5 Things You Can Do For A Happy And Restful Period
Have you noticed a little bit of guilt lurking its ugly head when you want to take time for yourself? Perhaps you have felt a bit of pressure and/or sensed the expectations from people around you or society at large?
We have come to value productivity and performance over balance but interestingly life has a built-in way of catching up with us and making sure we remember the wisdom of living a complete life where due attention is given to every part.
We can go without sleep for only so long before the body collapses and sleep takes over. We can try and avoid the tensions in our mind and keep going until we feel so overwhelmed or depleted that there is no choice but to let go of some of our to-do list items and worries, relax - and revisit our priorities.
As a woman, one of the main ways we get out of balance, especially in this Western society, is to keep going at the same pace during our menstrual cycle. It did not used to be this way. In many cultures and throughout the ages, women would take this time to rest and to engage in creative endeavors together. Food would be provided and women would have the space to honor the process and be with it fully.
Why is this important? Well, we might not realize the effect of not respecting our cycle and slowing down earlier in life, but eventually that “push through” attitude will cause problems as we age. Most complaints modern women have around their cycle or menopause were not nearly such an issue in the historical past, when pace was much slower in some cultures. As we age, Vata (air element in the body) increases naturally. If we have cultivated a chronic Vata imbalance earlier in life by not taking the time to ground ourselves or nurture ourselves, we might end up with more issues in the reproductive/ hormonal systems especially.
The good part is that it is never too late to turn around and start taking steps towards balance.
Here are a few things you can do when on your period or even better a few days before they start.
- Try and rest more - especially the first 3-4 days. Forego the intense workout, going out and partying, traveling if you can and just take more quiet time to relax and nurture yourself. Go to bed early and get plenty of sleep.
- Placing a warm water bottle on the abdomen when you sleep is an excellent way to ground the downward moving air in the abdomen responsible for elimination and menstruation (Apana Vata). This is a good practice especially if you feel ungrounded, have gas, feel constipated etc but is very beneficial during your period.
- Eat lighter meals that are easily digestible and drink plenty of water. A liquid diet during these days could be ideal. Ginger tea would be very beneficial.
- Self-massage (Abhyanga) is a great way to keep Vata in balance and ensure a smooth transition and a greater sense of balance in mind and body. Try incorporating self-massage before showering even if only a few times a week in between monthly cycles. A beneficial oil to support wellness through emotional and hormonal balancing is our Harmonizing Oil. This would be a good choice during your menstrual cycle or when experiencing PMS for example.
You can always simply apply to areas of discomfort (abdomen, lower back, breasts) or alternatively use as a bath soak.
This oil contains balancing herbs such as raspberry leaves, valerian, black cohosh, wild yam and clary sage.
5. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises will also help to bring back and maintain a greater sense of balance that will reflect in every aspect of our daily life immediately and in the future.
If you have a yoga practice, avoid inverted poses while menstruating. We do not want to interrupt the body’s natural downward flow.
Just remember to take it easy during that time of the month! Keeping in balance necessitates some discipline but the rewards are worth it! We are worth it!