Anyone else not working?: Hi ladies, I... - Fertility Network UK

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Anyone else not working?


Hi ladies,

I was just wondering if anyone else isn't working while going through infertility? I quit my job in Feb 2017 because the stress was making it impossible for me to come off my medication for depression and anxiety. I've done some volunteer work since then, but found that quite stressful as well.

I know I spend too much time alone in my house. On good days, I cook a nice meal, exercise and get a bunch done. On more difficult days, I watch too much TV, spend too much time in my head and feel quite isolated. Any ideas for things to do to get me out of the house and provide more structure to my days that won't add any stress? Ideally these would be enjoyable activities that I would look forward to that don't cost much money. What do you ladies do to help you get through this time?

Thank you and I'm looking forward to hearing what you all have found helpful.

17 Replies

I took 5.5months off earlier this year. I found that I started to get more involved in other people's problems so started to get more stressed at that. I also watched tonnes of box sets. When I started to feel like I was doing that I took it as a sign that I was getting better so needed to go back to work. However I needed the healing time first. The fact that I did mindfulness, counselling, acupuncture, massage and kinesiology during that time also helped.

For you have you considered getting a dog? Or borrow my doggy? You can then get out for walks which are free and really good for you.

Hope you find the thing that works for you xxx

Foodie23 in reply to Camillage

Hi Camillage. I actually do have a dog, but he's more like a cat. He mostly keeps to himself and doesn't give me as many loves and cuddles as I'd like. He has anxiety and is terrified of going outside in the city apart from our small garden. We have a large living room that he likes to run around in though.

It's so interesting that you mentioned borrow my doggy! I was just looking on therr this morning because I was looking for a dog I could walk nearby and also bring to my house to play with my dog. Hopefully I'll even find a French bulldog!

Thank you for the suggestions. Xx

Camillage in reply to Foodie23

I was looking after my sister in laws dog yesterday and moaning about it being more like a cat than a real dog. But it does give cuddles, just not good for going for walks as it is so small. Hope it goes well with borrow my doggy xx

Tugsgirl in reply to Foodie23

My suggestion was going to be a dog too. Perhaps try some baking or take up an exercise like swimming or getting a bicycle xx


I took some sick leave when I done my fresh cycle a few months back and have booked my 2ww as holidays for my fet.

I had days when I would bake, go for a walk, have a swim, meet friends for lunch, do a bit of gardening, read a book and I have an ivf mindful app which is helpful but I also had days of binge watching tv, eating junk food and not getting dressed lol.

There is no right or wrong answer to how u spend ur time. Try and listen to your body tho and don’t push yourself if you don’t feel like it.

Good luck ❤️

Foodie23 in reply to staceymac83

Thank you Stacey. Wise words and great suggestions. Thank you for making me feel like it's ok to just watch TV some days. It doesn't happen often, but the start of my period for example yesterday really triggered me unexpectedly. I thought I'd accepted IVF, but I still allowed myself to feel a bit hopeful last cycle. I guess this whole infertility thing is more cyclical emotionally.

staceymac83 in reply to Foodie23

The disappointment of starting ur periods never gets any easier does it ❤️

It really is an emotional rollercoaster and normally one that not a lot of people will understand, but be kind to yourself xx


I quit my job in December last year as I was worried about the stress impacting my conception ability. I had envisaged that I would be doing walks around London and all sorts of things. In reality, I went to the gym regularly and caught up with friends (although they would be working so not that much) and I spent a lot of time not doing anything.

We are trained to think that we have to be doing something and we don’t. Being still is just as important. Do what feels right for you- I watched a lot of TV as well. Did some puzzles. The dog idea sounds great if you are confident round dogs. Sometimes I would watch TV for the sake of it though and recently I aim to go for a little walk for about 30mins just to get some fresh air.

I left my job in May. After taking annual leave off for my first two cycles we signed up for a 3 cycle package with a clinic in London. It's an hour and a half from where we live and having no annual leave left we decided it was the best thing to do. I know I am lucky to be able not to work during treatment as many people struggle juggling work and treatment.

The first couple of months seemed to fly by. We had two cycles back to back and I was commuting into London 2-3 times a week as well as seeing friends and family. However we have had the last 3 months off treatment and I have found it difficult. I miss my job and the daily interaction with people. Recently my parents and close friends have moved away so I feel more isolated.

My intentions are to go for a walk every day, visit family who are local and try and see friends as often as possible. Some days are fine. Others I feel like I waste but I just try to listen to my body and some days having a tv day is what it wants.

I try and write a to do list at the start of the week of jobs I want to get done that week, ie small diy jobs. This helps me stay focused. Also have decided to put together some scrapbooks of our wedding and honeymoon which I have been meaning to do for the last few years. Having some creative time takes my mind off of everything for a while.

I also have acupuncture and do research online for our next home project. I hope you find something that works for you xx


Hiya! I haven't worked in like a year and a half, was a big career decision for me but this is more important. I go to the gym, swim etc and do small e-courses to keep me busy. Feel free to message me if you want a chat ♥️ xxxxxx

I also gave up work in January- I was a secondary school teacher and with all the IVF nearly killed me! I know that feeling of we must be doing all the time, but balance is key! I went nuts being in the house, it’s not good for me to be alone too much, plus I really missed not having a purpose. I would get up every morning and make a list of what I was going to do, perhaps washing, popping to see a friend, painting, sketching etc. I’d watch the news then put on the radio so I didn’t get sucked into the tv. I started tutoring and doing a couple of drama clubs, and now I’m working 3 5hr days homeschooling in London, and 1hr drama worship and it suits me perfectly, I still have one full day off when I go riding, see friends etc. But I like the flexibility, it’s the right balance for me. Perhaps you could do some part time work, a bit of freelance, it’s amazing what one bit of structure can do for your week. Oh and counselling I have a shed load of that!! Hope that wasn’t too rambling sorry! Xx

I think the good thing is that there is a lot of support out there along with recognition that it's ok to have time out sometimes. Xx

I finished my job before my 4th cycle as it was all getting too stressful, and my cycle was successful so now I'm pregnant and haven't gone back. I do a bit of sports coaching which I was already qualified in, and some volunteering. If your volunteering was stressful, try something else, there is an amazing variety of volunteering roles out there. Community gardens or allotments are a good way to combine getting outside, meeting people and having a bit of exercise too. I've also done some free online courses, a lot of sorting the house and clearing out junk, and a lot more baking and cooking from scratch. Are there animal shelters nearby you could volunteer at? x

I quit work in December 2016 to focus on less stress and therefore hopefully better chances. Had ivf round one in April 2017 and starting next next month. I have productive days and binge boxset days - who cares! Don’t stress about it, do what makes you happy on the day. The only thing I would say is that it’s goo d to have some catch ups with friends (maybe for lunch) planned in regularly so you don’t feel too isolated.

I was incredibly stressed out with work and took four months off sick. I pretty much just watched This Morning, baked, cleaned the house and went walking and swimming for that time. Which sounds awful but it was actually exactly what I needed as I was so burnt out. Don’t feel bad if you need a bit of time like that too. I then got a job that paid a lot less but was only 3 days a work and a lot less stress and that’s been the perfect compromise in allowing me time to focus on IVF and relaxation, but also the structure of getting out of the house and independence of earning my own money again. What helped me when I was at home was a daily walk, going swimming, reading, cooking, keeping a gratitude journal (easier said than done sometimes) and I also did volunteering with an animal charity Xx

Also don’t know if you’ve heard of the Cinnamon trust but might be worth checking if they need dog walkers in your area. Their volunteers help elderly people or people who need to go into hospital with their pet care xx

I went down to part time which helped me. My local swimming pool offer a “quick dip” between 3 and 3:30pm for only £1.60 so I do that on my days off which is enjoyable.

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