After almost 4 years of having no cycle whatsoever, regaining my periods has been an experience. It’s wonderful to have them back, but I have to admit I’m not a great fan of the cramps and general moodiness that accompanies my new cycle!
I’ve been doing some reading recently, and generally working on becoming a little more in tune with my body’s natural rhythms and I wanted to share some of what I’ve rediscovered.
Our hormonal cycles shouldn’t be something to be battled with. I believe if we can embrace them and work with our bodys’ natural cues, we can reap a lot of benefits. It’s only recently in history that women’s cycles have become something seen as an inconvenience or ‘dirty’. In many societies women were thought to be very powerful at their time of the month and lots of rituals and respect was given to our natural cycles.
Obviously there’s a strong connection to the moon and its cycles, but perhaps what a lot of us don’t appreciate is how matching up our cycles with moon phases can affect our moods, productivity, health and wellbeing.
Here are a few tips for becoming more in tune with your cycle…
- Ok, I know this is a tough one but really any kind of artificial hormonal interference is not going to help. Think about alternatives to the Pill or the implant and if they would work for you. Each of us need to weigh up the pros and cons, personally there are so many more positives that come with being free from artificial hormones, but that’s a call only you can make!
- Chart your cycle – try using an app like Clue to track your cycle and any ‘symptoms’ that accompany it.
- Observe the cycle of the moon – get a phone app and just start to become aware of what the moon is doing.
In charting your period and becoming aware of moon cycles you may start to see a pattern. Your period may fall on the new or full moon (or as you become aware of it, your cycle may lengthen or shorten so you menstruate over the new or full moon). This is a good thing as it means your body is really in sync with the natural pattern and this should help any of the less pleasant symptoms. How to honour your cycles can easily be seen within the different cycles of the moon:
Full Moon / Ovulation
At this time of the month it’s great to get out and about, work on new projects, do harder exercise and basically party! Obviously it’s the time of the month when you might feel the most sociable and attractive too. Eat healthily and enjoy foods in a good balance.
New Moon / Menstruation
As the opposite of the Full Moon, this is the time to reflect and indulge in a lot of self care. You might want to have earlier nights, stay in with a movie rather than go out and do lighter workouts like yoga. Food wise, it might be helpful to avoid very cold foods and eat more warming foods like porridge and soups. Also have foods rich in healthy carbohydrates available to eat instead of less healthy foods when the chocolate cravings strike! However, if you are honouring your body and relaxing, you might find those monthly cravings subside!
Our bodies, just like the moon, have a natural cycle and an ebb and flow. I know that since I started to tune into this I’ve just felt better in myself all round. I’m not saying it’s easy to arrange your whole life around your period, I ended up having mine over the Great North Run weekend – total fail! But you can seek small ways to honour what your body needs at different times of the month. Even simply adjusting your expectations of what your body and mind can do at different times of the month could help you feel more balanced.
Do you feel in tune with your cycle?
P.S A lot of this post has been inspired by the wonderful Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup.