I, like so many women experience an array of symptoms during my premenstrual time ranging from body tension, bloating, headaches and increased feelings of irritability, anger, sadness and grief and so in this blog I want to share with you the toolbag that I turn to as soon as I notice my symptoms appear. I use these tools for as many days as I feel necessary to help self care and support myself at this time:
I turn to gentle yoga to help me ease stress, tension and tightness from my body at this time. I find the gorgeous Moon Salutation, to be really nurturing for my body. It is a really beautiful female energy routine, one of my favourites, that I absolutely love. I also find the Cat Stretch to be really helpful at easing out aches and pains too, in particular from my back. Click here for my Yoga recommendations.
Pranayama (Yoga Breathing)
Yoga breathing helps me to balance my emotions and calm my mind at this time. It also helps me to restore my depleted energy and connection to my inner self. I’ve chosen to share the wonderful Anuloma Viloma, or Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise with you as it is a lovely balancing exercise that I find really helpful at this time. (Click here for instructions).
During this time, I focus my Qi Gong practice on routines that help me to increase my energy as well as stay grounded and centred in myself. I have chosen two of Jeffrey Chand’s routines to share with you.
- The First routine is his routine for stress and anxiety. (Click here) I have chosen this routine because I find it not only easy and enjoyable to practise but so very effective at helping me to restore my depleted energy within minutes. I love it.
2. The second routine that I have chosen to share is his routine for uplifting mood and energy (Click Here). It is a perfect routine for this time. I have chose this routine during my premenstrual time because it is quick and easy to learn and also to fit in and around my daily commitments. Now that I am familiar with the routine I can fit it in, in any spare 5 minutes that I get during the day to top up my energy.
Meditation is a really important practice for me at this time. It helps me stay centred, balanced, connected and calm within myself. I find the Unified Chakra Meditation (Click Here) to be really valuable at this time as it helps me to stay aligned and connected with my Higher Self and Truth. Also I love to practise the wonderful “I am” meditation (Click Here) which not only calms and soothes my body and mind but also reminds of my truth and helps me to stay focused and centred within that at this time.
Yoga Nidra (Deep Relaxation)
As a busy full time mum, I don’t get as much time right now as I used to for lengthy practices of relaxation but I have over the recent weeks found new ways or fitting in little moments of rest and revitalisation during childcare. During our lunchtime rambles before I write, whilst Amiya sleeps in her pram, I love to lie on the grass and practise a brief relaxation. Here is one of my favourite practices which takes just 10 minutes (Click Here)……and also a longer practise (30 mins) of Yoga Nidra, (Click Here) if you have the time.
This practice is really important for me at this time, to help me balance and process my emotions that are, for me, often heightened at this time. The Quadruple Grid Technique (Click Here) is a really powerful process for me and is one that I try to work daily at this time. Ideally I like to practise it 2-3 times a day. But as a busy mum that isn’t always possible. Even practising once a day is enough and helps me to ground, to stabilise and clear my foggy head!
K-I-S-S ( Keep It Simple Sophia)
Keeping things really simply at this time is really crucial for me to not only support my body and calm my mind but also to ensure that I don’t go into a state of overwhelm, with all the extra bodily functions (ie hormones) and emotions adding too my system at this time. So I try to ensure, where possible, that I simplify the daily and weekly schedule and only do that which is absolutely necessary. Rest and self care is the priority for me at this time….I will have plenty of energy later on in the monthly cycle to get all “those things that need doing” done…but for now my body is calling me to rest.
Being Out In Nature
Nothing stabilisers me, grounds me or connects me more to my centre at this time than being out in nature. So when I feel my symptoms coming on I make sure as soon as I can that I get myself out and spend as much time out in nature as I can. Whether it’s playing outside with my daughter, doing my photography, drawing or writing my blog I find at this time that allowing myself as much time as I can to breathe in the fresh air and let the sights, sounds and wonderment of nature soothe, nurture, heal and revive my tired body and being is one the best ways that I can truly self care at his time.
I have always loved journalling and have always found it to be a really supportive and therapeutic way of self caring. I used to have a lot more time for writing pages and pages in my journal each day, but now just opt for a more creative approach to checking in with myself each day using drawing and simply words or phrases to express how I am feeling. I ask myself 3 key questions each day too as part of my daily check: How am I feeling? What do I need at this time? And how can I get those needs met?