The modern woman. What image does this invoke for you? That image could actually depend on what sort of day you are having, are you feeling like Wonder Woman today or having one of those overwhelming just trying to get through to the end kind of days? There are means to help balance those highs and lows, whether you are a teenager going through puberty, a young woman finding her place in the world, a busy new or established mum, or finding yourself transitioning into a new phase in the cycle of life. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference to your well being AND piece of mind. Make sure you are enjoying this precious life you have.
I have a couple of favourite quotes from years of watching kids movies that stick in my mind, Dory from Nemo (my all time favourite movie ever) singing happily ‘just keep swimming, just keep swimming’ despite the world crumbling before Nemo’s eyes, and the penguins in Madagascar ‘smile and wave boys, smile and wave’ oblivious to all else going on around them (pretty funny, but maybe you have to be there). These two characters seem to be able to sail through life unaffected despite all misadventures and mishappenings (AKA stresses!).
Wouldn’t you like to be like that?
Bit difficult though if you struggle daily, weekly or monthly with period pain, heavy bleeding or out of control MOODS! Moods are big aren’t they? Crazy how we can feel ready to take on the world one day and the next or a week later, be more than happy to curl into a ball and hide from the world. Or perhaps anger prevails and we lash out at those silly enough to say peepo or walk too close or dare even look at us.
Perhaps these symptoms for you have spiralled into a full-blown condition such as PCOS, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disorder, or uterine fibroids.
The fact is that the female endocrine system, your hormones, are not a segregated unit, but a part of a whole, and that would be you! Thus your hormones that determine your cycle and well being and state of mind may be affected by all: diet, stress, toxins, microbes/infections and allergens. If one aspect shifts slightly, a cascade effect can occur. This may sound scary or helpless, but I think it is good news. It means you can heal and repair, you can rebalance, YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH THOSE DEBILITATING SYMPTOMS.
Too often I hear such things as ‘Oh that’s just normal, I have to take a day/s off work because my period is so heavy and painful’ or ‘my mum always had cycle issues, so that is just my lot in life’.
Your life does not have to be like that, you should not and do not have to live like this. Diet and lifestyle can make the biggest impact on these conditions, and in conjunction with nutrition and herbal medicine support big shifts in your well-being can be made.
A few ideas to get you started and thinking about making positive steps towards your wellness.
Stress can be the biggest disruptor of your hormones and digestive system. Sustained and elevated cortisol levels will affect your hormones. We all have stress. You may be a teenager dealing with exams and social pressures, women with work pressures and work environment stress, new mum stresses, relationship stress, caring for elderly parents. Making small steps to accept those demands but being able to put them into perspective and protect yourself can usually allow for better outcomes for all.
- exercise, nature, fresh air - starting with as little as 10 minutes a day can make a shift to reconnect with the world around you, and get you out of your head and endless chatter. Even if it is stepping into your back yard, local park, looking up into the blue sky or trees and taking 10 long breaths and become aware of your surroundings
- what is your thing? what do you enjoy doing? reconnect with something, an activity, that brings you joy, and do that once a week. knit, sew, read, walk, sport. It has to be your thing, something for you, it’s okay, you can do that!
- establish a daily and weekly routine, this can set you up for more balanced day to day. An assessment of your day to day will help to make sure you can fit in the above 2 recommendations. Do you lose yourself down the rabbit hole of Facebook, instagram, online browsing? set time limits so that a quick 10 minute check on the phone doesn’t become 40 minutes
- Sleep. We digest, rejuvenate, rebuild and rest during sleep. Everything can fall apart without sleep. Establishing the above recommendations into your daily routine will pave the way for better sleep. The sleep-wake cycle can be an elusive disrupted nightmare (pardon the pun) for some. Reducing your reaction to stresses in your life may be first step towards establishing your sleep.
I have highlighted self-help stress techniques as often stress is the trigger for biochemical changes that will affect all, your digestion and your hormones, and hence YOU!
See you soon!