As women running businesses and/or families, working long hours in demanding jobs, studying, caring for parents or in-laws, dealing with emotional challenges, hormonal hiccups (sledgehammers?) and a whole array of everyday stress, we often long for escape.
Whilst in the throws of screaming at the significant other, the kids or the boss (guilty of that one – wouldn’t advise it), we can simultaneously be thinking, “Stuff this!” all the while running a mental movie of our escape plan to a 5-star luxury resort, spa or holiday.
While holidays are great, they’re also few and far between.
So to save your sanity in the everyday, I love the concept of creating daily self-care rituals (mini-retreats, or bliss-bombs) to help calm and re-introduce softness and pleasure back into the harshness of life.
I think women are amazing multi-taskers, phenomenal organisers and communication ninjas.
We may be feisty, possess awe-inspiring intelligence or confound with our creativity.
But women are also receptive, tactile, sensory creatures.
By adding in a sense of ritual and calmness to our everyday, we can reconnect with our inner sense of the feminine amidst the argy-bargy of the world and turn the daily grind into something magical.
Well that all sounds very woo woo, but why would I bother?
Apart from bringing more joy and pleasure into our lives (who doesn’t want that?), we allow a conscious calming of our nervous system which helps us reduce stress and most importantly, cortisol.
Cortisol is our medium-long term stress hormone. After our initial stress phase, adrenalin (our fight or flight hormone) hands the job over to cortisol, which, in itself, is anti-inflammatory, helps insulin shunt glucose from the blood into the cells and helps modulate stress.
The problem arises when we are in states of daily stress. Cortisol decides it can’t possibly leave you in your hour(s) of need and stays on as your backup buddy.
We’re so unaware of our everyday stressors that we don’t even notice the impact they have on our bodies. We say, “But I’m not even that stressed!” as we push through sleepless nights, carb cravings, weight gain, fatigue and cycle disruption.
So the more you can do to let cortisol know it can “take a load off,” the greater your health will be.
Below are some bliss-bomb ideas that can take just a few minutes from your schedule, but add hours of calmness, connection and clarity back into you day:
- Burning aromatherapy oils before starting a project that needs attention. I love Vetiver essential oil for its earthy, grounding nature when I really need to focus and concentrate, and Orange for its uplifting, expansive nature when I want to get creative.
- Brewing a gorgeous artisan tea (or your regular tea-bag will do!) in a beautifully crafted pot and a favourite tea cup.
- Breathing (who knew?) Just stopping to consciously take 3 deep breaths all the way down into the diaphragm can work wonders on a racing heart or mind (or mouth!)
- Swapping sickly, mood-bending sugar hits for indulgent high-fat or protein snacks when energy levels are flailing. Think ½ a creamy avocado with tangy lemon juice and black pepper, a moorish cacao and coconut protein shake, a hunger-quenching egg, a handful of tasty activated or raw nuts or a spoon of nut-butter on celery slices (or seriously, just straight of the spoon. It’s gooey, feels naughty, is highly nutritious and stops the sugar cravings in their tracks).
Turning the mundane into something beautiful can reduce cortisol and stress levels whilst increasing a sense of wellbeing. And by inserting daily bliss bombs into our regular schedule, we allow ourselves to reconnect with what brings us pleasure, joy and beauty every single day.
Kate is a qualified naturopath who is passionate about helping women heal from hormonal havoc and inspiring women to know their own power, worth and wisdom.
Kate offers one-on-one Skype consults for irregular cycles, PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, peri-menopause, mood swings, fatigue and mental and emotional stress.
Simply drop me an email to see how I can help you!