So this whole series I am doing is how you can become more ‘intuitive’ and the best way is through understanding your own mind and body so you can really tune in and tap into the body’s wisdom.
This week it’s one of my favourite girl dinner date topic: Periods!
It’s been over 7 years since I came off the contraceptive pill. I started tracking my periods around that time because I used to have the worse period pain (coupled with PMS!) so I liked to know when roughly I was due so I could plan life around those days full of excruciating pain. (and I came off the pill because I was a hormonal so and so really and it made me feel so sick)
It was a couple of years into doing this where I started to notice certain patterns. I remember being at the gym (the days where I used to train it out 3x a week every week – I no longer do this for many reasons!) and I wondered – why is it that some days when i work out I feel so alive and energised and other times I don’t want to be there and I felt depleted? I noticed that this correlated with ovulation (full of energy) and premenstrual (tired and depleted) every month. Without fail.
I began researching menstrual health in a lot of detail because this was at the time I really started to pay attention to my body and start to ‘experiment’ with different wellness methods. Afterall I didn’t want to keep suffering from PMS and awful period pain for the many years to come and I felt it was time to go natural because western medicine wasn’t an option for me.
As I do, I dove deep into my wellness research and read some really incredible books including: Alissa Vitti The Woman Code, Sara Gottfried all of which Id highly recommend and I gained a great deal of insight on how the menstrual cycle works and what we can do to best support it. I still didn’t quite know at this time how incredible the menstrual cycle actually is.
The problem we have as women is that we choose to disconnect from our feminine cycle because it’s more convenient but there is so much power through this gift we have as a woman should we choose to honor it. We are taught via media to essentially pretend like we are not on our periods when we are and ‘business as usual’ type approach.
It is a huge topic that I could talk all day about given the chance but Id love to share with you some wisdom that I have gained throughout my years of wellness research.
The menstrual cycle consists of four main phases:
(Now every cycle really is different for each individual but I am basing this on a natural cycle that averages 28-32 days for the sake of simplicity of what I am explaining)
Menstruation – Week 1 – winter phase
This is the day you start properly bleeding and your energy is at its lowest, you may feel ‘phased out’ and not really with it. Your body is essential performing a natural detox and ‘letting go/releasing’ emotions from your past cycle during this time so the best way to support this is by really upping the self care. You want to relax as much as you can. It is not a great time to bury yourself in work and exercise should be minimised to nothing more than a gentle walk or stretch if you’d like to ensure. It is your ‘winter’ phase where you should be keeping warm, eating and drinking warm foods just like you would in winter – easy to digest soups, stews and lots of herbal tea. This will help your body to perform it’s detox in the best way to support you for the rest of your cycle. Your psychic ability is usually at its highest during this phase of your menstrual cycle, you will find you will sleep more deeply and dreams may become more vivid – pay attention to these dreams as they are likely to carry really useful messages!
Pre Ovulation – Week 2 – Spring phase
This is the second week of the cycle where you have stopped bleeding and you start to feel a rise in energy. It’s referred to as the spring phase – where you feel like you’re waking up to the world again. Sometimes this phase can cause anxiety due to the hormonal changes, be mindful of this and when you start to track your cycle you will notice particular days you will be a little more anxious and it is more reassuring when you are aware of the pattern. The key to this phase is taking it slow and slowly re-emerging yourself back into the world. Usually creativity is high during this time so you may have lots of ideas – connect with this, write them down but dont action on them yet! It is so tempting with the rise of energy to throw yourself back into energy consuming tasks after the tired and slow menstrual phase however you are likely to end up like a newly born lamb lurched into the world and this could end up causing a bit of anxiety and also may lead to burnout in the ovulatory phase.
Ovulation – Week 3 – Summer Phase
Ah summer time. Where you feel full of energy, like you’re a superwoman, you can whizz through your to-do list, socialise and excel at your work all in one! Your skin is glowing, your hair is more silky and it is the best time to socialise and get out there! Got a major project to complete? This is the best time. Want to attend that new HIIT class? This is the best time! It’s my favorite phase for sure – but only if I have really honoured my winter and spring phases otherwise I can end up feeling depleted during this phase and that is not fun!
Pre menstruation – Week 4 – Autumn phase
Not a very liked phase by many (me included) as it can be associated with ‘negative emotion’ aka Premenstrual syndrome. However the time where we are really in touch with our own self and intuition plays a key part here. If you are able to shift your mindset about PMS you can really start to use this to your advantage. This is the time where your body and your mind will speak to you about what is not working for you. If every month during this week you are finding you are getting pissed off about the same thing again and again it’s your inner being telling you that whatever it is needs to change. It isn’t just you being ‘hormonal’. Things that can really help during this phase – yoga, journalling and essential oils to balance mood (they have been extremely helpful for me) and also not being so damn harsh on yourself! We are all human and we are allowed to experience a whole range of emotions.
If you are interested in charting your cycle the best place to start would be an app called Moody – I love it! Ive tried quite a few but this app has been the best for me personally. And what you will find is that when you start to do this you are paying more attention to your body and the way you are feeling and through this awareness you will get in touch with your ‘intuitive’ side by listening to your bodies needs. Almost certainly you will turn into that person who will be like hmmm I am feeling anxious what is going on for me today – ‘oh it’s day 7 I always feel a bit more anxious on day 7’ and do you know what a relief it is to have that awareness! Sooner or later you will start to understand how to best nourish yourself through nutrition and gain more out of your exercise through tailoring your regime to your cycle to best support yourself.
I hope this has given you some insight and inspiration to connect more with your own female cycle and understand how doing so can help you get in tune with your intuition. Id love to know your thoughts on the topic 🙂