There are few things that deplete us more quickly than being stressed out and overwhelmed.
As we spend more time in a state of worrying – as so many of us do, when we are dealing with fertility issues – it chips away at our ability to call on our deepest reserves, both physical and emotional, to get us through.
Modern culture, especially for women, places a tremendous amount of pressure on us to be able to “do it all”. We are expected to have the successful career, the perfect body, and all of the material things that seem to illustrate success. And we are expected to make families easily and care for them perfectly. Yet, we are not encouraged to nourish ourselves in meaningful ways, despite the fact that we are expected to give everything we have.
It is important to distinguish the difference between self care and self indulgence.
Movements such as the superficial #treatyoself hashtag refer to consuming decadent desserts, having mani/pedis and buying new clothes — but these things, although lovely in moderation, do not truly nourish a person on a deep level.
Self Care is taking time on a regular basis, to do the things that reset and recharge us.
These things promote health and wellbeing on both a physical and emotional level. Self care should be done with the intention of deep respect for our bodies’ limitations and in an effort to say “thank you” to ourselves, for being strong through life’s trials and tribulations.
Here are a few ideas to begin regular rituals of self care:
- Cooking a delicious and healthy meal from scratch and taking time to savour every bite
- Seeing a favourite practitioner for a treatment to relax and heal your body – massage and acupuncture are two excellent options for this
- Going for a slow walk, by yourself, in nature. Taking deep breaths of fresh air
- Planting and tending a garden
- Writing in a journal – expressing all of the things you are grateful for and all of the amazing things you have done and are proud of
- Taking a slow and stretchy restorative yoga class (skip the hot yoga – it’s stressful for your body)
- Making a homemade body sugar scrub and giving your skin a delicious massage and exfoliation
- Making love with your partner (or with yourself) just because YOU want to – not because it’s ovulation time. Take a nap after.
- Making spa water – put fruit or herbs in your water to make it tasty and pretty. Drink loads of it.
- Resolving to be present – the majority of our suffering happens in the past and in the future. If we live in the past, we become depressed. If we live in the future, we become anxious. If you can take even ONE minute in each day to simply be where you are in the moment, it can have a profound effect on cortisol levels (and other stress hormones). Every day, just take time to notice – are you present right NOW?
Michelle is a Registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist working exclusively in fertility, pregnancy and maternal health.