and Mindful Awareness serve this purpose. They are taught in my book, On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility. (I couldn't resist putting in a plug. Amazon awaits you ☺) Some might be inclined to seek serenity with prayer.
10. If you're in the New York metropolitan area, stop by. I'd be happy to help you to locate an inner sanctuary, relocate your resilience, and even find a way to achieve that dreaded command - just relax! If you live in Peoria, or even on 14th Street and don't feel like coming out from under the bed--I've included a gift for you, a guided relaxation for you to enjoy. Kick off your shoes, get cozy, take a deep breath and click here for a holiday hiatus.