Many patients are reporting pandemic fatigue especially in terms of finding structure within the day, which I call "Groundhog Day" syndrome. In the movie, Bill Murray is caught in a loop of reliving the same day over and over until he opens his heart. For many, it feels like there isn’t a transition or boundary between work and home life (often also including a lack of a designated work space). Lives are feeling out of balance. One patient recently commented about missing the transition that her walk home from work provided her. With the Chinese medicine approach to creating harmony within the balance between yin and yang, we can follow this natural flow to guide us in creating structure in our lives.
STRUCTURING YOUR DAY
The morning and early afternoon is the yang portion of the day, which is the more active time. In order to be in better harmony with the energetic flow of the day, you can use the yang time for activities that require more mental or physical stamina. At around 3:00 or 4:00 pm yang begins to transition into yin which is the energy of calm. At this time, you can start to transition your mindset to winding down your workday. I use the word “transition” intentionally with the understanding that it is a process to shift gears.
As a cue to your body and mind to end the work day, have an ending ritual such as creating a plan for the next day’s work. Just as a regular sleep time is important, the same goes for a stop time for work. Set a realistic boundary that will work for you most days.
You might find that more vigorous exercise is better suited to the morning while more calming movement, such as walking or yin or restorative yoga, is ideal for the evening. Invigorating exercise in the evening can deplete your yin and disrupt your sleep cycle.
Establish regular meal times. Your digestion will get into rhythm with your routine optimizing the nutritional value that you can extract from your meals.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule ideally with a bedtime of 11:00 pm at the latest.
Regular exercise and meals times, plus quality sleep are just a few of the things you can do to create optimal wellness. Any physical symptoms that you are experiencing is your body's way of communicating to you that it is out of balance and would like your attention. We can support your individual needs and disharmony with personalized suggestions to adjust your lifestyle.
Feeling "stuck" or looking for more guidance on how to support your own energy flow? Book an acupuncture session with us.
Image by Grecu Emilian