By Emily Waterfield-Buttner, INHC, www.goldenwellness.co
When it comes to our cycle health, the first thing you probably think of is a protocol, vitamins or supplements, an eating regime, or an exercise program, right? Health is something that is mapped out, planned, and to be followed to a T. However, I would argue that no wellness program or plan is complete without including one very important component for health: play, joy, and pleasure.
Now our hormone health and the rhythm of our cycle is very dependent upon one very important aspect of health; reducing and mitigating stress. Stress in its many forms is one of the most potent disruptors of balanced, harmonious hormones, leading to symptomatic cycles. One of the best antidotes for stress? Remembering how to bring in things that bring you joy and pleasure. This is one of the factors that I talk about regularly for helping to boost progesterone levels as well, since progesterone is so sensitive to stress levels. Yes, we can focus on vitamins and foods, but how about adding in activities that bring you joy as well?
I truly believe that no health program is complete without talking about the importance of simply playing and having fun. Life in our modern world can be quite serious - jobs and bills, groceries and dinners to make. We have plenty of emphasis on productivity and doing and going, but what about balancing that out with play, pleasure, rest and replenishment?
If we spend so much time constantly chasing the "perfect state of health" that we become overly consumed with everything that is wrong with our health or fall victim to the mindset that we can be "doing more" then we will never fully feel good, and we actually turn our so called healthy lifestyles into very unhealthy ones. Health should be fun, bring you joy, and allow you a sense of curiosity and freedom.
One area that my clients always focus on is activities that bring joy. We often talk about things that we did as a child often; what did you play? What activities did you love? Where did you find peace? These factors are often the huge missing element that we must include in any lifestyle that promotes health. When we get so caught up in life that we can't remember the last time we truly had fun, or laughed so hard our belly hurt, or what we were so immersed in what we were doing that we forgot about our stressors for awhile, then that's a big red flag that deserves some reflection on. Yes, play reduces stress - but it also just feels really good too. And I think that it's something that we could all use a little (or a lot) more of, especially right now. Consider bringing back an activity you used to do when you were younger, maybe it's painting, riding a bike, or spending time in nature. Or maybe it's all about trying a new activity that you've been interested in for awhile, like making pottery, skateboarding, or gardening. Don't forget about the soul nourishing effects of spending time with like minded women as well - whether it's making a meal together, playing a game, or watching a good movie. There are so many ways to disconnect from the world and reconnect with your inner child, to nourish that side of yourself that you may have abandoned with adulthood.
- Emily Waterfield-Buttner, INHC @golden.wellness