My current mind/body group had its second session last night and participants began to share their stories, some of which focused on painful or oblivious comments made by friends. Several of the participants mentioned that they felt so isolated from the fertile world. Since the focus of the group is on skills acquisition, rather than simply support, I wanted to come up with original ways to teach them how to insulate or protect themselves from the painful outside world.
As I was pondering what to suggest, I asked which group members wanted to bring in the snack for the next week (each week, two group members bring in a snack for the whole group). And it suddenly occurred to me that our session next week will meet on Valentine’s Day.
Apart from the totally obvious need for there to be copious amounts of chocolate at the next meeting, I remembered a lovely article written by one of the California RESOLVE chapter leaders years and years ago, about how February is the perfect month for couples struggling with infertility.
As she pointed out, February is one of the only months in the year where there is no holiday which focuses on kids. In fact, the focus of February is on love.
Yes, there is a lot of attention paid to flowers, candy, and jewelry but the main idea of Valentine’s Day is to express your love to others.
So whether or not you have a significant other, this is a good time to think about the love you have in your life, and really put some thought into whether or not you truly express your feelings. I have no problem telling people in my immediate family that I love them, but in the past few years, I have been expressing it to my close friends as well.
One of the hardest things in my years as a therapist is trying to support a patient who has lost a family member or friend, and wonders if that person really knew how much they were loved.
If it is hard to say “I love you” out loud to someone, you can express it in so many different ways. I don’t talk to my uncle all that often, but he sends me email jokes all the time, so I know he is thinking of me.
And it’s also so easy for us to criticize someone or to get so busy that we lose touch. But don’t! Treasure the people and the love you have in your life. If you do have a significant other, try to make February 14 a day to treasure yourself as a couple and the fact that the two of you are already a family.
Celebrate each other!
ABOUT ALICE DOMAR, PhD
Alice D. Domar, PhD is a pioneer in the application of mind/body medicine to men’s and women’s health issues. She not only established the first Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health, but also conducts ongoing ground-breaking research in the field. Her research focuses on the relationship between stress and different women’s health conditions, and creating innovative programs to help women decrease physical and psychological symptoms.
Dr. Domar received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Health Psychology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Ferkauf School of Professional Psychology of Yeshiva University. Her post-doctoral training was at Beth Israel Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, and Children’s Hospital, all in Boston.
She has conducted research on infertility, breast cancer, menopausal symptoms, ovarian cancer, and premenstrual syndrome. Dr. Domar has earned an international reputation as one of the country’s top women’s health experts.
She is currently the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF. She is an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and a senior staff psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Dr. Domar has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments as a best-selling author, media authority and sought-after public speaker. She is the author of numerous books, on the advisory board for Parents Magazine, Health Magazine, Conceive Magazine, and Resolve, and on the Board of Experts for LLuminari. Two of her books have been finalists for the Books for a Better Life Award. She was also the Series Editor for a series of mind/body books by Harvard Medical Publications/Simon and Schuster. She is the narrator of the DVD’s “Stress and Relaxation Explained” and “Infertility Explained”, both of which won silver Telly Awards. Dr. Domar has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Dateline NBC, CNN, PBS, and the CBS and NBC Evening News, to name a few. She presents lectures and conducts workshops throughout the US and around the world and went on tour with Oprah in the spring of 2004 and 2005 with the LLuminari team. Dr. Domar was named to the prestigious list of 15 “Women to Watch in 2004″ by Lifetime TV. Her newest book is “Be Happy Without Being Perfect” (Three Rivers Press, March, 2009) and she is currently working on a new book, co-authored with Dr. Susan Love, called “Live a Little” (Crown, December, 2009). She is also a featured expert on the new online social health network BeWell.com.