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Xmas coping strategies

This has been a turbulent year for everyone, one that I’m sure many will look forward to seeing come to an end. We have all been under a lot of stress while COVID-19 took over our normal way of living and 2020 has demonstrated how important it is to look after yourself.

The festive season this year will be different, however one aspect will remain the same and that is it can be a painful and distressing time for many who are struggling with infertility. Perhaps, while COVID-19 has forced us to distance ourselves from crowds and family get-togethers that we would have normally found uncomfortable, there are still many people who rely heavily on that family contact to help get them through difficult times.

We have previously written about ways that can help you survive during the festive season while you’re struggling with infertility, however as something different this year, we will also include some tips for surviving the holiday period if you’re feeling isolated and alone.

Some websites have suggested that Xmas this year will focus more on the simpler things that will feel more meaningful rather than your traditional holiday gathering. If this year has helped teach us anything, it is the quality of time that counts, and the smallest gesture of kindness can go such a long way. Additionally, with boarder closures constantly changing and people with family living interstate, this can also put that extra stress on this time of year.

1. Zoom Zoom Zoom

By now, we should all be pretty much experts at using zoom! We’ve been forced into the world of online learning, zoom meetings and coffee catch ups over FaceTime.

Although it’s quite obviously not the same as seeing your family face to face or giving that friend a reassuring hug, while we’re potentially stuck in this unusual situation, there are ways to make a zoom catch up with family and friends entertaining for the time being. Putting on a virtual dinner or exploring the world of Jack-Box games can be a fun alternative to a physical get together.

2. An “Orphan’s Xmas”

As borders are constantly opening and then closing, it is hard to keep track, especially if you have family interstate and you find yourself alone during this holiday season.

An “orphan’s Xmas” is essentially a holiday celebration attended by people who are unable to attend your typical traditional celebrations. Many expats have found themselves in situations (even pre-COVID) where they are far from family and organising a small gathering to celebrate the holiday season together is something that may add a little Xmas cheer to what would normally be a somber time of the year – with appropriate social distancing of course.

3. Street Party

If you find yourself in a quiet neighbourhood or suburbia, another helpful idea could be to arrange a street party with your neighbours. Neighbourhoods around the world have been enjoying street parties with their neighbours which also ensures they continue to social distance. Ideas range from front yard BBQs to driveway dance parties to an outdoor movie night.

4. Make it sparkle

This could go hand in hand with the street party ideas. During lockdown, people around the world took to hanging up their Xmas lights to “bring a little light in a dark time”. There’s always something cheerful about seeing lights strung up during the holiday season. Whether you opt for something small, decide to go all out, add a little humour; it could add a little brightness to this uncertain time and help to raise some much needed hope.

It is also important to understand that it is normal to feel sad and emotional during this time of year, probably more so given how tumultuous this year has been. It can be overwhelming and looking for a solution may prove challenging, however there is no harm in needing to reach out. Fertility First has a counselling service available to all our patients and support services such as Access Australia have been able to provide patients with the support and advice they need.