This one is for the ladies, however guys, you’ll also benefit from reading it.
We all (men and women) have cycles; daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc. This means ups and downs, times when we’re inspired and when we want nothing to happen, times when we feel like socialising and times when we feel like staying indoors.
For women it’s a bit easier to gauge ours due to our menstrual cycle. But a lot of women have no idea where they are in their cycle and that they even feel any differently. You may only be reminded when someone comments on your shortness or grumpiness that you become aware that you are going through some PMS.
To know your cycle is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself, and for those around you. I highly recommend getting in touch with your cycle. You’ll understand why everyone is irritating you, or why you want to binge eat every sweet thing in site. You’ll stop wondering why you feel so loving some days and others you want to be left alone.
You’ll understand that you’re not weird, your hormones are just different on different days.
I’m going to explain it the way I’ve learnt it and have shared with many different women…and men. The men really relate to this; they get it and have been very understanding and supportive when it is described in this way.
We all know the seasons (cycles) of our planet; Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
Now think of this in terms of your menstrual cycle.
Just a reminder that I am generalising for most of the women here who still menstruate, although women who have been through menopause also experience seasons.
Imagine how most of life operates in winter, there is hibernation and staying indoors, relaxing and rejuvenating. This is the same for your cycle. You feel like staying indoors and don’t really want to socialise or party or do much exercise.
This is usually when you start to bleed as well as a few days into bleeding. For me that is also a day or two before, it all depends on how your cycle is.
This is a time where we should really rest and rejuvenate and listen to our bodies to see what they need. You don’t have to stop activity altogether, but check in with how you’re feeling and honour it. You may not want to make many social gatherings.
This is when life starts to come alive again. Animals come out of their hidey homes in search of food, plants are breaking through the snow, and the flowers are starting to open.
Same for women, we are ‘through the worst’ and start to blossom again. We start to get inspired for our work, playing with the kids is easier, we make plans to see people and are generally a lot happier.
This is a time for planning and preparing for when you do have lots of energy. You can schedule some dates and go out with your friends and family, plan for the business meetings and events or any other function you may want to host in your ‘summer time’.
Life is in full bloom, and so are we. We are usually full of energy, socialising with friends and family, and working well. This is when the libido is usually at its peak.
This is the time when you do a lot more socialising, and when you host your functions. It is also the time when you get as much done as you can for when you do not have as much energy. For example, you can make a few more meals and freeze them for when you don’t feel like cooking. You do a few more blog posts for your social media while the inspiration is flowing, take the kids out for some fun activities, do the clearing in the house or garden that you know you might not get to later in your cycle.
Just as in nature, things are starting to slow down again for women. We will still socialise and be inspired but it is tapering off.
This may be the time to complete everything that you started in the spring cycle in preparation for wanting to hibernate again.
This may not be realistic for everyone because you still have a job, you still have to entertain the kids even when you don’t feel like it and still have to attend events. Perhaps what you could do is make deals with your partner that they do more when you’re not feeling up to it, and when you are at your peak, you do that little bit extra to keep it balanced. You communicate with your girl friends about their cycles and work out what when the best time would be to connect. (Yes it sounds completely weird but do what feels comfortable for you, you never know, you may end up connecting with women on a different level)
It’s not about limiting your life just because of your cycle, it is about understanding why you feel the way you do and being better prepared. Even if all of these suggestions are not possible for you, I highly recommend getting to know your cycle at least. You can write down in your journal where you are in your cycle and describe how you are feeling. There are also apps online to track your cycle.
Journal promp example:
Day 1: (your first day of bleeding)
Feeling – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually: “I feel bloated and crampy and don’t feel like getting out of my pjs. I just want to relax, and don’t want to see anyone because my emotions are so up and down and I don’t want to misinterpret what others say to me.”
Once you’ve done this for a few cycles you will see there is a pattern and you can work with it.
It can be life changing!