Tag Archives: self nurturing

5 Ways to Care For Yourself During Your Menstruation

If you’re a woman, you’ve dealt with this: the bloating, the painful cramps, the irritation, the potential messes that can happen, and the overall feeling of discomfort.  Our monthly period isn’t something that many of us would refer to as “enjoyable” by any means.

Many of us have a tendency to try and “hide it” as much as possible so that it doesn’t have to really impact our already busy lives.  So we use tampons, we take the higher doses of ibprofen, and we take a birth control pill or another kind of synthetic hormone in hopes to hinder the symptoms of our monthly period.

In a way, it can almost become as if we were trying to get rid of it all together so we just “don’t have to deal with it” every month.  Admittedly, I know I’ve been there.  I’ve done the regular use of tampons to avoid “messes” mixed with taking birth control pills in hopes to either shorten the period, make it lighter, or reduce symptoms.  Heck, I even went so far previously as to try to master the pill taking in a way so that I could trick my body into “skipping” periods during months where I had decided that I “didn’t have time” to deal with it.

It’s almost as if our culture as a whole wants to avoid dealing with periods.  It’s not something that we really talk about and discuss how we can “make it better” for ourselves and others.  Heck, even upon a trip to the OBGYN we don’t discuss with the doctor how to “make improve our period experience” but rather it turns into “here’s a medication to take that will hopefully reduce it or, nearly, eliminate it all together”.  We  would rather hide it, complain about it, wish it away or try to practically eliminate it rather than to accept the process and nurture ourselves through that process.

Honestly, its really sad when you think about it.  It’s one of the things that really makes a woman a woman and rather than to accept it and nourish it, we’ll reject it and try to wish it away.  And, as a result, we may gradually find ourselves developing other problems down the road, such as: worsening PMS, worsening cramps, infertility, increasing amounts of irritability before or during menstruation, women’s health issues, and so on.

It’s important for us, as women, to be mindful of our body’s natural process and to nurture our bodies and ourselves during that process.

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Click to Tweet: It’s important for us women to be mindful of our body’s natural processes & to properly nurture ourselves. via @jenilyn8705

After all, it is the one time out of the month where an organ in our body is actually shedding it’s lining — that’s a big deal!  So while self-care is important all the time, it is even more important during our week of menses.  Here are 5 ways to take care of yourself during your menstruation:

#1 – Give yourself time to rest — especially on the first day.

Our body is going through a lot in that first day of our period, so it’s important to recognize and honor what our body is going through by allowing it to rest.  If you start over the weekend, give yourself the time and space to rest during that first day.

If you do need to work or have activities to do on the first day, make the effort to let yourself rest in any moment that you have time.  Rest even more during your lunch and other breaks, take extra moments during your day to meditate, and try to avoid doing any extra errands.  Anything that doesn’t need to be done on that exact day, put it off to the next day when you’re body will have more energy to do it.

#2 – Do low-intensity exercise.

Go for walks and do low-intensity cardio, as this will help with the flow but not strain the body.  Do stretching and more passive-kinds of exercise such as yin yoga or a yoga class that is more gentle in nature.  This is most important to do during the first few days of your period, as your body is doing a lot more work in the beginning.

# 3 – Eat well.

Because we lose quite a bit of blood during our period, it’s important to eat foods rich in iron the week before we start our periods to prepare.  So be sure to eat red meats, dark leafy greens (like spinach), and seaweed, as this will prepare your body for what you will be losing during menses.

Also, be sure to eat many fruits and vegetables during this time.  During PMS and menses we may have the tendency to start reaching for chocolate, sweet, and sugary things.  This is just a sign that our body is in need of nutrients it is deficient of.  Many times, it is commonly iron (as I mentioned earlier) and magnesium.  So be sure to eat many green vegetables, as these will be rich in magnesium, and it will better satisfy your cravings.

Finally, remember to take your multi vitamins since this will also reduce your likelihood of becoming nutrient deficient.

#4 – Take a soothing hot bath.

Take a hot or warm bath once or a few times during the week of your menses filled with bath salts and essential oils.  Then go ahead and light some candles, play some soothing music, and just soak.  It will not only help you relax, but it will also help sooth any cramps, aches and pains that you may be having.

#5 – Journal and reflect.

While we are menstruating, the communication between the left and right hemispheres of our brain are more powerful than any other time of the month.  As a result, we may find ourselves receiving more messages from our intuition and instincts while we are menstruating.

So take more time to journal, meditate, and reflect.  You may find yourself more likely to reach some “a ha” moments, receive new creative ideas, or find an answer to a question you have been contemplating on for weeks or months.

Even if you’re not feeling more intuitive during your week of menses, don’t just ditch the journaling!  Continue to journal and reflect upon your current thoughts, feelings, and how you have been feeling in your body.  In doing so, you may be able to come to some deeper insights about yourself.

In the comments below, share with me at least one thing that you are going to plan on doing during your next period.

What are YOU Thinking?

One thing that we are constantly doing in our lives is thinking. It’s a natural part of our present modern-day society. We have to think at school, we have to think at work, we have to think when reading or writing any new material, we have to think when doing math, we have to think when organizing materials, and so on.

Thinking is such a natural and normal thing for us that we never, well, think about how much our thinking actually impacts us in our everyday lives.

So how much does our thinking actually impact us? Actually, a lot. That being said, perhaps the next best question is: How often do our thoughts actually HELP us? One of my favorite authors, Deepak Chopra, talks about this in one of his recent books where he makes the point how the majority of our thoughts (like over 90%) are simply the same exact thoughts that we had the day before.

If we are thinking the same things every day, how can our thoughts actually be helping us to improve and grow? Well, they really don’t… hence why many of us find ourselves disappointed, dissatisfied and feeling overall unfulfilled.

So what can we do about this? Well, for starters we can try to become more aware of our self-defeating thinking. Is it something along the lines of “I didn’t work enough today. Why can’t I be more disciplined? I’m never going to be successful if I don’t push myself to do more” or “I can’t share this about myself with these people. They won’t accept me – I’ll only be rejected.”

Though some of these thoughts can be partially true and be good to help us get ourselves motivated to do something, it still ultimately holds us back. We have to learn how to shift our thinking from negative to positive.

Lately, when I get into this mode of feeling like I should’ve done more work than I did I stop, focus on what I HAVE accomplished rather than what I haven’t, and give myself my own little mental compliment like “Good work today” or “Your gifts are worth being shared”. I try to think of what kind of compliment I’d like to hear from someone else and then, rather than wish someone would tell me that, I actually tell myself the compliment. These can be either said mentally or actually out loud. Personally, I do feel that saying it out loud has a greater impact because it makes it more “real”.

Another way to help shift your thinking to provoke change is to start doing affirmations. You can do them either in the morning, night, or any time during the day when you find yourself being very discouraged or lacking motivation. One affirmation I’ve felt works best to shift my thinking lately has been “I deserve _______”. However, you can play around with the words in whatever way feels best for you. What works for one person may not always work for someone else. Instead, you may want to say something like “[your name], you are healed, come out now” or “[your name], you are beautiful and worthy of love”.

My rule of thumb with affirmations and personal compliments are: If you feel your chest area opening up a bit when you say it, then you’ve got the right one. If it doesn’t, then try something else.

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Start Thinking Positively Today!

What are some of the negative thoughts that you often tell yourself? What is a compliment you wish someone would tell you every day? If you were a friend to yourself and you were telling your other self about your problems, what would you tell yourself to make you feel better?

Are You Taking Care of Yourself the RIGHT Way?

 

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Taking care of yourself. The mainstream media and blogs often gives us tips on how to self-nurture ourselves in order to reduce stress. We all know the usual suggestions: exercise, do yoga, eat healthy, get a massage, take a bubble bath, spend time with a friend, and so on. But have you ever had moments where you were doing these things but, for some reason, it just wasn’t working?

I’ve just recently experienced this.

Though I felt motivated to really do things certain days, I felt tired and like I really needed to push myself on others. One morning I woke up so tired and drained that I had to force myself to go out by 10 AM – and even that felt too early. Clearly, I wasn’t quite taking care of myself the way I needed to, but I had no idea why. I had been working with a nutritionist earlier so I was eating very well, I was sleeping fine, I had been running three days a week and going to yoga on the other days, I had more friendships established, and I was doing more things I enjoyed.

“So what gives?” I thought, “How can I possibly be doing anything wrong when I seem to be doing everything right?”

After about a day of some rest, introspection, and some ideas and suggestions from friends I eventually realized why I felt so drained. It was because I was limiting myself of what I really wanted out of fear of spending too much money on myself.

I think we’ve all used money as an excuse for not doing something at some point or another. “I can’t go on vacation because I don’t have the money for it” or “I can’t get a facial because it costs too much”. This can be especially true for people pleaser’s because we focus so much on what other people need that we don’t give it to ourselves. We want other person to go to the doctor and get some rest the second they feel sick, but if we ourselves are sick we’ll put it off and keep doing what we feel is expected of us.  Are you really taking care of yourself by putting off going to the doctor?  I didn’t think so.

Upon deeper reflection I realized that money, time, and all these other things are just excuses we make for ourselves. None of those things are really preventing us from giving ourselves something we truly deserve to have.

Though our excuses are related to external things in our world, the heart of the problem is that we believe our value is less than what it truly is.

This is, of course, not to say that money, time and so on is not a factor but it doesn’t make it impossible. If time seems to be an issue, then look through your schedule to find time. If money is an issue, then budget so that you can afford it. Maybe you’ll have to move things around or cut back on some other things in your life, but it is worth it if it helps you to feel filled.

So what have I done to help fill myself up? I’ve gotten myself materials for at-home pedicures and I purchased a nice juicer for juices and smoothies. I’m going to set some money aside and find the time in the next few weeks to either get a facial, massage, pedicure, or some other sort of spa treatment. I’m also planning to start looking around for the perfect pet.

My main focus now is going to be more on really paying attention to what I really need and to not let all of these other worries about money and time prevent me from doing something I feel drawn to do. It’s time to put less energy into the worries and doubts and more energy into “I deserve this.”

 

Start Taking Care of Yourself Better Today!

Are you feeling drained in your life?  Is there anything you feel drawn to do for yourself but you’re preventing yourself from doing it?  If you could give yourself any present right now, what would it be?