I am soooo soooo excited to write and share the following information with you today! 🙂
To all the women out there who had enough of going through the pain, bloating and fatigue etc (PMS)… our period brings us every month, keep reading because you’re about to find out how to get all of that under control, minimize your symptoms, feel energetic and be more productive every SINGLE DAY!!! It wont happen overnight but learning about it, practice & listening to our body will get us there, I promise! ….
The four hormonal phases of your menstrual cycle are blueprint for how to organize your life. Every female should know about these 4 phases – if only we were educated from a very young age about these phases and encouraged to appreciate our own body and the changes it goes through from day to day!
If only we were told how powerful our menstrual cycle is and how it impacts the way we feel from one day to the next…
For example, did you know that we have heightened strengths during every phases of our cycle??
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know about the intricacies of our cycle and how to really capitalize on these strengths because from the time we hit puberty we’re given very little information about it. Why? Because there is a long-standing and deeply-rooted taboo around the subject of menstruation.
We’ve gotten so used to not talking about it, we just sort of accept it and keep silence. Silence around a subject suggests there is something ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’ about it. Can you imagine, that most women and girls live their life thinking that a fundamental part of being female is shameful? This stops them to want to know, discover and protect their body.
Most of us know about the 3-7 day ‘period’ of bleeding, but what about the rest of that month?! What happens then? Why do we get PMS? Can we avoid or at least ease it?! (Yes 100% you can)!!!!
If you’re not familiar with this topic, let me tell you about the whole series of amazing changes your entire body is cycling through over the course of 28-ish days …
Phase 1 — The Bleeding Phase
The first day of bleeding is considered day one of your menstrual cycle. On this day, the hormone progesterone plunges, which causes the uterine lining to shed, AKA “your period”. A typical, healthy period lasts 3-7 days.
During this week, your energy is the lowest in your cycle and you may feel tired and withdrawn. I know that a whole day off might not be possible (but if you can allow me to give you the permission to take the day off!!), but introducing some quietness and deliberate rest time can be extremely helpful. Mediate, sit in stillness and breathe for at least 2 minutes everyday! Rest is especially important on the first day because that’s when we normally lose the largest amount of blood, and the body receives a certain signal that may change your period a lot.
In the early days menstruation was considered to be the time for spiritual practice and the getting together with other women. Women are quite sensitive to subtle energies during their period and meditations can go very deep then.
And remember the chocolate rule! No chocolate during period for God’s sake! Why? Because you body doesn’t need chocolate, its need magnesium! Craving chocolate is a sign for you body screaming for some magnesium! Almonds anymore??
Exercise: since your energy at this phase is at its lowest, exercise should be limited to gentle movement and stretching like yoga and walking.
Shit to do this week: Clear your calendar of big social and dating events and make a date with yourself. A hot Epsom salt bath is a great place to start. Try writing and reflecting. This creates awareness and allows you to set intentions and even new goals for the next month 🙂
Phase 2 — The Follicular Phase
This phase follows just after menstruation. It’s called the Follicular phase because your pituitary gland releases a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which stimulates the follicles in your ovaries to mature. FYI — these follicles contain your eggs.
Additionally, estrogen and testosterone start to rise during this phase. This will bring you a boost of energy, and can often improve your mood and brain function, too.
You may even feel more assertive and willing to take risks. Testosterone stimulates your libido while estrogen makes you feel more extroverted and suppresses your appetite. This is a time when you may feel a wide variety of feelings related to self-sufficiency. That’s the time to start new projects, be physically active. Yay!
Exercise: Strenuous exercise will feel increasingly good during this time too, so get out and enjoy physical activities that you love. Zumba or spin class? 🙂
Shit to do this week: Brainstorming and problem solving will be major strengths during this phase so initiate new projects and make big decisions. Make use of those social superpowers by speaking up and expressing yourself, joining a new social group and scheduling time with friends!
Phase 3 — The Ovulatory Phase
Ovulation is the culmination of all the hard work your body has been doing over the last couple of weeks. Ladies you really got to appreciate all that work your body does! An egg gets released from its follicle in your ovary and will survive for 12-24 hours. Estrogen and testosterone rise to peak levels, boosting the effects of the follicular phase. You may feel that you look better and feel more confident so it will be easier to verbalize your thoughts and feelings. Plus, your sex drive will be at its highest!
Trust me you don’t wanna miss your ovulation: thats the time when we are the most attractive, even our lips, breasts and eyes become slightly bigger and more symmetrical – imagine your body is ready to conceive, thus nature wants you to attract the best possible match now! It’s always best to work together with nature. That’s the best time to have important conversations or even ask for a rise – simply because you are so magnetic, it’s very likely you will get whatever you want! 😉
And this is the time when we are shining and so outgoing – just like the full Moon.
Exercise: Energy levels are highest in this phase so continue to enjoy lots of physical activity.
Action steps for this week: This is a great time for job interviews, networking events and public speaking. Schedule date night with your current beau or ask someone out!
Phase 4 — The Luteal Phase (pre-menstrual phase)
The first 2-3 days of this phase will feel a lot like the ovulatory phase. That changes when estrogen and testosterone decline and your body starts producing progesterone. This is an anti-anxiety hormone, so you will find yourself beginning to wind down. Now is a good time for nesting, chores and taking care of your to-do lists.
The second half of this phase is notoriously difficult for many women. You might feel PMS symptoms like cravings for carbohydrate-heavy comfort foods, bloating, headaches, anxiety and moodiness. These symptoms are not all in your head but they aren’t something you should suffer through either.
Action steps for this week: Practice good self-care during the week before your period and you’ll likely notice less PMS. Try spending extra time alone, eating healthy foods, taking a restorative yoga class, sleeping in later one morning or anything that makes you feel balanced.
“When you honor your body’s innate need for rest and relaxation during this phase, you will enhance your ability to get more out of the active phases of your cycle.”
As you can see, the female body flows in a similar way to the natural environment around us. Learning to honor your own internal cyclical nature creates an understanding of how your hormones work in each phase of your cycle and is the key to maximizing your true potential in all areas of your life!
This post is just an introduction to the 4 phases! If you want me to write more about it please like comment and let me know..
From one week to the next (from one phase to another) there are different body, lifestyle, food and exercise needs!! For instance what you body NEED nutrient wise, from one phase to the next is different; this will hopefully be the focus of my next post. FOOD!! Making sure you are feeding your body the right stuff it needs from one phase to next, will definitely help ease off you PMS and even make you life and hormones easier to handle 🙂
“Just as the Moon waxes (or grows outward into the night sky) until it becomes full and then wanes (or gets smaller) as if moving back into itself – so do you. Sometimes she shows up fully, open, bright, reaching out. Other times – she covers her face, retreats, falls back, quiets herself. We can be in the same pattern as the Moon. Isn’t that just beautiful…”
Its time we start loving, embracing, appreciating and educating ourselves about our own body! 🙂
Lots of Love, Arwa X