I got a question from Jessica! Jessica wants to know, "Monica B., what do we do when we have a wonky schedule sometimes? And what if it's just consistently wonky?"
Jessica is home with her two year old all day and then she works in a movie theater at night. Sometimes she works at night and sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes she works until 11:00 o'clock at night and sometimes at 1:00 in the morning, depending on the schedule, depending on what's showing at the theater. So everything is a little bit wonky.
I have 4 things things that I suggested to keep her balanced amidst the wonky schedule. You can use these too, to keep yourself healthy and in optimal flow with the day.
On the days where Jessica doesn't have to work, she should be doing what is in accordance with the Ayurvedic daily routine. One small part of the Ayurvedic daily routine is to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. and awake before sunrise. That is the rhythm of nature and the more we can stay with the rhythm of nature, the better off we're gonna be.
Even if we're up late, we are still going to get up early enough in the morning to rise in the energy of Vata, just before sunrise. Vata is the energy of movement, which is going to keep us moving and energized all day long even if we go to bed late. Energy will be sustained throughout the day but we will likely get tired earlier, which is ok! This is the body's way of balancing it all out.
#3 Short nap!
Does Ayurveda say yes to nap? It does to short ones. Vamakukshi a.k.a. short nap after lunch is great to aid digestion. Lay on your right side and take a rest for 20 or 30 minutes. Not a deep sleep, but, a refresh.
The other thing she said is, "I'm eating late because I'm starving and I'm starving because I'm up so late." Don't eat. If you need something to curb the hunger, have an herbal tea or have a glass of water. If we eat in the middle of the night, it will confuse agni, which is our digestive fire. During the night agni (digestive fire) gets much smaller and will not digest food properly. At this time, agni is busy digesting all the food from the day, so while we may feel hungry, it's not the right time to eat. We're in the middle of a fast. We're just usually sleeping when that's happening. If we're awake, we're going to feel hungry. So don't call the pizza man. We're going to not eat and instead have a glass of water and get ready for bed.
The other thing that is really important...
If you make a mistake and if you do eat late at night or if you sleep in, note how you feel and just make a better choice the next day. Let's be kind to ourselves. We are not passing judgment. We are simply practicing and learning every single day. Ayurveda is awesome for us and we're experimenting — and that's how we learn.
So go ahead and keep practicing and keep bringing this Ayurveda to life.