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Does your life ‘spark joy?’

Tidying up with Marie Kondo is all the rage at the moment and her basic premise is creating environments for people that feel good to live in or work in by using her Konmari method for tidying up.

One of the catchphrases of the show that has taken off and is now creating memes everywhere is when she asks people to look at their clothes or other items and determine whether or not the item ‘sparks joy’ in them.

Now that doesn’t mean just because the vacuum cleaner doesn’t spark joy in us we can throw it out. While the actual act of vacuuming might not fill you with ultimate joy, the clean carpet and the result at the end does spark you with joy.

So the vacuum cleaner stays. Or does it?! Maybe you could get someone else to clean your house – I know that sparks joy in me!

Applying joy to your fertility journey

So what’s this got to do with fertility? I’m glad you asked.

See, life is meant to be enjoyed and too often on this trying to conceive journey when things aren’t going right, instead of this one thing in our lives not being great, our WHOLE lives go out the window and the joy right along with it.

I get it. I have been there. And I know it can be all consuming. And that’s why I want to change the conversation with women in this situation and bring the joy back! We need to start tidying up our lives to bring back the joy by cleaning out the negative and bringing in a lot more self-care.

It’s time to do a clean up! And this can be applied to many things in your life as well as in the things you are doing on your pathway to ultimate fertility.

How to assess where you are at

Take a moment to look at your life and see what is not causing you joy. Maybe write yourself some general categories, like house, career, friends, relationships, hobbies, tness etc. And if it is a big topic like fertility then break it down.

For example, the whole ‘fertility’ category in your current situation might not spark joy (like the vacuum cleaner). But what in particular is not sparking joy?

If you are seeing fertility specialists or doctors, for example, ask yourself if they spark joy. You will know if they do because you will feel safe with them, trust them and they will ultimately believe that they can help you. They have your back. 

If they are just sprouting a whole bunch of low percentages at you and telling you it probably won’t work – move on to someone who does believe in you and find a team that supports you. They are literally robbing you of your money and taking your joy.

Does doing OPK’s and charting and holding on to pee for four hours and waking up at 5.30am bring you joy or do you just feel obsessive? You’ll know if you are too obsessed if the thought of stopping makes you anxious. But what are you really holding on to? I reckon if you’ve been on this journey for a while, you probably know your body inside out and could tell me when you are ovulating. Maybe you could stop for a few months and learn to trust your body and intuition again.

What have you stopped doing in your life that you used to do? Have you stopped seeing your friends? Have you put your life on hold somewhere? It’s time to get your life back on track and take care of your spirit as well as your body. Because if your mindset isn’t healthy and following along with your drive to be physically healthy then you are missing a key part of the fertility journey and a MAJOR part of your life.

Map it out and write it down

Sit down and work out the baseline for your life right now. And give things a mark out of 10. Find some major categories, whatever makes sense for you.

For example, your list might look like this:

1. Fitness: 5

2. Relationship: 6

3. Friends: 4

4. Home: 7

5. Work: 3

6. Fertility: 4

7. Health: 8

8. Self-care: 4

Now, over the next three months work out where you would like those numbers to be. Not everything is going to be at a 10, and that’s okay. Be realistic. If you want Work to be at a 10 and you know that will require longer hours at work, it might impact your social life with friends and you might be okay with that. But also, you might find different ways to interact with your friends to still stay connected. This gives you much more conscious control over your life instead of it feeling so adhoc and messy.

Now work out what you would like the numbers to be over the next 3 months (I like to do this quarterly as my priorities change):

1. Fitness: 5 —> 6

2. Relationship: 6 —> 9

3. Friends: 4 —> 5

4. Home: 7 —> 7

5. Work: 3 —> 5

6. Fertility: 4 —> 7

7. Health: 8 —> 8

8. Self-care: 4 —> 6

As you can see, I didn’t make unrealistic adjustments to my numbers to set myself up for failure. I kept Home and Health at the same number and prioritised mainly my Relationship, my Fertility and my Self-care.

Bring in the joy

Now, you need to ask yourself questions. What would it take for my relationship to go from a 6 to a 9? Remember to only write down things that are within your control. You can’t say, “I want my husband to be more romantic”. If you want more romance, then you need to work out what you can do to create that romance.

Maybe for your fertility to go from a 4 to a 7 you need to: get new doctors who believe in you, start some mind-set work and stop charting and trust my body.

Maybe for your self-care to go from a a 4 to a 6 you need to: go to yoga three times a week, take a bath 2 times a week, have a massage every fortnight and catch up with one friend for coffee once a week.

And then you need to get your calendar and schedule it and check in on yourself to follow your goals and readjust as necessary.

And this is key, maybe you nd that going to yoga twice is okay. Maybe having a bath doesn’t bring you the joy you thought it would so you have to choose something else.

Remember, don’t use this as a tool to beat up on yourself if you don’t complete your ‘list’, use it as a rough guide to see where you can do simple things to get your life back and SPARK MORE JOY!

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