Listen in to the latest episode of The Fertility Witch podcast! This week, I’m taking about self-care tips that will ACTUALLY help you.
Cassie: Hey there, witches. This week I wanted to talk about something that I’m not always very good at, which is self care, the act of taking care of yourself and enhancing your well being. I’m admittedly still working on this one myself. It’s not always easy to take care of yourself, and I tend to do what so many other women do, which is put myself last, leading to exhaustion. And not just exhaustion, but burnout and stress and trouble sleeping. It takes a pretty bad toll on my mind and body. And when it comes to fertility, self care is even more paramount. To be able to have a baby, our minds and bodies must be taken care of.
And so much of what I see for self care is tied to selling women products like bath bombs and candles and lotions face creams, which are all nice things. They’re all part of taking care of yourself and adding to the ambience and experience of some self care activities, often, albeit with a really high price tag.
But I want to talk to you about three ways you can really achieve some wellness.
Do What You Love
The first way is to do something you love to do every single day, something you love or something you want. It could be a hobby, some alone time. God, I fucking love alone time. I love to just chill out by myself in my room and just have my own space. It is just sometimes the best thing. After a long day, you could hang out with a friend. You can have that cookie or piece of chocolate you’ve been resisting because you’re trying really hard to stick to that restrictive fertility diet. It could be quality time with your partner. There are so many possibilities here.
The point, though, of doing something that is just for you every day is to create a practice and to get comfortable with putting yourself first to take care of yourself first. After all, at this stage, throughout pregnancy, throughout motherhood, you have to put yourself first to take care of everybody else. And taking care of you is taking care of everyone else. It is not selfish to put yourself first in this way. I’m trying so hard to live when I’m preaching here. It’s not easy by any means, but making room for something that brings you happiness, that brings you joy. And isn’t fertility related matters so much? Not just in your fertility journey, but for when you become a mother?
Not if, when you become a mother.
Trying to conceive being a mom, being a partner. These are all things that can take over every aspect of your life and identity. But you’re not just one thing. You are so many things, and you need this space to be yourself. It’s important to keep that boundary for your own well being, to do things that matter to you that you enjoy. This is a top priority. So start creating this practice right now and do something that you love every day. Make that time. And if you feel like you don’t have that time, you can talk to your partner, talk to your support person, family, friends about what you can do or how they can help create this time for yourself. My husband and I have had to do that for each other many times where our schedules just weren’t really matching up. Things were really hectic. We had a lot of responsibilities, and it just seemed like we didn’t have time to do some of the regular activities that we loved and who are the regular activities that are a part of who we are as individuals? The things that make us happy so that we can come together and be happy together. We’ve had to help each other out with different tasks so that we can each have that time for ourselves. And it did a ton of good.
Do You Need A Break?
The second tip I want to share today is take a break. This doesn’t have to be a break from trying to conceive. It could be if you want it to be, but that’s up to you. There are lots of ways to take a break for your own well-being and your own mental health, and this is a form of self care. A break could mean setting up boundaries for yourself. If you feel like infertility is taking up all of your space, all of your life. If it’s everything that you and your partner talk about, you can set up a boundary. How about no fertility talk after five? You can draw a line for yourself and take that break every day to just be yourselves.
You could not visit or mute some of the online forums that you’re a part of. If seeing things that have trigger warnings are upsetting, online connection can be great. But sometimes we do need a break. Sometimes we see so much. There’s so many opinions and stories, and sometimes instead of helping our fears, they can fuel them. So it’s okay to take a break from that. Take a break from other people’s involvement, their hopes, their anxieties, and focus more on yourself. You can avoid any social media post with a trigger warning, or maybe avoid social media altogether if you want, especially around the holidays when everyone in your feed may be posting pictures of their kids. If it hurts you, if it hurts your mental health, take a break. Put it aside.
What about your sex life? Has it become formulaic or rigid at all? As can happen when trying to conceive? Sometimes we get into this rut of the same moves over and over, trying to just accomplish the task. You can try to take a break from that kind of sex. Maybe try doing some different moves or feeling some different sensations, have fun with each other, explore something new. Or maybe your fertility diet is driving you crazy. Maybe you need to take a break, even if it’s just for one meal or one day or one week.
You are holding so much right now. You are dealing with so much right now. It takes a lot of work, a lot of energy trying to keep our shit together all the time, right? But it’s okay to take a break from keeping your shit together. There’s freedom in that. Even so, sometimes we just need to take a little bit of a break.
Sometimes that mental load is just too heavy and we just need to put it down just to take a little break. Just to take a little rest, just for a few minutes and just relax. Relax your mind, relax your body. So if you need a break from anything, you can try to make a boundary for yourself, make a space for yourself in which you can feel more relaxed and more attuned to yourself.
And my last self-care tip that I’m going to share with you this week is community care. Self-care doing it all alone is not enough. While self care is the bridge to community care, community care is the bridge to healing. If you live in the US, you’re no stranger to our fierce sense of self independence and self-reliance. Our culture is heavily focused on the individual rights, personal achievements, self-sufficiency. There’s nothing wrong with being independent in many ways, but when it becomes isolating, that is a problem. Truly isolating in feeling alone and without support.
Because human beings are social, we need each other. We thrived in communal based societies that took care of one another. It’s so important to feel a sense of belonging and love that helps us to know where we are in life. It helps us to know that we are going to be okay. And unfortunately, in our culture we’ve become much more isolated. Even in how our communities are designed, especially rural and suburban towns, we are really spaced out. I think that isolation got even worse with the promotion of the nuclear family as we came to put more pressure on parents, particularly moms, to do everything and to stay within this very strict family structure where outside help was no longer the norm.
But we all need help sometimes, right? I certainly do. And now that all of us have been dealing with the isolation of the coveted pandemic, just forget it, right? We all just need some support. And there’s a reason why the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. But here’s the thing. It takes a village to do anything to get through anything to get through any hard time. And even during the easy times. It’s just nice to have people around you who love and lift you up. We all need a support system. We need our sisters. We need to know that we are not alone. So what does community support look like to you? Is it getting a helping hand from your neighbors, friends, a hobby or interest group? Online support group. Does it come from your face based group?
What do you really want your village to look like? Who do you want to be a part of it with respect to how to create your village? It happens with a simple act that can sometimes be difficult to do. I know that sounds paradoxical, but I think the only way to truly create a supportive village for yourself is to ask you have to ask for help. Remember the other week we talked about vulnerability that comes into play here. Having people reach out to you goes hand in hand with reaching out to them as well. I don’t think there’s any way to do it without that.
We are all badass witches here. But at the end of the day even the badass witch has a Covenant, right? We all need a group of supportive people around us. I’m here reaching out to you right now and I want you to reach back.
If you want to join a supportive community of others in their fertility journeys I invite you to join the fertility support coven, so visit thefertilitywitch.com/support to join.
Come as you are and start creating your village with us. I’ll see you there. Bye.