Could creativity help your fertility?
If you’ve ever had a secret urge to find your inner creative spark, this could be the perfect time. It’s often hard to find the time to sit down and do something for yourself, but choosing to explore your creativity may have unexpectedly beneficial effects for the way you manage to deal with your fertility journey.
Expressing your feelings through art is one way of getting creative which can be surprisingly effective. There have even been some academic studies which have backed up the suggestion that using art to get across your feelings in a visual way can make quite a difference to anyone experiencing fertility problems. A pilot study in 2011 concluded that women who were trying unsuccessfully to conceive who went along to art therapy were less likely
to feel hopeless or depressed.
Don’t despair if you’re not a natural artist – you don’t need to have any talent at all to reap the benefits from drawing or painting, as it’s really more about finding a way of pouring out some of your feelings onto paper. If even this sounds too much, there are many other ways to nurture your creativity and to enjoy the benefits that this can bring.
Creativity and your well-being
Being creative is not just about letting out your feelings, but may also help to improve your overall sense of well-being. It has been claimed that knitting and crochet can help you to feel calmer, knitting has been shown to reduce worry and some experts believe that the rhythmic pattern of crochet or knitting is a bit like meditation.
There are many other activities to consider if you’re not keen on knitting needles and crochet hooks! If you want to try something new, joining a class is often a good idea as you’ll be taught by a skilled practitioner which will certainly make things easier. You could opt for ceramics, jewellery making, sewing, leatherwork, stained glass making, patchwork, screen printing, silk painting, lino cutting – the list is endless… If you don’t have a class nearby, or don’t really like the idea of group activities, you will find a wide selection of online tutorials that can help you gain some basic skills.
If none of these capture your imagination, then cooking can be creative too – maybe not the usual rush to get something together to eat after work, but what about baking or jam-making or something you wouldn’t normally have time for but which you’ve always wanted to try.
The truth is that anyone can be creative. There’s a creative activity out there that is suited to most of us, it’s really just a matter of working out what it is that particularly works for your personality. You may want to try out a few different things before you settle on something that feels right. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or even very time-
consuming, but putting aside a space now and then to focus on something relaxing that you wouldn’t normally do can be very calming.
The reality is that doing something creative doesn’t just help you to feel calmer, it also allows you time and space to think in a peaceful environment. And finally, the best bit is that you also get to keep something that you’ve made at the end which can feel really satisfying. Whether it’s your first knitted scarf, a bracelet or a delicious cake, what’s not to enjoy…
Writer and journalist
Kate Brian is a journalist, writer and author of four books on motherhood and fertility, including The Complete Guide to IVF. Kate started writing about the patient perspective on infertility after having IVF herself.
Currently, she contributes to various types of media as an expert on fertility and writes her own blog, where she gives all the latest news and views on fertility issues, as well as useful advice and links for anyone trying to have a baby.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Join in and share your experience with us! You can also follow us on our social media communities.