POTTY TRAINING FOR GROWN-UPS - a mini practice of self-love
Our toilet behaviour is of big influence on our pelvic health, and with that, how connected we are to our sexuality. It also reflects the way we take care of ourselves. I love helping people with toilet advice because it brings these things together. Small and simple changes can be big needle movers. Continue reading to find out more.
You will also find at the end of this article a free PDF I have had especially designed for you to print out and hang on your toilet wall.
How well are you taking care of your most basic needs?
This might be your experience (and mine, and probably everyone else’s also):
When you go about your day your attention is generally turned outwards; you focus on the tasks at hand and the people around you. Sensing and screening what is expected of you and what needs to be done, you slowly lose the connection with your own body. You literally stop feeling yourself and you forget to tend to your basic bodily functions. Your body may signal you have been seated for too long, you’re getting hungry, or you need to pee, but your focus blocks out the sensations so you can finish what you are doing. If you go to the toilet you hurry so you can continue with whatever was previously occupying your attention. You most probably sit on the edge of the toilet seat, knees squeezed together with your toes resting on their tips. You don’t even notice how you are sitting, how long it takes, what your body feels like. Total autopilot. This reflects how you give ‘right of way’ to everything but YOU and disconnect from your needs.
Did you know your toilet behaviour can support your pelvic health (and with that your sexual health too)?
I would encourage you to give yourself a little more time and bring more awareness to your bathroom visits. This will help you to relax more and release any tension. Place your feet flat, instead of resting them on the tips 'ready for take off'. Lots of pelvic health issues are related to an imbalance of tension in the pelvic floor: either you have too much, too little (or both). Most of the time, contrary to what you might think, we carry excess tension around all day. This is influenced by how we inhabit our pelvic space. In my previous article, “What Women Should Know About Pelvic Floor Vitality”, you can read more about this.
Create awareness and choose to stay engaged with the signals your body gives you. This is one of the simplest steps you can make in learning to take better care of yourself.
I believe that intuitively we know we need to connect to this area, making sure we keep it in optimal health. This helps us to maintain alignment with our core, and living as healthy (sexual) beings. Somehow we miss a little link. We over focus on exercising and strengthening, assuming that this is a healthy practice and will lead to increased sexual pleasure for ourselves and our partners. In some cases it is true that the right exercises, practiced consciously, can cure problems related to an imbalance of pelvic floor muscle tone. Most people, however, have another underlying problem: we are not even aware of the tension we carry. We unconsciously squeeze off the blood supply and nerves feeding this important area, and hold in our pee, making our body’s natural rhythm fit into a convenient timetable. This tension actually decreases our potential for sexual pleasure.
If you want to get your needs met by others in a healthy way, you must first start listening to your body and make sure you take care of your own basic needs.
A lot of women I see in my practice have trouble setting boundaries, voicing their needs, and creating time for themselves to recharge. Do you compromise when it comes to giving yourself enough time to eat (maybe even skipping meals), how much you sleep, and when you go to the toilet? Before you can get your needs met in relation to others it is important you take care of yourself first and foremost. Next to balancing out tension, integrating these simple recommendations can be a small loving gift to yourself. You get the opportunity to practice it on a daily basis, many times a day, with very little effort, and without having to make any major changes. Simple change, big needle mover!
Here is a free PDF I had designed especially for you to hang on your toilet wall. Click on the image to find a downloadable version.
In this document you will find six beautifully illustrated tips that will support you in beginning to increase your pelvic awareness. This is guaranteed to bring your focus to the way you have become disconnected from yourself, and to begin to make small positive changes.
A little P.S. for men:
Men also have a pelvic floor! Sitting on the toilet, instead of urinating standing-up, often reduces the tension on the pelvic floor, so these recommendations can also be helpful for men. However, most men are so used to urinating whilst standing that they cannot be totally relaxed when sitting on the toilet to pee. Therefore, it is something every man needs to experiment with to feel into and choose whichever ever position he finds most relaxing for his bodily base. You will find that the tips can also be applied when standing.