The Importance of Rest During Your Period
Understanding the role your period plays in your energy levels and your ability to function might be new to you, but trust me it’s something you want to start taking more notice of.
I think by now most of us know that getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night and eating a healthy balanced diet has a massive impact on how we feel and how we perform. There is an additional level to this. Your period. And if you don’t take the time during the first few days of your period to rest, recharge and reset, you are potentially affecting your performance for the rest of the month.
As entrepreneurs we have a tendency to think we need to constantly be taking action everyday to move our business forward. One of the biggest challenges is actually allowing and permitting ourselves to take time out. Our ego has this irritating habit of telling us ‘you are lazy’ and that you will somehow ‘fall behind’ if you don’t constantly work. Stop feeling guilty for taking time off, because here is the truth – living in tune with your menstrual cycle will actually make you more efficient and more productive, not less. Start rewriting that story everytime it pops up: rest does not = lazy. It is just a story, you get to choose if it becomes your reality. It’s one I am constantly working on.
Being permanently switched on rather than tuned in to your body and its natural flow, will inevitably lead to burnout at some stage. Now that is a place none of us want to end up. If you are resisting taking time off and resting, instead ask yourself ‘what absolutely needs to get done today?’. If you don’t have any urgent work to attend to, no harm is going to come if you have a digital detox for a few days. The world isn’t going to end and your business isn’t going to suffer, believe it or not!
Giving yourself the time and space to rest during your period takes practice and discipline. You may not always get it right, but that’s ok. Take time to surrender yourself in your inner winter and remerge in your inner spring, ready to take on the world with fresh energy and an abundance of new ideas.
Our ego has this irritating habit of telling us ‘you are lazy’ and that you will somehow ‘fall behind’ if you don’t constantly work. Stop feeling guilty for taking time off, because here is the truth – living in tune with your menstrual cycle will actually make you more efficient and more productive, not less.
How do you carve time out of being a busy mother or business owner?
Prioritise your Period in your calendar
If you track your cycle, you probably already know the date of your next period. Make sure you go and put it in your calendar, so you can start to create space for yourself to rest. Definitely don’t plan to see any clients during this time, especially for the first few days.
If you don’t already track your cycle, it’s time to learn. For some of us tracking our cycle can be a bit of a challenge, some of us have cycles that vary by a few days each month. Others of us have irregular periods, which can make things even more challenging. Whatever your personal period situation, now is a great time to get to grips with your cycle. To do this, I would suggest looking at the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) – which looks at tracking the changes in your cervical fluid and your basal body temperature (BBT) daily. I also highly recommend reading “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. This book is a complete game changer, it literally taught me so much about my body and enabled me to get pregnant.
I love knowing where I am in my cycle. It’s such an empowering experience and an amazing tool to have. If you suffer from irregular cycles, it really is a fantastic as it enables you to stop guessing when your period is due. It can also help to identify any health issue you may be experiencing too, hence why your menstrual cycle is often referred to as your 5th vital sign.
Create Space For Yourself
As a business owner and entrepreneur you already have the luxury of being able to create your own work schedule. Bonus! So why not start blocking off 2-3 days at the beginning of your period, don’t schedule in client meetings or non negotiable deadlines. I would also suggest you create a bit of a buffer either side so you have enough space to reshuffle your schedule to accommodate when your period does actually arrive.
We are so conditioned with putting everyone else’s needs first and forgetting our own, but the reality is you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s a bit like the oxygen mask situation on planes, if you don’t put yours on first, you can’t help anyone else. So stop saying yes to everything and adding more to your schedule. This is the time when you need to practice saying no to anything that is not absolutely necessary (reschedule it to another time in your cycle if you can).
Here are a few other ways you can lessen your load during your inner Autumn and inner Winter phase: order your groceries online, batch cook your meals, say no to that dinner, skip the gym and opt for sleep instead, organise a playdate for your children, reschedule your coffee catch up to the following week, you could even get a cleaner just for this phase of the cycle! Be brave, find the courage to put yourself before others and take this time to ask for what you need instead. It’s hard I know, I am terrible at looking after myself.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start small.
If you can’t take an entire day out of your schedule for self care due to work or life commitments, or you find the idea puzzling, it’s ok. Take a moment to consider what your self-care would look like if time or space was not an issue. Start with what feels achievable right now.
Ask yourself – what can I do right now meet my needs? How can I put myself first?
Could you go to bed early? Could you switch your phone off? Could you take 5 minutes a day to meditate, instead of scrolling through Facebook? What about asking your husband, wife or partner to take the children out for an hour, so you get an extra bit of breathing space and some time to yourself to recharge?
The thing about self-care is this, the more you practice it, the more you make it a habit and part of your routine. The more it becomes part of your routine, the easier it will be to take a few days of rest without feeling guilty.
Stop letting your ego rule you. From rest comes growth and if you really want to bring your A game to your business you need to start taking time back for YOU.
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