Honouring your menstrual cycle

Most people’s body follows a cycle of some sort. For those who have a menstrual cycle it’s pretty obvious. You probably already notice you feel differently at different times of the month. So many women I see just lament how difficult it is to have a period, how negative it is. What I would like to challenge you with is to really take notice and see how you can make this work for you.

Week 1 - bleed (Self)

Your menstrual cycle begins when your bleed begins. This first week is the beginning of a new chapter. Out with the old and in with the new. It’s a week of rising hormones, and the beginning of the follicular phase of your cycle - where the egg undergoes the final stages of maturation. You will start the week slowly and end it creatively.

By the end of this week you will start to feel like you can do more. Honour this. Take your time to do things in the first few days of the week, look after yourself, pull back on exercise and build up over the course of the week.

If you are seed cycling, this is the time to switch to flaxseed (linseed) and pumpkin seed (pepitas).

Week 2 - hormones and feeling great (Create)

As you head into week 2 your hormones are rising. This is still the follicular phase, as the week ends with a peak of hormones heading into ovulation. You might notice your libido has increased during this week.

You will find it easier this week to really stay healthy and have the energy to pack much more into each day. A week of building on the creativity started at the end of the week before.

Week 3 - ovulation (Do)

The beginning of week 3 generally marks 14 days to the end of your cycle, which is when ovulation occurs. You will be at peak everything this week - fitness, energy, confidence, learning. It is a week of DOING. You can give more to others as you don’t need the energy for yourself.

Like last week, you will find it easier to stay healthy and energetic. Towards the end of this week, as your oestrogen drops and progesterone takes over as part of the luteal phase of your cycle, you might notice a change in your libido - not really quite what it was last week. You might also crave more emotional connection.

If you are seed cycling, now is the time to switch to sesame and sunflower seeds.

Week 4 - premenstrual (Relax)

This is the final week of the luteal phase, and the week in which you will start to lose the energy you once had. As your hormones decline you will start to reach for more carbohydrate rich foods. Slow down this week and really start to focus in on yourself. You might start feeling a little less positive than in the previous couple of weeks as your hormone changes kick in.

Low levels of oestrogen can exacerbate other health issues this week, like pain, digestive issues, asthma and eczema.

Keep going with the seed cycling, slow down and change exercises to less intensity and reduce your schedule.