I once had a yoga teacher who was literally the poster girl for holistic, healthy living. She referred to menses as the ‘monthly moon cycle’, she was a strict vegan, a real stickler for organic foods and just generally wouldn’t let any toxins or unecessary hormones near her body. She wouldn’t even use hair dye. For a while I thought she was some sort of wellness wunderkind; until one day I caught her chain-smoking outside and realised it was largely bullshit.
I do think there’s something to be said for the relationship between environmental toxins and mood, though. I read recently that a woman’s typical morning routine exposes her to 515 chemicals before she’s even left the house. Yikes. I suspect this comprises a routine a bit more complex than my ‘soap and a slap round the face’ ritual, but still, that’s an unfathomable amount of pollutants.
Over the last few years I’ve learned through first-hand experience just how obscenely delicate the human endocrine system is. I’ve quite drastically altered my diet to de-stress my frazzled and knackered body. Brown rice over white pasta, oat cakes over chocolate, drinking my body mass in chamomile tea and so forth. And it’s worked. Obviously I still have a fair way to go, but the level of adrenaline pumping through my veins is dramatically lower than a couple of years ago and I really think what I put in my body has played a large part in this.
Also being a lady with, you know, lady bits and shit, I have the hormonal goliath of PMS to contend with every month and it’s during this fun-packed little window that watching my diet and exposure to toxic products becomes of paramount importance.
Because if something as simple as eating more sweet potatoes can have an impact on wellbeing, what might all the chemicals seeping through my skin from everyday products like moisturiser and shampoo be doing to my hormones? I’ve even started wondering if I need to look at my washing powder.
I’m not about to completely reject all man-made products and start omming on a hill, but I’ve definitely started thinking about how all the various cleansers, lotions and potions I use on a daily basis might be affecting my body, and thus my mood. Does swapping my bubble bath for organic lavender oil make me a grass chewing, chai drinking hippy? Perhaps. But if little steps like this can improve my mood in the long run then I’m all for it. I like chick peas too, deal with it.