Whenever I begin to feel sluggish, both mentally and physically, I know it is time to evaluate my daily routines. I'm an all or nothing kind of person - I like to create a whole new routine and implement my plan on a Sunday to begin the week right. But to be honest this isn't very realistic and doesn't really jibe when you have little people who rely on you and you almost always have to put first, above your own needs. I full heartedly believe that balance can be found even within the sometimes chaotic and unpredictable journey of motherhood.
I am focusing on some key elements of Ayurveda to develop a week of cleansing - my diet and my mind. There are a few things I've decided to do over this week. And I say a week, but it's not just a week, it's a restart to help encourage better eating, sleeping and exercise habits throughout my life. Sometimes I just need a kickstart to help my body get rid of the cravings for salty, sweet and fatty foods, or I should say unhealthy saturated fatty foods, because as most of us know polyunsaturated fats are very good for us. For me healthy habits really support a calmer mind and mental state, with the added benefit of losing weight or being more physically healthy. When I do not have a good routine my mood becomes irritable, cranky, and inpatient, my sleep habits are all over the place and I eat junk. In many ways I am creating a way to detox my mind, my environment and my diet. I'll limit my use of devices and connect more with my surroundings, my children, my husband and nature. By reducing screentime, I'll establish better sleep routines and better pre-bedtime habits for myself.
It's all connected.
Along with eating a diet of whole foods, including kitchari, I'll also be doing the following to help cleanse my life:
Rising early or with the dawn
Oil pulling when I wake
Drinking warm water with lemon
Stretching my body, this may only be 15 minutes of stretching but it will help to release toxins, reduce stress and instill calmness
Eat Kitchari for lunch
Take a few moments, even if it's only 5 minutes to get up and stretch my body
Get outside in nature, again even if this is only for 5 minutes. I've read studies that state productivity is increased when people take regular breaks.
Limit eating after 7pm
Massage feet with coconut oil to help promote circulation
Read or Meditate before going to sleep
In bed or asleep before 10 pm
Throughout the day I will try to practice methods of media fasting and mind-cleansing, although I do need my phone for checking on my son, doing my job - I'll do my best to limit this and reduce using social media.
Some of my routine may not be exactly how Ayurvedic practices would suggest, but I am creating a routine that works with my lifestyle, being realistic when it comes to taking care of my children, home and myself.
Here are some wonderful resources if you'd like to read more about Ayurveda and cleanses. I'm using the Kripalu Nourishing Kitchari recipe with just a few changes with the addition of wholesome vegetables and lean meats.