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Coping with COVID-19 and Surrogacy

Stones on the beach, mindfulness

Coping with COVID-19 and surrogacy is a double whammy.

Coping with the treatment process can be difficult during the best of times even though our staff works hard to make treatment as easy as possible. Add the COVID-19 pandemic, and your anxiety level can double or triple. You might wonder how treatment will proceed safely or be concerned about an at-risk family member or friend. 

Now more than ever, you need coping mechanisms to quell the resulting emotional upheaval. Here are a few techniques that hopefully will help you better navigate your surrogacy journey during these turbulent times.

Understand what you can control

You probably did not anticipate you would require surrogacy to create your family while living through a frightening global health crisis that would make it more challenging to get needed care. You have no control over both these situations, but you have to deal with both.

But, you can control how you react to these dual crises. You can seek professional help if you are having trouble coping emotionally. You can include healthy eating habits and a moderate exercise regimen to enhance your fertility and overall health. You can control how much time you spend thinking about your concerns. If you make a list, you will find other factors you can manage. Rather than obsess about future unknowns, redirect your thoughts so you can be proactive about handling your anxieties and lessening your fear.

Practice gratitude

Incorporating a practice of gratitude may feel hard when there are many obstacles on your path towards parenthood. But try focusing on what you have versus what you have lost. Make a list of the positive aspects of your life, whether it includes your spouse, friends, a job, a nice home for sheltering in place or another bright spot.

Pinpointing what you are grateful for can be a wonderful coping tool. We all are feeling uncertain about what the future will bring, but spending a few minutes each day remembering your blessings offers a different perspective.

Turn off the news

Turn off your television, computer, laptop, or phone for a few hours each day. Schedule a time when you are in a COVID-19-free zone. Use this time to learn a new hobby or talk to a family member or friend about anything but COVID-19.

Gain support from the infertility community

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and other patient support organizations have organized virtual support networks so you can connect with other men and women who are undergoing the same turmoil and uncertainty with infertility, surrogacy, and COVID-19. The trying to conceive community is very active on social media and you can find many resources, from counselors to fertility coaches to patient bloggers, to help.

Speak to a mental health professional

If you are feeling overwhelmed or persistently sad, it may be time to speak to a mental health specialist about how you are dealing with infertility and surrogacy, COVID-19, and your relationship to yourself or your partner. We can recommend trusted professionals.

Incorporate mindfulness activities into your lifestyle

You might find practicing yoga or guided meditation will help you relax and decrease your stress levels. Many practitioners are offering free online classes to help you learn these techniques.

All of us at CACRM also are available to talk and help you cope during this unusual, but difficult time, as we return to our ‘new normal’ of living with COVID-19.

 

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