Peace Is Power

16 Sep

I work full time as a fundraising manager at a disability charity. Like most charities we are understaffed and overworked. A new general manager has just started and he wants to prove himself and make his mark which means we are extra busy right now.

I’ve built a solid career within the fundraising industry and the only thing I am interested in right now is winding down. I want to focus on my passions – documentary film making, reading, writing, having a baby…

Deadlines are looming and I am feeling stressed. This concerns me. Some studies have suggested a strong link with high stress and poor outcome for IVF. And quite frankly, who wants to be stressed anyway!? 

Fortunately, I have also come across a recent study in the journal Human Reproduction (January 29, 2009) which shows that symptoms of anxiety don’t reduce the chances of getting pregnant for women undergoing fertility treatments. 

But there is the period of pregnancy to consider as well. All in all, I am pretty sure it is better to avoid stress if at all possible. And there is the stress that is almost inevitable during IVF in any case. Some research indicates that women undergoing treatment for infertility have a similar level of stress as women dealing with life-threatening illnesses. WOW! Fortunately, I really don’t feel like that. However, I do understand that the stress levels during IVF treatment may impact my work life and social relationships. 

IVF treatment involves frequent blood tests and almost daily injections or nasal sprays of hormonal drugs. Basically, the initial treatment puts you into an artificial and temporary state of menopause. It therefore stands to reason that women are likely to experience menopausal symptoms during this part of the treatment cycle. These symptoms may include hot flushes, headaches, and mood swings. 

How on earth is this going to go down at work in an already tense environment – yikes!

Ultimately, it would pay to tell my colleagues what I am doing so they understand what I am going through but I’m not sure that is wise. I don’t think that my employer would be thrilled with my plans. And I really need my job right now. 

So I need to manage the stresses at work, make time for my yoga practice, at all cost, and accept that I may not make any friends in the near future. In fact, I may very well lose a few. (Can’t wait for those mood swings!) PEACE IS POWER!

I found this article about managing stress and I am going to start applying this now:

Seven Top Tips to help you maintain as much balance as possible during IVF and maximize your chances of becoming pregnant.

Tip 1: Put yourself first

Your health and peace of mind are paramount during your treatment. Learn to say “No” instead of stretching yourself to meet others’ needs and demands. You can always say, simply; “This is necessary for me right now. I hope you understand.”

Tip 2: Establish priorities

Priorities are based upon your needs, values and responsibilities. Rate each task from 1 to 10. Forget the “should”s and “ought-to”s and strike off anything you don’t need or want to do. Stay on top of your core responsibilities and offset medical down-time with self-nurturing time, good company and other treats.

Tip 3: Re-frame your tasks as goals

A task can feel like pressure, while a goal is a personal and positive choice. A smart goal is written, specific, achievable, backed up with resources and time-framed. So, re-write each task along those lines. (i.e. I will have brought the 2 bags of unwanted clothing to the charity shop by closing time on Tuesday, the 10th of X month).

Tip 4: Ensure that you have what it takes

Estimate how much time and energy each goal requires. Remember that during IVF, your medications and appointments are often strictly set. Fluctuating hormones can also affect your energy level. Give each goal a realistic time frame, specifying any strict deadlines, to avoid stress.

Tip 5: Impose some order

Remember the domino effect. Fulfilling one goal can make another one easier. For example: clearing the clutter in your inbox could pave the way to reconnecting with old friends and explaining the fertility journey you are taking. This may lead to a resurgence of your friendships, social life and support network.

Tip 5: Reach out for support

Do you need to do each task personally in order to fulfil your goal? Perhaps someone else can help out, exchange services with you or be paid to do what you cannot. Make your needs known.

Tip 6: Daily reminders

Revisit your list of goals daily to remind you about what you have achieved and what still needs doing. This will help you avoid a pile-up of unfulfilled goals and the anxiety that could accompany it.

Tip 7: Reward yourself

With so much focus on the IVF, you can forget other needs. Rewards are important, both as motivation and as validation. How about a bubble bath, a bunch of fresh flowers, a girls’ night out or dinner out with your partner? You will benefit from the light-hearted, relaxed time or pretty touch.

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One Response to “Peace Is Power”

  1. SCHERIE September 18, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    well my darling priorities 1st , which is happiness 🙂 Be selfish FOR ONCE xxxx

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