If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance there is something you’re not loving about your menstrual cycle right now. Don’t worry you’re not alone! Maybe you’re experiencing a lot of pain before and during your period (I’ll have to write about this one in another blog!), maybe you bite your partner’s head off if they do something you don’t like. Or perhaps food cravings mean that no block of chocolate is safe in the house…
Whatever the challenge is, all women are seeking to have that elusive “perfect period”.
So I’ll let you in on a little secret, actually a big secret!
The secret to a perfect period: is that there is no such thing
The BIG secret to a perfect period: There is only what is perfect for you!
Well, let me clarify. There is no such thing as a period, period! Why? Well there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all perfect period. There is only what is perfect for you, and that’s how you get the Perfect Period!
You see, your cycle is something you want to work with, not against. But if you are finding it is impacting your everyday life, it’s something you’ll want to dive deeper into.
Learning more about your period
In the current Western culture, women aren’t really encouraged to get to know their period which frustrates me to no end. We’re given nicknames to use that demoralise, even demonise it, like ‘shark week’. We’re told to expect periods to hurt, come with bloating, food cravings and feeling shitty. But we’re not actually given the very steps, guidance and natural wisdom around the menstrual cycle.
In order for you to have your monthly cycle work for you, in harmony – you firstly need to understand it. Your body is communicating with you every single day, getting to know it inside out is the greatest gift of personal development you’ll ever come across. All we simply need to do is tune into what it’s trying to say.
Step 1: Start tracking your Cycle
Every single woman with a menstrual cycle really should be tracking it. No exceptions. It’s the best way to get to know your cycle, and those hidden signs you may have not yet recognised. You want to know how long it is, how long your period usually lasts, and how you feel throughout the month. Which takes us to…
Step 2: Identify your Cycle Signs!
In Western culture, these are generally termed as ‘symptoms’. But I prefer to refer to them as signs as we refer to them in WellWoman Gifts you even may say… Throughout your cycle, you will experience signs that give you an idea about what is happening with your body. Nutritionally, physically and emotionally.
Some common cycle signs include:
- Mood swings
- Emotional up’s and downs
- Sugar cravings
- Other food cravings
- Low energy/fatigue
- Low libido
- Tender boobs
- Diarrhoea/loose stool
- Period Blood – including the colour and flow
These signs can teach you a lot about what your body needs to become balanced, meaning to not experience these “signs” anymore. If you feel fatigued on the first day of your period, maybe your body would benefit from a little extra rest for a day or two. If you’re craving sugar, it’s most likely your needs fuel, or has been under nourished in other weeks of your monthly cycle.
Using this information about your cycle, you can start to bring your period back to whatever your ‘perfect’ is.
How To Bring your Period back into Balance
Want to create your perfect cycle, your perfect period?
Here are a few tips that will help you do just that.
1. Embrace going with the Flow
So many people work on a 24hr cycle. They eat the same foods at the same time, and do the same things every day. But your body was not designed to run on a clock. It was designed to go with the flow of your hormones. Heaven forbid they didn’t teach us that in sex-ed at school (eye roll).
This 24hr cycle is what can lead to restrictions, emotional breakdowns, cravings and frustration. Not knowing what to eat, when to eat. It’s the #1 reason why diet’s don’t work. You can read about diet’s here.
So your inner cycle is approximately round 28-29 days in length, not 24hrs.
Ever noticed that your energy and motivation fluctuates at different times of the month? Sometimes, you’re full of beans and want to go for a 6am run. But a week or so later, you wouldn’t get out of bed before 7am even if Chris Hemsworth was there to take you on the run.
You see all the answers to thriving, radiant and balanced health are within you – through your cycle signs. So it’s time to notice how your body feels. How do you feel after eating – does it give you plenty of energy, or do you feel sluggish? How do you feel physically as well as emotionally?
There is a reason for these daily inner changes. So instead of pushing through them and burning yourself out, learn to embrace your own inner flow. This is where your cycle and sign tracking comes into play.
Schedule higher-energy workouts and events away from your period if you know you’re going to feel tired. Book in a day or two at home in front of Netflix for those low, introverted days.
There is a reason why we feel the way we do, and it’s much more than just a feeling – it’s science!
2. Become aware of your emotions
Part of your monthly cycle is the fluctuation of your mood and emotions, as your hormones shift and change so do your moods and emotions. You’re not crazy at this is completely normal, as long as it’s part of your “normal”. Tracking your cycle will help you to identify what normal is for you.
But if you find yourself feeling sad and exhausted when you’re usually on a high, that’s something to look out for. It might be a sign that there’s something else going on.
So ask yourself ‘is it common for me to feel like this around this time of my cycle?’
3. Practice Undieting
Want to know why diets don’t work? There’s about a thousand reasons, but one major one is that they don’t work with your cycle. The foods that nourish your body when you’re ovulating are different to those that your body cravings during menstruation. That’s why food cravings are such a common cycle sign for way to many women.