When spring arrives, your routines change. Along with work and family responsibilities, you may be inexplicably driven to whisk away the dirt, dog hair, and dust bunnies accumulated over the long winter. There’s pressure to get your house cleaner and your body leaner. When you’re dealing with light bladder leakage, springtime brings added challenges. (Welcome back white pants!) You can stay active while managing LBL this spring by putting some new routines into place. Here are a few:
The Spring-Clean Routine
Some deep-cleaning strategies can work for managing LBL, too. Like freshening up your closet for example. You start by clearing everything out. Then, you examine each item, choosing what to keep, get rid of, and what to replace.
Follow this same routine to freshen your way of thinking about LBL. Examine each thought. Keep useful thoughts like, “I do my Kegel exercises every day.” Dump outdated beliefs like, “A lady doesn’t talk about pee, not even with her doctor.” Then replace it with thoughts that support you like, “I’m not the only one who experiences leaks. This is something I need to address.” If you uncover a thought that makes you feel bad about yourself, it needs replacing. Get curious about how to replace it, and you’ll find more supportive ways of thinking.
The Ink-It Routine
A good idea turns into a routine when you schedule it into your life. If you were to look at your calendar right now, what would you see? Your kid’s car pool schedule? Business meetings? Weekend plans? Your priorities show up on your calendar. It’s time to make yourself a priority and ink your LBL management routine into the calendar, too. Does your 2015 calendar include a visit to your doctor to talk about LBL? Or time for pelvic-floor strengthening workouts that you can do outside now that the weather is nicer, like power walking or tai chi classes? Give yourself weekly meal-planning time to ensure you’re eating bladder-friendly foods. Carve out time to do your homework each week by reading blogs and articles or listening to podcasts about how women like you are managing light bladder leakage. Increase your knowledge and you’ll lessen the fears that limit you, and uncover new ways to stay active, while feeling more vibrant and alive.
The Squeeze-Before-You-Sneeze Routine
April showers bring May flowers…along with pollen, scents, and other allergens that may cause you to cough, sneeze, and leak. Sometimes just walking out into bright sunshine will cause me to sneeze. When you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, contract your pelvic floor muscles – squeeze before you sneeze. It will help ease the pressure on your bladder and ward off leaks. If you have allergies, keep your symptoms under control. Chronic coughs and sneezing can weaken your pelvic muscles, making leakage worse.
At first, putting a new routine in place can feel a bit awkward. Anything new takes an adjustment period - think back to when you first learned to use your TV remote (that’s still a challenge for me) – it wasn’t as easy then as it is now. Over time, routines become habits, and happen automatically without thinking about it. Let the signs of spring help reinforce your efforts. As the flowers bloom, feel your confidence blossom, and as fresh air flows through your windows, give yourself credit for the fresh new ways you’re managing LBL.
What about you?
What’s a routine that has helped you manage light bladder leakage?