Back in August, my husband had an interview in Liverpool and he asked me to go with him so we could also catch up with some of his family who lived in Manchester and would meet us there for the day.
Honestly I was unsure about being able to go because I was seven days late for my period but I’d been getting awful cramps, especially in the morning that left me in quite a bit of pain and I didn’t want to be in pain and not enjoy the day out but I’d also never been to Liverpool and if my husband didn’t get the job we were unsure when we’d get to go again.
We set our alarm early just in case I was able to go and while I didn’t feel great and had under five hours sleep, I felt well enough to travel and really didn’t want to miss this opportunity.
I didn’t even make it halfway through the journey before I had agonising cramps. However, the previous month I’d spent quite a bit of time using the Calm app. Particularly listening to the water sounds on the app as it helped me to sleep when I was in excruciating pain on my last period, so I decided to visualise the sea and created a very simple but easy to say mantra in my head, because we were on the train and while it wasn’t very busy I didn’t want to look any crazier than I did squeezing my husbands hand and grimacing in pain with tears in my eyes.
My simple, easy mantra that I repeated in my head over and over again while visualising the sea was:
I am relaxed, calm and safe.
And do you know what?
It wasn’t instantaneous I repeated it for quite a while, sometimes the cramps distracted me but once the contractions lessened and I could focus a bit more I kept repeating my mantra.
Now I’m not saying when you’re in dire agony this will work because sometimes you’re just in too much pain to do much of anything other than curl in a ball and cry but if you can, try.
Obviously, pick words for your mantra that work for you.
I picked relaxed because the pain was making me tense and I know that if I can relax it helps the pain. Calm because well, I was freaking out a bit, and I needed to calm the hell down and also because it helped me visualise a calm sea and I picked safe because I was out of my safe environment and in pain and when I’m in pain intend to want to be home, preferably in bed, with a hot water bottle.