Take a break!

by | Self-care

I have been learning about my menstrual cycle for the past two years and one of the biggest things I have learnt is that if I listen to my body before and during my bleed time and rest, then I can be more productive for the rest of the month. I have spent the past ten days or so doing the bare minimum and I have gotten to know my couch a lot better. Sometimes, during that first week of my resting I thought that my period was coming (we were a week earlier then I expected) and I was OK with my unproductivity (as capitalism would call it) or rest (as I prefer and am trying to remember to call it) and other times I felt guilty. My housemate came home a few days and asked what I’d been up to that day. He wasn’t judging, just making conversation but my guilt took over.

But as a mindfulness teacher I am teaching people to listen to their bodies more, I am asking them to check in with themselves and to see what is going on for them. If I cannot do that myself, how can I convince anyone else that it is a good idea. I am a firm believer in practice what you preach; people know if you walk the talk. I don’t know how they know but they know.

One of the main areas in all of this, rest when you need it, that I fall down is weekly exercise. I love playing sports. I have played lots of different sports from hockey in school, to badminton, Ultimate Frisbee and I did kickboxing in Belfast until June when I left. My love of these sports means that I usually want to go to training, even if my body doesn’t always want me to. Humans are creatures of habit and if I have the habit of going to badminton on a Monday night then I want to keep that habit up, even if I amn’t feeling fully up to two hours of running around a court. This week however, I managed to tell myself that I would only make my cold and menstrual pains worse if I did go to training. It’s a monthly struggle, one that I have failed at repeatedly but sometimes mistakes are really fun so it takes a few goes before you realise that it was a bad idea in the first place. This month my body won and I skipped training, next month I may or may not be as strong but I am noticing more and more what my body needs and the more I practice listening to it, the easier it gets.


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