One week before my menstrual cycle I become a hormonal, hungry, angry, tired, teary eyed mess. I literally just want to lay in a bed filled with hot wings and blue cheese while I curse people out and cry for one entire week. And no this isn't TMI because most women have their menstrual cycle so get over it, it's okay to talk about it. Anyway, this isn't about my cycle as much as it is about my decision this month to change my patterns during this time so I don't feel so shitty. I've also applied many of these things to getting through break ups, big life changes, or just when I'm overall "in a funk". The overall premise of this is that it is easy to do the things that are good and healthy for us when we're in a good space in our lives, but when we need it the most, when we are feeling overwhelmed or not like ourselves, is when most of these things go to the wayside.
This is somewhat of an extension from my earlier blogs about self care (http://www.lotusholistichealth.org/blog/2016/9/2/self-care-saves-lives), but I'm getting a little more specific to set a challenge for you (and for me). One of the biggest things I've learned about myself when it comes to reaching goals or using self care techniques is that without structure, as soon as I don't feel like it, I won't do it. But if I write it down, if I set a schedule, if I do it at the same time every day, I'm helping myself overcome that barrier. Also if I tell someone I'm doing it, (or a few someones by writing a blog) I hold myself accountable. So join me as I try my best to not curse people out or drown in blue cheese this week. Let me know if you try anything from this "survival guide", and if so, how it worked for you!
5 minutes to 10 minutes a day preferably in the morning can make such a difference. I downloaded this app called Calm which I love (and it's for the free), because I can play the sounds of the ocean waves and set it to a timer for my desired meditation time. I sit in the sauna, listen to the waves, and pretend I'm at the beach every morning. So far I'm on day 4 and I can actually notice a change in my mood; I'm better able to choose how I think about situations later in the day. We shower, brush our teeth, and clean our clothes to keep up our physical hygiene, but what about your energetic/spiritual hygiene? Meditation is like cleansing your energetic/spiritual body, distancing you from reactive thoughts and patterns. Clean that shit up before you go out in the world because there's alot going on out here!
This is a tricky one because you don't want to turn stress into a reason to splurge unneccessarily. But when I say treat yourself I mean within your budget and in a way that is out of the norm for you so that it feels like you are being pampered in some way. For example, earlier this week I took myself out to lunch...by myself. For some people this is not a big deal (I envy those people that can confidently go on dates alone), however for me, it felt pretty awkward at first. After about 5 minutes I got over myself though, and realized that noone is even paying attention to me, and I was able to really enjoy my meal and take my time all by myself while enjoying my own company. Take one evening off this week to do something that's all about feeling good, and do it on your own!
Choose one thing you are going to detox out of your system for this week. Maybe you know that the lack of sleep is impacting your mood and you should be going to bed a little earlier. Or those henny shots when you go out every night are probably impacting your body and mind a little the next day. Choose one unhealthy physical habit that you are going to work on letting go of for this week, and stick to it.
Choose one harmful thought pattern you have that you are going to let go of this week. Start to pay attention to what thought patterns are constricting you; are you doubting yourself, complaining about everything, or comparing yourself to others? Try to figure out what thoughts really limit your ability to be happy with you right now, and take this week to practice letting go of those thoughts. It doesn't mean they won't pop up because brain neurons fire out of habit, but the more that you work on redirecting and recreating these thought patterns, the easier it'll be to create new healthier thought patterns. Even better is if you can think of a replacement thought to tell yourself. For example if you find yourself often critiquing others or yourself, think of a loving or accepting thought pattern to recite to yourself anytime you notice the criticism coming up.
Start a gratitude journal. Write down at least 1 thing a day that you are grateful for. So many times we are thinking about what we don't have yet, what we wish we had, and the things that are stressing us, that we overlook all the good things in our lives that some people have never gotten to experience. Maybe it's the heat in your home on a really cold day, or the fact that when you're hungry you have the privilege of feeding yourself; really tuning in to that feeling of being able to satisfy your physical needs and knowing that not everyone has that ability. It can be as simple as thanking your legs for getting you out of bed in the morning as you feel your feet on the ground. As you start to take notice of all these "small" things that there are to be grateful for, your brain will get trained to recognize the positive and what you are grateful for will grow! Practicing gratitude literally raises the energetic vibrations of your thoughts, and I really believe it attracts more positive things into your life. There is something to writing them down as well, not only do you reinforce them by putting them on paper, but when you're having a really rough day you can go through your previous journal entries to remind yourself of what there is to be grateful for.
We aren't always going to be our best selves and we definitely don't have control over some of our circumstances. Use what you do have control over, yourself, to show up in the best way possible for yourself and those around you. If you need some accountability you can contact me, or let a friend know that you are challenging yourself to a week or maybe even month long self care challenge, and maybe keep track of how many days you complete your self care list. Healing is active and intentional.
Love and light,