Dr. Dumbledore has made it clear, both directly and through his nurse, that he wants me to whatever I can to keep my stress to a minimum during my cycle. While he isn't advocating "just relax" as an approach to infertility treatment, he believes that stress can have a negative impact on the success of a treatment cycle. And obviously we want to do whatever we can to improve our chances of success. (Hence the complete lack of sugar and flour in my diet for the past three weeks as I try to lose weight.)
So, in preparation for our upcoming cycle, I am looking for ways to reduce my stress. Leaving my job, even for a short period of time, is not an option, but I figure I can manage my stress there. When I am at work, I am taking the time to get up and walk around at least once an hour. I remind myself to take a few deep, cleansing breaths whenever I think about it or feel myself tensing up. I am working on an attitude of "it will get done when it gets done," which is a challenge for a lawyer in civil litigation working for four different partners.
I have recently returned to exercising 5-6 days a week, and I think that is giving me more energy, in addition to being a good stress reducer. I do my fitness boot camp three days a week, go to the gym and use the elliptical trainer at least once a week, and do basic yoga 2-3 times a week. We also take our dogs for a 15-20 minute walk every evening.
I have always been good about getting 7-8 hours a night of sleep, and I'm still doing that. I stop drinking water by 8:00 so I won't have to get up at night to use the bathroom. (I drink 3 liters of water every day and try to get the first 2 liters in before noon. I'm pretty successful with this on weekdays, slightly less so on weekends.)
I get a full-body massage every 2-3 weeks and have for most of the past two-and-a-half years. I find this very relaxing, and it also seems to decrease the frequency of my chronic headaches.
I have tried meditation in the past but must confess that I have had limited success. My mind always fills up with thoughts of things I need to do, and my attention wanders.
On a related note, I have occasionally read about the Circle + Bloom mind/body programs on others' blogs. Because I have never been very good at meditating on my own, I thought this might be helpful.
Have any of you used the Circle + Bloom programs? If so, I'd welcome your input about them.
Any other suggestions for things I might consider doing? A week on a tropical beach would be great, too, but we are stretched a bit thin financially with this big expense coming up. ;-)