What's it all about?

Lessons on living a rhythmic life.
Go with the flow of nature, from the turning of the seasons to your menstrual cycles.
Practical household tips for spiritual people;
because balance is good, messes get old, and we aren't all Susie Homemaker Perfect.


Please read this first if you are new to the blog!

The Single Most Important Change you can make in order to change your life for the better. This is an absolute Must-Read for anyone who wants a better life, or to make permanent changes in their habits.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The First Rhythm: The Pill Minder

We're going to talk about supplementation according to the natural rhythms of life and your menstrual cycle as we go, but first, let's get prepared.

I'm going to explain how I remember when to take what pills, and how I even make it easy for myself to refill the pill minder any time during my monthly cycle. I can refill it any time, and still have it filled properly.

For example, a week and a half before my menstrual cycle starts, I have difficulties getting to sleep, and staying asleep. I've found that a 5 mg. dose of melatonin taken before bedtime helps me to get excellent sleep during those nights.

On the other hand, if I were to take it at a time when I'm NOT on those weeks, it would be quite difficult for me to get up in the morning (I learned this the hard way).

In fact, let me tell you a little story about that real quick. It will help you understand why charting can be extremely important.

I finally decided to try melatonin the first time because of difficulty sleeping. I decided that my irritability was from that, so I became obsessed with fixing my sleeping. I tried the melatonin-- but here's the problem. I tried it two days after my period had started. So I tried it right after my sleep problem would have gone away on its own anyway.

Thus, I discarded this useful supplement because I thought it made me sleep far too heavily. But if I'd known and understood my cycle, I wouldn't even have been trying to supplement for sleep that night-- because I would have known it was too late that month to test the sleeping supplement.

So this is yet another benefit of charting your cycle. So that you don't try a supplement for sleeping on nights you'd sleep just fine anyway. Or so you don't try an energy boosting supplement on a day when you'd be over the moon anxious. Etc.

Let me show you how I manage my supplements, using two pill minder cases:

I got two MEDIPLANNER II pill minders that look something like this:

Then I modified them with stickers and a Sharpie™ marker, like so:

The lovely model is my daughter. Here's a closer view of the important stuff, though:

The top row includes the day of the week. I use a special Calendar that has 28 days per month, with 13 months in the year. So it probably won't help you a whole lot to bother with dating it as I have done.

But... what will help you is the second row. On this row, I write down what part of my monthly cycle it is, and what day of my cycle it is: Period, 1 (My period, cycle day 1).

Now, technically, the pill minder wants you to use it as a weekly pill minder. It has 4 daily times on it. So there's Sunday Morning, Noon, Supper, Before Bedtime on it. This is why I covered it with stickers. I take my supplements twice a day, morning and before bed. So I turned both pill minders into two week pill minders.

Then, when I wrote the cycle day on the bedtime dosing section, I could then remember when to put melatonin into cycle days 20-2 (of the next cycle). Then, even if I were filling the pill minder on cycle day 8, I'd still put the correct pills in the correct boxes.

This is especially important for me personally, because I don't really remember to take pills very well. Nor do I remember to fill it particularly religiously on my "down" cycle (pre-menstrual).

But on my "up" cycle, I tend to want to fill it every few days.

Thus, I use this natural tendency I have towards industry during my up cycle to prepare for the natural tendency towards sloth and forgetfulness during my down cycle.

As a result, I always have the right pills in the case when I need them.

Another quick tip: I keep these in my refrigerator, because this is one of the only places I go EVERY single day, no matter what day of my cycle it is.

Happy charting!

(Please see the Addendum here if you don't have regular 28 day cycles)

~ Livin' the Rhythm with Kimberly Weston

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