If you’ve been lucky enough to take the past few months off work, get paid and not be affected by coronavirus, then your fertility is likely to have improved.
You’ve had no work stress disrupting your hormones. No long commute to work taking up all your free time. And no junk food at the office to get tempted by.
There’s been more time to exercise, make nutritious food and spend quality time with your partner. Lockdown has been like a sabbatical where you’ve finally had the chance to see what life is like without deadlines at work, a busy social calendar and day filled with commitments.
So how do you keep that beach-like relaxed feeling when you go back to work? And do you stop work stress ruining your fertility?
Work Stress On Your Fertility
There is so much pressure at work that in the UK: “Stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost due to ill health.” (Health And Safety Executive HSE.)
And we know that women struggling to get pregnant suffer with the same levels of stress, anxiety and depression as women who have a terminal disease like cancer, HIV or heart disease. (Domer, Zuttermeister and Friedman.)
When you combine work stress with the stress of not being getting pregnant, then stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol disrupt sex hormones, like oestrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH. If sex hormones are not at the right levels, then follicles don’t develop properly, ovulation is delayed and there is a lack of sufficient womb lining for implantation.
How To Get Back To Work Without Getting Stressed
1. More Attention = More Time
Time is your biggest commodity. You can always make more money, but time is finite – it just keeps slipping away. Not being at work for the last few months has proved how important having more time is for your health. With more time you’ve had the chance to focus on you and improving your fertility.
You can’t change time, but you can change what you do in each given moment. Are you present or are you worrying about the past or planning the future? The trick to make it feel like time expands is to be truly in the moment.
You might not have a spare hour in the morning to do yoga or go for walk, but you can get that same sense of relaxation by fully being present in the 15 minutes you have to exercsie.
2. Say No
Other people will try to fill up your calendar with meetings, events and socialising. Whilst we’ve all missed seeing people and connecting face-to-face, there’s also been a welcome break from having every day crammed full of meeting and every weekend full of social commitments. You’ve had a chance to breath, reprioritise and spend time doing all the things you’ve wanted.
As the world opens up again, keep space in your calendar. Schedule one weekend every month just for you, so that social events don’t start taking over again. Mark off time for yourself in your work calendar to enable you to concentrate on project work without constantly being interrupted with meetings and other people’s to-do lists. This will reduce stress, create more space give you a sense of more time.
3. Information Cleanse
Go on an information cleanse. Seriously. I did this a few weeks ago and it’s made a huge difference. When you stop reading the news and you want to know what’s happening, you can just ask. There are enough people around who avidly read the news that you can get a quick summary of their in-depth reading. It’s liberating.
I also cleared out my personal email inbox (which had thousands of unread emails from being on lists that I didn’t have time to read.) I intentionally chose my favourite three that I wanted to stay connected to and worked out the ones I had to keep, like services. And then unsubscribed from the others.
The fear of missing out often keeps us tied to things that are just cluttering up our lives and headspace. It feels so good to simplify life and let go of the noise.
Work out how you can do this at home and at work to create more space and less stress.
4. Block and Batch Work
We feel busy when we’re rushing from one thing to the next, packing our day with a million different activities. Our world is full of distractions where attention spans are short because we’re constantly interrupted by an email, buzz, call or meeting.
The funny thing is that despite being busy we can feel like we’ve got nothing done at the end of the day. This is frustrating, exhausting and stressful.
The key is to block of chunks of time where you shut down all distractions so you can focus on one task.
It could be at work when you block of time in your calendar so that you don’t get invited to a meeting and you don’t get disturbed.
Or it could be batch cooking where you have a big cook off and do most of your cooking for the week in one afternoon at the weekend.
It’s overwhelming and unsatisfying when you don’t make progress with improving your fertility, your to-do list at home or your important projects at work.
We know that there are only so many time-tokens each day and that the to-do list only ever gets bigger.
Time out from work has helped prioritise what’s important in life, your big goals and what you want.
This is your time to get pregnant and have a baby.
Because if not now.
When you think about it like that, then everything else on the to-do list and the stress of work is somehow not important anymore.
If you want to prioritise optimising your fertility, then something else is going to have to give.
Work out what you can delegate at home and at work.
How can you transition back to work, not undo all the great progress you’ve made in the past few months?
How can you create more space, less stress and put your fertility at the top of your list?
What is the one strategy that will make the biggest difference to you? Email and let me know what your biggest insight is and what you’ll do to reduce stress and boost your fertility? I’d love to hear from you.
And come on over to our amazing Fertility Heroes private Facebook Group to join the conversation.Warmest wishes,Join the free Fertility Heroes Facebook group. In our private Facebook group you'll get fertility tips, research and inspiration. Only the women in the group will know you've joined and see your posts. 2. Hang out in Clubhouse in the Fertility Club and the Fertile Mindset Club for fertility strategies, support and community. 3. Apply for a free Fertility Analysis Session to work out what is missing from your fertility puzzle and what to do about it. 4. Join the Plan Yourself Pregnant Membership. Get customised support to work out why you're not pregnant and get your personal plan to optimise your fertility, balance your hormones, improve your womb lining and increase your egg quality.