Mindset Shifts For A Healthy Cycle When Struggling With Infertility
A Guest Post by Samantha Kellgren, Founder of Simply Well
I vividly remember awaiting my period to start after going off the Pill. After 13 years of being on it, my husband and I were ready to start a family. But, month after month, there was zero sign of a natural cycle. My impatience and stress around starting my period certainly wasn’t helping, but I couldn’t find another approach. When I started to work on mindset shifts for infertility, I started to see a change in my cycle and health.
My experience was more than just the typical aftermath of the Pill. I developed Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, due to extreme exercise (ahem, marathon running) and low body fat. We ended up undergoing IVF to have our son, and I was determined to never go on any form of hormonal birth control again.
The approach I took to getting my cycle back after becoming a mom was different, less stressful, and, in the end, successful. If you’re struggling to get your period back, or obsessing over having a textbook cycle, I feel you! Here are three mindset shifts for infertility that helped me regain a healthy cycle, and a happier mindset.
Stop charting and put your energy elsewhere
Period tracking apps can be a great tool, until they become a stress. When I opened mine, or received a reminder, and saw that it had been 106 days since my last period, I felt defeated. There are many ways to track your cycle, from using an app, to monitoring cervical mucus, taking your Basal Body Temperature, and peeing on an ovulation test strip.
This information can be useful, but it can also take over your life. If you are tracking and charting your cycle, or lack thereof, consider taking a break. It takes time and energy, both emotionally and physically, to record and simply be aware of the data. Imagine the freeing feeling of ditching all of it.
I promise, your cycle won’t know the difference! Charting will always be there, so take a break for at least 3 months, and loosen your grip on trying to control it. Put that mental energy into something that makes you happy, and trust that your body is doing what it needs to do.
Focus on gratitude for other things
I was determined not to let the time period of waiting to start our family become a black hole. To look back years later and remember only negative thoughts, worry, and obsession with getting pregnant, would be such a waste.
Whether you are trying to get pregnant, or your goal is to get your cycle back, I know you have more than that going on in your life. Avoid the trap of letting it be your only goal. Sometimes, the harder you tighten your grasp on something you don’t have full control over, the less control you have.
Don’t know how to get out of your single focus mindset? Starting a prompted gratitude journal is an excellent way to get the ball rolling. From there, take notice of what makes you laugh. Think of something you’re looking forward to. Plan a date with your spouse or host brunch. Do something that makes you happy because it makes you feel good. Not because it could be good for your cycle.
You have a big life, remember to enjoy and embrace all of it, and stop revolving your life around a healthy cycle.
Listen to your gut, and your body
Lastly, tune into your body. For me, my lack of a cycle was due to intense exercise, and low body fat. When I started paying attention to what my body needed, I realized how much I had been ignoring.
I did the workout I planned, no matter what. There were so many mornings I could have used another 45 minutes of sleep versus a run in the cold. If, during my weekly bootcamp class, I didn’t think I could push any harder, I felt I didn’t give it my all, and felt like a slacker. I always took the modification to make an exercise harder. I got the freaking stomach flu and two days later just ran slower!
Now, my original workout plan is Plan A, and if it’s a stress to get a workout in, or doing that specific workout sounds awful, I change it up with zero guilt! Last weekend I planned to go to a cardio class in the afternoon. It turned out to be a gorgeous day, and the thought of spending an hour in a gym paled in comparison to soaking up some sun. I put on a podcast and walked the dog of 45 minutes and was on Cloud 9. That is exactly what my body and mind needed.
You can start by noticing when you override your instincts.
How often are you relying on research you’ve read, or what you think you should do over what you truly want? Your body is smarter than you give it credit. Try placing more importance on actions you feel you need, instead of filtering everything through a research-based lens. Hormones are incredibly individual. You know your body best, so trust that. Mindset shifts for infertility start with how your body feels.
So many of us like to have control. If we do X, Y, Z, we will get a healthy cycle. But, balancing your hormones doesn’t always work like that. Loosening your grip, and getting your mind in a healthy place is often the missing piece. Start with these three mindset shifts for infertility and see what happens.
Samantha, holistic health coach and founder of Simply Well, works with new moms and moms-to-be! She loves guiding women through changes in nutrition, fitness, and mindset on their Motherhood journey with resources and emotional support. Through one-on-one coaching calls, Samantha works with her clients at their pace, starting where they are at the moment. Samantha helps clients break down large goals into actionable steps, and through accountability check ins, keeps them on track. Her goal is to support women with information and compassion so they feel confident and excited about their lifestyle changes.
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