Have you ever had one of those days? Where you’re stressed out, anxious, and depressed – and all you want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head? That was me on Monday. You see, for the past five months, we’ve been actively trying to conceive.
One would think it would be easy since we were able to get pregnant with our daughter on the first try. It all started last year when I had a miscarriage that required a D&C. While the miscarriage itself was heartbreaking, I was excited for my cycle to return and to try again. But my cycle never returned.
After months of using medications to kick-start my cycle, and after weeks of various diagnostic procedures to figure out the root of the problem, it was determined that I had Asherman’s Syndrome (uterine adhesions). To correct the problem I required a minor surgery to remove the scar tissue.
Finally, in January of this year, we were given the green light to start trying again. I knew this time around that it probably wouldn’t happen right away, but I thought for sure that I would be pregnant by now. Each month is like a mini roller-coaster ride, starting off with extreme excitement and hope, followed by anticipation, and then eventually let-down. And this month it finally got to me.
Being a mom entrepreneur, I know that disappointment in both your personal and professional life can make you want to give up and throw in the towel.
Here are some of the methods and tips that I use for coping with these disappointing and trying times.
1. Get it out
Often when people are feeling down, they will bottle up their feelings of disappointment and discouragement. But know that it is okay to have these feelings and express them to others. When you acknowledge your feelings of sadness and fear you allow the pain to be set free and you can start the process of healing. Even just writing about what you’re feeling can help to move you forward in a positive direction.
2. Connect with others who are in the same boat
All entrepreneurs go through ups and downs with their business. Reach out and ask for help. I know many mom entrepreneurs who have emailed me asking for guidance when they have been feeling down in the dumps. As well, I’ve asked for guidance too. Knowing that you’re not alone and that all entrepreneurs face down times is comforting. Feeling scared about reaching out? Try reading Kim Lavine’s, The Mommy Manifesto – it’s an empowering book, where she touches on this very issue.
3. Get your groove on
Even though I felt like crawling under the covers the other day – I didn’t. I put on my running shoes and worked out on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes – all while listening to my favorite workout songs. Not only did this alleviate some of my stress, but it gave me the boost that I needed to make it through the rest of the day. Exercise has many stress-reducing effects, from increasing your endorphins (your body’s natural feel-good chemicals) to help you sleep better.
Exercise has even been credited as meditation method. According to the Mayo Clinic, “As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.”
4. Schedule in self-care
Each week or every two weeks make sure to schedule some time just for you. Get your partner or spouse to watch the kids and take a couple of hours to meet a friend for dinner or get a spa treatment. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant or expensive, just something that you enjoy. As moms, we are stretched so thin, and without taking this time to ourselves, we deplete our batteries. This leaves us running on empty – which means we’re not emotionally or mentally available to anyone. Take time to recharge your batteries, and you’ll notice an increase in your energy and overall mood. You are worth it!
Sometimes we get so caught up in all the things that we don’t have and all the progress that we haven’t made – stop. Take a moment to look at all of the beautiful things and accomplishments that you have done. For me both professionally and personally, its spending quality time with my daughter and husband. When I stop putting all of the focus on myself and redirect to them, it instantly changes my mood and makes me appreciate them and my life even more.
6. Ask for help
For a long time, I didn’t think I could afford to hire outside help, and each week I was stressed out about a bunch of little assignments that I couldn’t fit into my day. Finally, I broke down and hired a virtual assistant on a monthly basis. Let me tell you, what a relief! Even though I only employ my virtual assistance 10-15 hours a month it has been such a lifesaver. It has decreased my stress tremendously, and it has allowed me to focus more on myself during these trying times. Whether it’s utilizing a VA, a house cleaner, or home meal delivery system, outsource your least favorite activities and save yourself time and stress.
We all go through times of sadness and disappointment – when these times hit it’s important that we have some methods to cope with them so that we can overcome and forge ahead.
How do you cope with disappointment?