“Why don’t you just meditate?”
“Why don’t you just cut our coffee?”
“Why don’t you just drink more water?”
“Why don’t you just consume more fibre?”
“Why don’t you just think about your posture or breathing throughout the day?”
“Why don’t you just do your exercises 3X/day?”
Chances are, if you have sought support for your pelvic health challenges, you have likely encountered a few if not all of these recommendations plus more for lifestyle recommendations that could support your pelvic health.
Let’s be clear…if a health care provider ever tells me to cut out coffee..they would have a very hard sell on their hands!
Let’s examine the top 4 reasons why these ‘recommendations’ frequently keep folx stalled in their recovery…
1. Changing habits is hard!
Coffee is delicious and patterns that have developed over time require a lot of intention and effort to shift…it is definitely doable when connecting with the right personal and meaningful motivation and supports, but a pretty big challenge especially when we are alreday feeling pretty crummy!
That’s a lot of things! Changing all of those things is incredibly overwhelming. When I am overwhelmed, I freeze, end up not changing anything and am left feeling completely helpless. Ever experince this? Picking ONE starting point can help with wading through the overwhelm and building some forward momentum with managing symptoms. Maybe you don’t need to change ALL of these things. Playing with one shift at a time can help you to tease out which habits your body likes the best!
When you have gone to see a bunch of health care providers and are sent away with a lot of ‘shoulds’. It can be so easy to get sucked into a cycle of self-blame that keeps us feeling even more frozen. You might even stop going…’what’s the point if I haven’t yet followed through on their recommendations?’ Turns out acknowledging your hard and approaching the process with self-compassion is much more effective in developing momentum than ‘shoulding’ all over ourselves (or shoulding all over our clients Health Care Providers!).
4. Set backs
Often times we encounter set backs with black and white thinking… “well there goes all of my work out the window!” This makes it incredibly challenging to get back on track. When we acknowledge ups and downs as a part of the behaviour change process and start to use those downs as a learning opportunity…they can be incredible guides to help us find our way back on track. Celebrate all the wins…even the ones that don’t look like a win on the surface!
The solution…Occupational Therapy!
If overwhelm with all the ‘shoulds’ is keeping you stuck with your pelvic health symptoms, you need the support of a Pelvic Health Occupational Therapist! We specialize with supporting folks to make sense of symptoms and how to most effectively manage them within the context of your life. We are experts at integrating evidence-based strategies with your expertise regarding your lived experience and what is accessible to you. We can take all of the shoulds and give you the tools to integrate meaningful changes, step by step, into your life in ways that are sustainable and keep you moving forward in your recovery.
Lara Desrosiers OT Reg. (Ont.)