After wallowing for far too long under the covers of my bed with my heating pad, my inner warrior stepped up and I decided to search for another way out of the pain of endometriosis. For those who don’t know, endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. These stray cells (endometrial implants) induce a chronic inflammatory reaction that may result in scar tissue. Endometriosis affects an estimated one in ten women during their reproductive years.
After reaching a point of exhaustion with a body that was breaking down, I finally discovered a critical missing piece: self-care. When I stopped to evaluate my lifestyle, I recognized that in order to induce an environment of healing, a lot of my habits needed to be adjusted. Finally, I discovered things that helped me to feel better from the emotional and physical pain from endometriosis. I’ve put these tips all together here so that you can start feeling better too!
1) Self-Love & Self-Care:I think that the key to feeling better with endometriosis comes from self-love and self-care. It is so important to nourish our bodies, minds and spirits with nutritious foods, and to spend time doing things that bring us joy. I recognize that self-love is difficult with endometriosis – loving a body that radiates pain is not always easy. But things really change when we make the decision to make healthy choices for ourselves – because we want to feel better, because we know we are worth it.
2) Get Consistent With Sleep: If we don’t sleep enough then our bodies become stressed out, creating an environment that defers healing. A lot of things happen in your body during sleep. It is a time for your body to repair itself. Sleep is necessary for detoxification, immunity, tissue repair, regeneration and emotional balance. Going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time sends a powerful message to your endocrine system. It is best to get to bed prior to 10:00 PM so your body takes advantage of the human growth hormones produced during this time, which are necessary for repairing your body.
3) Exercise: Many times it can be a struggle to get up and move especially when pain or fatigue is in play; but sometimes you just have to do it. You’ll feel better when you do. To prevent painful episodes after exercise, I’ve found success with lower impact choices such as walking and yoga, both of which help me to feel better both physically and mentally.
4) Daily deep breathing:The breath is a powerful force within us that can naturally disrupt our nervous systems (in a good way). Deep belly breathing helps the body to relax, encourages healing, and releases toxins. Cultivating deep breathing helps when physical or emotional pain is overwhelming.
5) Find a Creative Outlet: I think it’s important to find creative outlets to express and release internal energies. As women, we are natural creators. If we don’t express this, then this energy stimulates internal stress. Creative outlets can help deter the mind away from physical and emotional pain. When I am busy with creative outlets then my mind is not anxious, stressed, depressed or self defeated and I’m left with a creation that includes a part of me. Find a way to create that brings you joy!
6) Find support: I think one of the hardest things about having endometriosis is the true lack of understanding from other people. It is difficult to fathom the pain involved if you’ve never experienced it. What I’ve found on my journey to healing is the priceless value of support from other women with endometriosis. They understand what you’re going through and can offer up advice and support.