Time Management…those two dreaded words.
When I speak to anyone about their pelvic health, the first thing I talk about is commitment. If we don’t commit to making changes and seeing improvement, we won’t move forward. Unfortunately, just sitting on our bums is not going to create results. It’s tough. It’s so tough, and I know this because I have been there too. I have experienced pelvic health concerns; I have had a prolapse diagnosis, and I have peed my pants…yes, my knowledge isn’t just based on training and textbooks; it’s based on experience.
But what’s the number one reason most women don’t commit to looking after their pelvic health? What is the main reason it gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list? I did some research within the Pelvic Power Movement Community, and the results were pretty unanimous…its lack of time! No one can find time for themselves. Or is it that no one is prepared to commit time for themselves. It seems a very grey area when it comes to making that choice. Why is it that we don’t feel worthy of prioritising ourselves, and instead, we put everyone else first? It needs to change. And I want to be the person to help you make that change.
Juggling our time is difficult, but there is a reason behind it,and it is called our primitive brain.
What is the primitive brain?
There is a part of the brain called the “primitive brain” that focuses on survival. Its primary purpose is to protect us. That sounds pretty amazing, but the reality is that our primitive brain often works against us, and it’s often extremely difficult to override its influence on our rational decision making.
Our primitive brain wants us to escape physical and mental threats, so it floods us with the adrenaline, strength and courage to handle a situation as it seems fit…but that’s where the problems can begin. In modern-day life, we aren’t at risk of being attacked by bears in caves anymore, the challenging we face have changed, but unfortunately, our primitive brain hasn’t caught up. It wants us to avoid the pain of rejection, disappointment, and failure, even when it means not taking risks…risks that could be life-changing in a genuinely positive way. Instead, it would rather leave us in limbo than let us identify a goal or chase a dream that “could” bring us disappointment.
Is it starting to make sense? It sounds so complicated, but it’s just a load of outdated evolution!
How does it manifest in our everyday lives?
I hope you can now see that our thought process is often out of our hands, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Have you ever been in the middle of creating a business plan or a product launch but instead scrolled reels of cats for hours at a time? Before you know it, it’s time to collect the kids from school, and you have barely started the task. Yep, we can all relate. It’s normal. But that’s the reason, sadly, so many of us don’t achieve our dreams…because of distractions, lack of commitment and often overwhelm! This goes for many things in our lives, including looking after our pelvic health and achieving our pelvic health goals.
The process works like this…
1 - We decide on a task we want to achieve. We have an aim, a goal, and a dream outcome. That outcome is a strong, functioning pelvic floor for all of us here. We want reduced symptoms and the opportunity to enjoy the activities that we love once again. A life without pain or constant worry is the future we want. That’s the goal we all dream of.
2 - We start on the journey to achieving that, but we start looking for distractions along the way. We might not realise we are looking for distractions as it comes from our primitive brain, but we are. Those distractions can come in many forms: housework that needs doing, admin that we need to catch up on, things we must do for our kids or partners, etc. We chooseto drop the task we are focusing on in favour of these “replacement tasks”, some of which are unavoidable but most of which can wait. It’s time to be brutally honest about that fact.
3 - Our primitive brain means that we constantly seekpleasure, which means looking for things that will give us quick-fix happiness or swerving stressful situations. It continually tells us that not trying something is better than giving it a good go and “possibly” failing because that failure could hurt us. Plus, those simple, easy to gain pleasures (…scrolling those silly cat reels) are giving us a feeling of joyand happiness, which in the moment seems preferable. It’sridiculous that we downgrade our long-term goals so easily in favour of easy wins and mind-numbing screen entertainment. We are all guilty of it. That primitive brain has a lot to answer for.
Can we retrain our primitive brains?
But what about the alternative. What if we tried to follow through with the “could fail” task? Maybe if we set ourselves some goals to improve our pelvic health, and maybe if those actions become a habit, then maybe (just maybe) we might start to see results from these new lifestyle changes. Perhaps if our primitive brain were trained to know there is a different way of thinking, it would allow us to move forward with the determination and confidence we need to succeed. Food for thought…
At the risk of throwing in some jargon, we need to look at clarity, commitment and time. Clarity about where we are going, what we want to achieve, and how we will get there. Commitment, no matter what distractions we face; prioritisation is key; everything else can wait. We need to make it wait. And finally, time: time to focus on what we want to achieve. Time blocking “self-care” for our pelvic health each day or week is the only way to ensure we meet our goals. If we're going to make it work, we have to create new habits and retrain our primitive brains to know that taking risks and doing things outside of our comfort zone can result in happiness and success. We all deserve a bit of that. I have faith in your ability to put yourself first, starting today.
Remember, a habit only becomes a habit when we have done it for 60 days. I know that seems like such a long time, but why not set yourself a goal. Try focusing on your pelvic health every day for two months and see what happens. You never know; maybe your primitive brain might take a step back and let you get on with living your life again. Worth a go for a little bit of happiness, right?
Come and join us in the (1) Pelvic Power Movement Community | Facebook for support in making the right choices for you.