I’ve seen a number of people talking about intuitive eating, where you listen to your body and eat what you feel like, not forcing meals if you’re not hungry and just eating what you want.
I’ll always be learning and evolving in this area of life, but I have made great progress over the past few years to just listening to my body.
Who would have ever thought it would have been so difficult to just give your body what it needs?
I’ve talked before about some different strengths and weaknesses we have in each phase of our cycle. And that’s the obvious first step, just recognizing the different phases and acknowledging that you have different needs in each.
I feel like I’ve done a good job this past menstrual phase (period) of really slowing down, and going about my days differently.
Normally, I love getting up early and getting going on my day of work pretty soon after.
But last Monday was the start of a new cycle, and for whatever reason, it hit me fairly hard.
I was exhausted, but not sleeping well, which just snowballs as you know. I was feeling zero motivation for work and frustrated for that lack of spark.
I wanted to stay home and be alone but knew I would feel more inspiration if I went out and worked somewhere public.
So, instead of pushing myself to conform to my normal schedule I decided to create a new one for that week.
I let myself sleep in. I took my mornings slowly, making sure I was eating a breakfast, even if it was something small.
The weather was nice so I made sure I was spending time outside, walking to the coffeeshop or library to work, going on walks in the afternoon, getting a bit of physical movement each day. Even if this meant cutting my work day short I knew that getting outside when it was warm, and moving was going to do for me mentally and physically then forcing myself to stay inside and work.
Each morning after I made my way to where I was going to work for a bit, I wrote out a to-do list, and focused on the things I had to actually get done for the day. Then if I got those tasks completed, and didn’t feel like working for the rest of the day I didn’t.
There was one day that I was feeling very reflective, thoughtful and curious. And I used that to focus on some research I needed to do instead of pushing myself to do other projects I wasn’t drawn to. This was a way for me to still be productive, but also to listen to what I needed that day.
I always find that my menstrual phase is a great time to reflect on how things went last month, what goals I want to focus on coming up. And it’s always a great idea to come up with ideas for content, projects or things I want to do.
I know I’m very lucky in that I have control over my work days, but there are ways you can support your needs regardless of your lifestyle.
One thing that always helps me is to cut back on how social I am during my period. Instead, I choose to focus on myself, have a little pamper "me" time, and plan meet-ups for the following week when I’ll be wanting to connect with others.
Sleep is always a big thing for me. And while we can’t all sleep in, we can usually tweak our bedtime a little. Whether this is to squeeze in 30 more minutes or sleep or an hour more. I promise this always has such a positive effect for me. And make sure the quality of sleep you’re getting is adequate. If you’re tossing and turning it doesn’t matter how much time you spend in bed. You’re not going to be well rested.
For me this meant taking a homeopathic sleep aid a few nights, and giving myself to wind down with a little meditative music to fall asleep to. I’m very guilty of technology right up until bed time. But I always notice it’s negative effect more during my period. Give yourself an hour or so before bed to disconnect. Maybe this can be when you get ready for bed, take a bath, read a book, meditate, whatever fits into your schedule.
And whenever I focus on taking care of myself during those few days of my period I ways find that I come out of it with so much energy, motivation and spunk for life and work. So, while I feel that frustration during my period of “why can’t I just focus and be productive?!” I always remind myself to give myself those few days and all of that will return soon enough.
This month that meant that the first of my period was pretty rough and I didn’t get much done, the second day was a bit better, but by the third day I was back at it and super productive. I just have to back off for a few days and the results are so worth it for me.
What are ways in which you listen to your body? How do you nurture yourself? What are some of the things you’ve noticed since you’ve taken more of an intuitive approach?