You can almost feel it – the tick-tick-tick-tick of the clock – once Labor Day weekend is over and autumn’s first chill creeps in. Perhaps it’s the fact that stores have their holiday trees on display at the same time they’re bringing out their pumpkin carving tools (so much for living in the moment), but the ever-impending holiday season can make the stress meter ramp up into high-gear.


14 Simple Tips To Relieve Stress (and they’re good for fertility too!)

In addition to improving your heart health and general well-being, reducing stress is also good for fertility so these tips can have double the impact if you and your partner are dealing with infertility or in the midst of fertility treatments.

  1. Take a hike. This one tip is packed with stress-relieving benefits, ranging from sunshine to Mother Nature combined with a dose of physical activity at your own pace. As the days grow shorter, those prone to seasonal disorder are particularly sensitive to the lack of light. Even a hike on a cloudy day will boost the UV rays your body transforms into vitamin D.
  2. An orange a day…. Norepinephrine is a mood enhancer and its activity is boosted by certain citrus scents. You can put a dab of orange or lemon essential oil on a handkerchief or cotton ball to whip out and smell when you need a little boost, or add a few drops to a home or office atomizer.
  3. Give your hoku a squeeze. That fleshy part of the hand, between the thumb and forefinger is a powerful pressure point. It’s called the hoku in Chinese medicine and by squeezing gently – but firmly – for 30-seconds or so can reduce stress and tension, and is also known to alleviate headaches. It’s easy, DIY acupressure that can have instant results.
  4. Make “less is more” your mantra. The list of things to do can add up in no time flat. Try cutting out some of the less essential tasks, delegate them or just go ahead and skip them altogether (especially tasks that inspire stress, dread or anxiety). Make sure you’re balancing items that nurture yourself with those that attend to others’ needs.
  5. Make room for sexy time. Throw your calendar and ovulation schedule out the window (or at least nudge them out of the way a bit). Rekindle the romance and remember what great, sexy, romantic love-making used to be like before pregnancy was in the equation. Sex is a known mood enhancer (and immune system booster), and research shows that having more sex at non-fertile times in your menstrual cycle boosts fertility!
  6. Get over yourself, inner-perfectionist. It’s nice to want things to be nice – but not at the expense of your emotional or physical well-being. Try to loosen up and never mind a little more clutter than you’re used to, or a meal that isn’t home-cooked. Give yourself a break – remembering that when you’re more relaxed and happy, others around you will be too.
  7. Skip an unwanted custom. Are there family customs or traditions you simply aren’t a fan of? Use this year to bunk your least favorite and do something new instead. If the holidays inspire a ton of “I don’t want to talk about infertility” dread – maybe this year’s a good one to escape altogether and do something amazing with just the two of you.
  8. Embrace the gift bag. Wrapping presents is all fun and games…until present Number 5. If wrapping presents drives you bonkers- and eats up precious time – learn to embrace the gift bag and cut your wrapping time by a considerable amount.
  9. Ask for specific help. Hinting that you need help won’t likely amount to much. Even sending a group email can come to naught. But, if you ask for specific help, from a specific person, you’re much more likely to get a “Yes” response. This works both at home and at work.
  10. Ditch the phone. Try to carve out some tech-free time, especially phone-free time, for yourself as well as loved ones. You’ll be amazed at how much more peaceful things are – -and how compelled you are to keep checking the phone (time to curb an addiction, anyone?). Let it serve as a detox!
  11. Spice it up. Challenge your spice-O-meter with foods that make you sweat a bit. Spicy foods trigger an endorphin rush, which can be an instant mood booster.
  12. Breakfast before coffee. Sip a little water to hydrate and moisten your morning palate. Then, try to eat a little breakfast before you fill up on coffee. Studies show that eating breakfast before drinking a cup of coffee keeps blood sugar levels more stable. Blood sugar is important – low blood sugar can increase feelings of stress and anxiety, and insulin sensitivity has been linked to infertility so regulating blood sugar levels is important.
  13. Give a massage. Yes! The very act of giving a person a massage – even something as simple as a foot rub – benefits the giver, in addition to the receiver. Plus, you might find you’re the lucky recipient of a massage or rub the next time.
  14. Make your own Relaxation Mix. Research from the University of Maryland has shown that listening to your favorite tunes increases circulation, which is good for relaxation as well as your heart.

Incorporate as many as these tips as you can this fall (but don’t stress out about it!), and here’s to hoping this year’s holiday season can pass with more grace – and less floundering.



The holidays are fun but – boy – can they be stressful. That stress is compounded when you’re spending your savings on fertility treatments – leaving little for holiday cheer. The good news is there are plenty of really special, FREE or very affordable, holiday traditions and activities happening in and around the Kansas City and Overland Park areas.

5 Favorite Holiday Activities in Kansas City and Overland Park

Whether you’re visiting from out of town, meeting with your team of specialists, or hosting out-of-towners in your home this year – the following list can provide a way to get out of the house and fill up on holiday cheer.

  1. Trip the Light Fantastic. Worried about all that turkey, stuffing, and pie you’re going to eat on Thanksgiving? That’s nothing to fret about. You can burn it off early by loading up the bikes and heading to Trip the Light Fantastic on Tuesday, November 24th, where you and your family can ride 4.5 miles through hundreds of lighted and animated displays set up throughout Jackson County’s Christmas Park (more on that next). Registration is at 5:00 p.m. at the Frank White Jr. Ballpark (where the ride begins) and the finish line is in front of Gusto! Coffee Bistro at New Longview. If you make it to the finish line by 7:45 p.m., you can see awards given out for things like Best Holiday Decorated Bike, Ugliest Holiday Sweater or Best Holiday Dressed
  2. Christmas in the Park. Continue to enjoy Christmas in the Park until December 31st. It’s no wonder this is one of our region’s most celebrated holiday traditions, what with 300,000+ glistening lights and 175 colorfully animated holiday scenes. If you whizzed by too fast on your bike, you can stroll or drive with family and friends to enjoy the magnificence. There is absolutely no charge, although donations are accepted. Christmas in the Park is open Sunday – Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings it’s open until 11:00 p.m.
  3. Kansas City Plaza Lights. For many families in the area, the KCP&L Plaza Lighting ceremony is the official kick-off for the holiday season. This year’s lighting ceremony will take place Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th, 2015, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. From the official “flick of the switch” to the post-lighting ceremony concerts, the entire family will be entertained. If nothing else, you can send guests in that direction so you can enjoy a little peace and quiet at home, reveling in the post-Turkey Day madness. If you don’t want to join the crowds, you can head to the Plaza any evening – between 5 pm and 3 am – through January 17th and see the magic on your own time.
  4. A Christmas Celebration in Missouri Town 1855. If you’ve never been to Missouri Town 1855 before, you’re in for a treat. While the county historical park is open year-round, it takes on special holiday notes on December 12, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Celebrate the rich English, German and French heritage that settled this region and join period-dressed actors as they bring the town to life as it was in the mid-19th century. In addition to home-baked treats and the smell of toasty warm fires, children and adults will be thrilled by a special visit and candy treat from “Belsnickle.” Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children ages 6-13. Children 5 and under are free.
  5. Holidays at Kansas City’s Union Station. Need a little more magic in your life? Each year, Kansas City’s Union Station brings a fantasy world into reality, including free train rides, visits from Santa Claus and a chance to see the world’s largest indoor holiday tree. You can also listen to beautiful holiday music or catch one of the holiday-themed performances. This year’s schedule has yet to be posted but keep their website bookmarked as reservations for the train rides go quickly.

What are some of your favorite Holiday activities in Kansas City, Overland Park or Independence? Let us in on some of your personal traditions.



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