You must have noticed by now – some days you’re ready to conquer the world, you’re unstoppable, you’re fierce, you’re on the top of the world. All you want to do is move and enjoy life.
Other days, however, you have a powerful urge to hide under the blanket, avoid people as much as possible and do nothing but rest, Netflix & chill.
If you’re a bit more in tune with yourself, you may have noticed majority of Netflix and chill days happen around the time you’re supposed to get your period and when you’re on your period.
Perhaps days like this are not your favorite. Maybe you’d love to skip the whole period mess and just move on with your life. Maybe you do try to ignore these parts of the cycle, trying to stay tuned to the fast lifestyle with countless cups of coffee and a few painkillers.
However, just like the unstoppable phase, the resting phase is normal. Unfortunately, our society does not accept cyclical nature of women, so we’re more often than not, forced to suck it up and adjust to the lineral nature that’s more masculine.
But, sooner or later, we need to face the truth – just as Mother Nature, we are cyclical beings. Just as nature has seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall, so do we. And, just like in nature, all of our seasons are important. Without winter, we wouldn’t have spring.
Our menstrual cycle also moves in four phases: follicular phase, ovulation, lutheal phase and finally, menstrual phase.
Each of these phases has different characteristics and brings up different skills in us. Each of these phases requires a bit different approach from us – our body has different needs in all of these phases, but so does our mind and soul.
If we want to make most of our life, following the natural phases of our cycle and using them to our advantage will help us get there. I know it may sound unusual, but adjusting your lifestyle and being in tune with your cycle can be such a life-changing.
When you know what your body needs and when, you can love it better.
When you know what’s the best time for certain activities, you can uplevel your success.
When you take loving care of your hormones, magic happens.
So, let’s check out the phases and some of the ideas on how to use them to your advantage.
1. Menstrual phase
This one is hard to miss, right – you’ll recognize it by bleeding. If you’re having hormonal imbalances or deeper issues, you may also recognize it by menstrual cramps. Really painful menstrual cramps are not actually a “normal” part of our periods, but many women experience them – luckily, we can heal from them (which is something I’ll be talking our in my Self-Love. Period. ).
Estrogen and progesterone levels suddenly drop, our uterus is shedding and we’re releasing the egg.
Just like our uterus, we should use this powerful time of the cycle to shed – let go of anything that doesn’t feel right.
Menstrual phase is the time to relax, time to let our body recharge. You’ve probably noticed that your energy levels seem to be lowest while bleeding, especially the first day, or the first couple of days.
While our society led us to believe this phase is useless and it would be the best to just get over it as fast as possible so that we can hustle hustle hustle, this is not true.
Just as we need phases of activity, we need phases of rest.
However, what’s most interesting about our periods is that during this phase of the cycle, our intuition is the highest. Which amplifies our ability to let go – we are not so attached to the outcomes, and since our energy is lower, we find it easier to let go of anything that doesn’t mean a lot to us.
Use this phase to rest, to relax. Meditate, journal, write about what feels like the right choices to you, how did the last month go, what changes do you need to make.
You’ll notice that your body loves warm, nurturing foods and drinks during this phase – make sure you have enough of your favorite tea. Or the lovely Good Morning Maca Drink – maca is an absolute winner when it comes to balancing our hormones!
2. Follicular phase
Follicular phase is most aligned with the fast, linear modern lifestyle. You’re out of your hibernation, you’re ready to rock!
Your energy levels are much higher, you’re willing to take massive action.
Use this phase to do exactly that – in the menstrual phase, you’ve discovered what no longer serves you. Now make a plan to take action on all the projects that do serve you and jump right into it.
It would be the best to start a couple of important projects at once – you will want to keep yourself busy since you’re feeling extremely confident and unstoppable.
Follicular phase is the best time to start any new projects. Want to learn a new language? New class? Batch cooking? Hire a coach?
Now’s the time!
Your body can tolerate most of the foods in this phase, but this doesn’t mean you need to feed it crap – you want to nurture your high energy levels and the best way to do it is with delicious foods.
Enjoy this phase, but also know that it’s just one of the phases of the cycle – you’re not supposed to feel like this all the time. Make the best of it.
Many women are in love with ovulation. No wonder – this is the phase when we feel like the world is at our feet. You can suddently convince anyone of anything, without even trying. Your ideas are easily accepted, people just love you.
This is thanks to your hormones – now the egg is developed and released. You’re ready to become a mom, and the nature is making sure you are radiant to get a) someone to make you a baby, b) loving support from the community through pregnancy + taking care of the baby.
However, just because we may not want to get pregnant at the moment, doesn’t mean we can’t use this phase to the best of our abilities.
Now’s your time to have difficult conversations. Now’s your time to present your ideas and make people love them. Now’s your time to ask for that raise. Now’s your time to ask for a promotion.
You’ll notice how important people are to you in this phase, you’re feeling supportive towards everyone, you are gentle, you are a loving leader.
Schedule all the meetings, go out with friends and family, visit events, workshops, group classes. Focus on team projects. Express yourself – through talking, writing, painting. Create whatever feels the best to you.
Try having some lighter foods during this phase, like lots of veggies, quinoa, fish, dark chocolate and legumes.
4. Lutheal phase
Oh, you dreaded PMS.
The number of women suffering from PMS is huge, but not surprising – considering how many hormone disruptors we’re surrounded by, it’s more surprising that not every single one of us suffers from PMS.
I’ll cover many of them in the Self-Love. Period. Bundle, but here’s a hint: you may even be sleeping on a huge hormone disruptor, your matress. And honestly, if we can’t trust our own beds to keep us safe, we’re fucked – pardon my french.
PMS shows up with over 100 different symptoms, so it’s more about noticing that symptoms show up a week (or two) before period, than googling lists of symptoms of PMS and freaking out.
Some symptoms include acne, headaches, extreme mood swings, cravings etc. It can be something different for everyone, or a combination.
Some of the factors that contribute to development of PMS are:
– Food, of course – unhealthy diet is one of the greatest factors
– Low levels of vitamins C, E, B, selenium and magnesium
– Low levels of exercise
– Emotional factors
PMS usually starts as a shorter phase, but if we ignore it, it gets longer. Some women come to the phase where they’re longer suffering from PMS than going through other phases of the cycle, having just a few days without symptoms a month. Which is why it’s incredibly important to love ourselves and take care of our hormones.
Now, it’s important to note that PMS is not really how lutheal phase should be – lutheal phase is, yes, a bit trickier to navigate, because our energy levels are not stable. Some days we’re experiencing energy outbursts, while other days our energy levels are significantly lower.
It’s important to embrace both phases – when you have energy, it’s a good time to create something. When you don’t – relax. Pushing through it will just create frustration and PMS.
I know it’s not always easily to adjust our lifestyle to day-to-day changes in our bodies. It’s not about perfection, it’s about knowing what’s going on and choosing to be kind to yourself.
During lutheal phase, many women have an urge to clean, to get rid of stuff – this is a beginning of letting go. Flow with it, let go of anything that doesn’t feel right.
You have an eye for detail in this phase, as well as ability to see and solve problems easily. Use that to finish projects – these kind of tasks are your strength during lutheal phase. It’s time to wrap the month up and prepare for evaluation and relaxation of menstrual phase.
Sometimes, we get frustrated during this phase because of our lack of boundaries. It’s a good time to demand respect and set those boundaries. However, try not to engage in tough conversations, you may get emotionally overwhelmed and say things you don’t really mean.
Notice your emotions, but leave dealing with them for menstrual phase.
Eat foods rich in magnesium (hello dark chocolate), vitamins B, antioxidants, fiber and calcium.
Menstrual cycle is often ignored. Our hormones are often ignored.
I mean, have you ever heard stories of women who suffer from acne and take birth control pills to make them go away? That’s just putting a bandage on a gun shot. We need a deeper approach, a holistic approach that works with our bodies. Not the one that is basically telling our bodies to shut up.
However, if we get to know our bodies, if we commit to developing a loving relationship with our bodies – cycles and all, we can reach that optimal state of peace within ourselves.
When you know exactly what’s happening with your body and why, it’s much easier to support it.
We are not victims of our bodies – we are in full control of our wellbeing, and we can all do something loving for our bodies today.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to nurture your hormones, how to balance them and how to work with your cycle, you may wanna DM me to be the first one to know when my Self-Love. Period. Bundle is available.
It’s gonna cover all the details about each phase!
You’re going to learn how to support your body, mind and spirit in every phase.
We’re going to talk about what activities are the best for every phase, what foods (of course, with delicious recipes), what kind of movement, how can you make sure your environment support your hormones and more.