Working Towards a Healthier Evening Routine
I have never been a big TV watcher. I would watch a show here and there, but I wasn’t one to sit down on the couch for hours at a time. Then I got endometriosis and several other chronic illnesses and found myself only wanting to spend time on the couch.
The pain, fatigue, or even just the emotions had me wanting to lay down with a blanket and the remote. Add in a year of quarantine, and here I am, spending hours a night lost in TV.
Finding balance with bad habits
There’s nothing wrong with honoring the body’s need for rest. Rest is healing. However, I’ve started to recognize that I’ve gotten too comfortable in this habit.
Has it gone so far that it’s having a negative effect on my health? I try to be conscious of this in an effort to best manage my endometriosis.
I’ve realized over the years that lifestyle habits add up to either build or break down our health. Now, you’re certainly not going to find a study that says too much TV has a negative impact on endometriosis.
However, we do know that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t getting us closer to a picture of perfect health. So how do we find a balance between the rest needed to manage a chronic illness and the movement required for a "healthy" lifestyle?
The answer will be different for each of us and will even be different for the same person at other points of their healing. Here’s the approach I’m taking, but I know I’m just one member of the endo-sisterhood, so please share your thoughts and experience below so we can learn from you too.
Add healthy evening activities to the evening
I allow myself time on the couch every night. But my goal is to incorporate some healthy evening activities. Yet, when I’m sitting on the sofa at 8 pm, my creative juices aren't exactly flowing with alternative activities.
I quickly learned that I have to identify ideas and even set the stage for them in advance. For example, I thought of doing some light yoga before bed.
Setting myself up for success
I always feel better and sleep better afterward. So, I gathered all my yoga props – mat, blocks, and blanket – and set them in a room where I could practice at night without disruption.
I even have some essential oils and music close by if I want to create a yoga-like environment. This is so important because now, as I’m resting on the couch, deciding if I’m going to do yoga, I know all I have to do is go into the room and start stretching.
Otherwise, I would have made the task of finding my props a barrier and opted to stay on the couch. Having a cup of herbal tea while reading is another great alternative to TV.
So, I created a little tea station in the kitchen and I keep my book near a reading chair. Again, these are simple preparations done in advance that can make all the difference when deciding between TV or an alternative activity.
Find what works best for you
There are so many other options – journaling, listening to a guided meditation, etc. The key is to find what you enjoy most and what brings you the greatest level of health.
That’s why I want to hear from you. Please share in the comments below what type of evening routine works best for you.
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