The isolating and painful experience of infertility can turn Christmas into a time of sadness for some. It is traditionally a time focused on families and children and for people enduring fertility treatment it can sometimes become a painful reminder of a longed for child, or of a lost child.

Additionally, the social and family pressures that the holiday period can put on couples hoping to conceive can be extremely trying.  Navigating the holiday season as well as going through IVF can be an extremely stressful and emotionally loaded combination, so during this time try to find something to help you relax – massage, aromatherapy and exercise can all help relieve anxiety. Even going out for a long walk in the brisk fresh air and taking ‘time out’ can help. Or how about trying acupuncture? Not only to help you unwind, but also as a way of potentially increasing fertility treatment success.

Moreover, even if you are consciously trying to conceive, try and take a break from the stress of trying to get pregnant. If you’re struggling with infertility depression, identify and try to avoid the worst triggers of sadness and pain.

Coping with fertility problems during Christmas may be easier if your thoughts are focused on one thing only: the holiday season itself. Instead of ruminating about current problems or woes, plan instead to cope with them head-on in the New Year. Whenever negative thoughts and emotions pop up, replace them with thoughts that keep you focused on enjoying the Christmas season; past memories of wonderful Christmas times, favourite holiday films and books, the taste of hot chocolate and gingerbread and spending time with loved ones and friends.

Make it special for you. Spend time with your partner, sharing how it feels for you both at this time. Allow yourself to acknowledge the sadness and frustration you may be experiencing with your partner.  Recognise the hurdles that you have overcome together and hope that the New Year will bring some positive life changes.