Stress is defined as a physical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. In today’s world, many people live stressful lives without recognizing the consequences of that stress. We are constantly on the go with long lists of things to do and not enough time to accomplish everything. We tend to eat on the run, over commit, don’t sleep well and are exhausted.
If you are trying to conceive, you may be wondering if stress will affect your ovulation calendar. And the answer is…yes. Your fertility is affected by your hormone balance, which is affected by stress. All your information regarding your fertility is kept in your ovulation calendar so you’ll see the effects.
When your body is stressed, your inner guidance system decides pregnancy should wait for a better time because, why would your body want to get pregnant under stressful circumstances? What can you do?
Be aware of big stressors in your life, including examples below:
- Illness or injury of you or a loved one
- Change in a job for you or spouse
- Problems at work
- Financial problems
- Sexual problems
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Change in eating habits
You may not realize it, but you may be affected by many of these stressors. Identify your stressors and make note of them in your ovulation calendar so that if during your menstrual cycle you notice changes in your signs of ovulation, you will be able to identify a possible contributor. Your hormonal balance is finely tuned and these stressors can upset the balance that your body needs for healthy fertility.
Be aware of everyday stressors that we take for granted:
- Short on time for everything that you want to do
- Sleep deprived
- Poor nutrition
- Misplacing things
- Traffic accidents or commuting delays
- Running late for meetings or appointments
- Unhappy at work
While these are not as extreme as major stressors, they can have more of an effect on you because they can be daily and ongoing. Writing down these small daily stressors would overfill your calendar. You need to recognize how these every day stressors affect you. You need to learn to change the things you can and re-evaluate your response to things you can’t change. This is very important because being in a constant state of stress is unhealthy and can adversely affect your fertility. If you have been unsuccessful in trying to conceive, you need to re-evaluate what is happening in your life.
Here are a few things that you can do to help decrease your stress levels:
Just Say “No”
It is very important to avoid over-committing yourself. You cannot change the number of hours in a day, so you need to set priorities. Be realistic and learn to say “no” to the less important things. Make sure to carve out some free time in your day to give yourself time to relax.
Adjust Your Attitude
When you can identify what you are grateful for, you will be able to choose where to put your focus and your attitude will change. When you wake in the morning think of all the positive things in your life to start your day, and when you go to bed at night, think of all you are grateful for that day. Try to find something positive no matter how negative the situation is. Choosing to be curious instead of angry or powerless will empower you. It may sound easier said than done, but you won’t know until you try. Your change in attitude may surprise you.
Just move! However you are able. Walking, even for just 10 minutes, is a great way to re-balance your nervous system. The recommendation, ideally, is an hour of exercise 4 days a week. If you can walk outside in the sunshine and fresh air that’s even better.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Avoid processed foods and eat real, fresh, whole foods. Eat organic fruits and vegetables and foods rich in vitamins A, D, E and K2, which include shellfish, egg yolks, liver and animal fats from pasture raised animals (i.e. butter). Meats from pasture raised animals should be your choice, and avoid eating farmed fish.
Get Sufficient Sleep
Getting sufficient sleep is critical to your health. Sleep allows your body to regenerate and restore. Seven to ten hours of sleep per day is what most people need. For restoration the best sleep time is between 10pm- 1am. Make sure to not squander this critical sleep time.
Spend Time with Others
A social life is healthy because everyone needs friends. Find someone who enjoys your company as much as you enjoy theirs because the friendship of a person who accepts you for who you are is priceless.
Do Something You Enjoy
We often get so busy with life that we don’t take time to do something we truly enjoy. Find something you look forward to doing and makes you happy. You’ll find that you’ll feel rejuvenated, have a better attitude and be more efficient. This should be a daily priority, even if only done for 15 minutes.
When your overall health is better, your fertility will improve. So, now is the time to get serious and make the needed changes in your life. The benefits are so great. You will have a greater feeling of well-being which will lead to more joy in your life. And, imagine the joy you’ll feel when holding that precious baby in your arms.