My first child was about 2. I was 30, studying full time (ironically my naturopathy degree), playing mumma, and helping my husband manage a busy business. Basically I was trying to do it all (us perfectionist, type ‘A’s love this!).
I wanted to keep all those balls in the air, and honestly, I thrived on being seen as some type of super woman. I was getting great grades and attending all the coffee/park meetups and playgroups. BUT I was also ignoring all the little signs – my coffee intake had gone through the roof (it was now a necessity, not a treat), I was dragging myself though the 3pm slump and during the late afternoon I would devour slice after slice of thick toast during that dinner prep time (good luck to anyone who would try and take that away from me). My PMS was so intense that I would feel incapacitated with depression and anxiety before my period. When I actually got my period I would feel relieved. My weight around my middle ballooned. I was incredibly crabby with my daughter and husband, as I painted on a smile to everyone else… and as you can imagine, my view of myself wasn’t so crash hot.
I knew I wasn’t any good to anyone this way. So I started small. I left the chores, and took time to rest whenever I could. I took my own advice (I was a qualified naturopath by now, yup, I let it go for this long) and started a herbal/nutritional/lifestyle program. Often with a pounding heart (I was brought up to make others happy), I learnt to say ‘no’ to invites that would deplete me and to my child sometimes (gasp!).
I started to feel better. I didn’t feel like the walking dead at 3pm, my jeans fit better, I actually enjoyed spending time with my child and my period would ‘arrive’ with minimal fuss (in full disclosure, occasionally certain sentimental things will make me ugly cry before my period, but I like to think that’s not pathological, but ‘open’, but that’s another blog post). I experienced what it was like to be ‘well’ instead of ‘not sick’. It rocks.
Here’s the top things that made a difference to my wellness:
- Herbal medicine, in particular, ashwaganda – there is a reason that its termed’ a hug in a bottle’ by naturopaths!
- Magnesium – there is not one person on this planet that couldn’t use more magnesium – I adore ‘food as medicine’, but with depleted soils ad depleted bodies, supplementation is a go to for this mineral.
- A regular bedtime – seriously, no screens or crazy movies after 9:30. You need to cuddle up in bed with a good book by this time. Every. Night.
Ditching the perfectionism – seriously. Once I realised that I was like a dog chasing my tail with this one, things eased up. Life isn’t perfect, its messy and unruly, and ironically that where the beauty lies. In an ‘insta perfect’ world, we are wanting to see the imperfect. It’s so much more interesting! We want real connection, and we get that with seeing the realness of others.