In this series starting on R U OK? day, we look at ways you can support your family members or friend managing fertility struggles.
Be mindful of important dates. Take time to check in.
Here is Brooke’s suggested exercise:
Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight; eyes can be closed or open.
Notice your breath, pay attention for at least 10 breaths in and out.
Inhale through your nose for a counts of 5-8 exhale through your mouth for a count of 5-8.
Continue this breathing throughout.
Tense each of your muscle groups for 10 seconds then relax for 10 seconds:
- Feet – curl your toes then relax
- Calves – flex your toes towards your body then relax
- Thighs – push your feet firmly to the floor or flex outwards then relax
- Buttocks – tighten then relax
- Lower back – roll your back into a smooth arc then relax
- Upper back – pull your shoulders forward then relax
- Stomach – pull your stomach muscle in then relax
- Hands – clench into fists then relax
- Lower arms – bend your hands at the wrists then relax
- Upper arms – bend your arms at the elbow then relax
- Chest – breathe in deeply then breathe out and relax
- Shoulders – lift then relax
- Jaw – clench then relax
- Eyes – if you have kept them closed squeeze shut tightly then relax if open close tightly then open and relax.
- Neck – stretch your neck gently to the left then forward then to the right then forward then up and down then forward then in a slow rolling motion then relax
- Forehead and scalp – rise your eyebrows then relax
Return to your breath for at least 5 more breaths in and out up to 5 minutes
As you become better at relaxation combine this exercise with pleasant memories or thoughts of relaxing situations.
Once you become more practiced, use this exercise on tense parts of your body when you notice you are holding tension when you are going about your daily activities.
Enjoy the sunshine.
References Mindfulness Body Scan Acceptance and Commitment therapy Beyond Blue Centre for Clinical Interventions WA
“We support you every step of the way towards achieving your dream of having a baby. We recognise that the decision to pursue fertility treatment can be an emotive and difficult one. It is our goal to guide and support you through the highs and the lows. Our counsellors are available free of charge and in total confidence throughout your journey with Fertility SA. They are here to help you weather the emotional storms associated with treatment, to help with pre-treatment planning, or to talk to you about any other concerns you might have. Contact us today.