Know Your Cycle

Why did I research this?

I’ve noticed a pattern where I feel sluggish, tired, extra hungry and easily irritated every now and then.  I say to myself “Why am I feeling like this again?” A week later, my period arrives.   Did I not listen to any education that I had on menstruation and women’s cycles?  Perhaps I wasn’t interested but now as I undertake many more roles as a wife, a mother, a teacher and a creator of visual blogs I have become to realise that tracking PMS is valuable stuff!

What did I find out?

After re-educating myself I have discovered that…

During the first half of a woman’s cycle known as the follicular phase, a woman generally feels upbeat, breezy, nurturing, alluring and tolerant of others and their needs.  Estrogen is the cause of this as it rises up, with the aim of grooming and attracting a mate.

During the second half known as the luteal phase, estrogen levels drop suddenly and progesterone dominates.  The purpose is of course, to build a fluffy nest for the embryo.  This generally makes women feel more sensitive to pain as well as feeling tired, under appreciated, overwhelmed and cranky.

These feelings are real and should be honoured and listened to.  After each cycle is an opportunity to make positive life changes as women are in more of a raw state and the intuitions that are felt are valid.  “PMS is a time of psychological inventory,” says Dr Holland (2015).  The time when menstruating begins is a period to reflect on what is not working, in order to make changes next month.  In terms of baby making, women need to feel dissatisfaction in order to change the setting for next month, which in turn will help the burrowing of the embryo.

Where to from here?

Keep track of your cycle on a calendar so that you will have a good heads up about when you are going to be more emotionally sensitive. From here you can avoid painful tasks leading up to your period and leave OCD type house tasks for the PMS phase.

Treat the PMS days as a gift of intuition and hone in on it. This could get you closer to what your want in your life.

Take on more challenging tasks at the beginning of your cycle rather than the end, as the higher estrogen will help you cope better.

Have regular sex and regular cardio as this will help your body manage the luteal phase and can even produce a lighter period.

Eat more (nutritious) food as your body is stocking up for a reason.

~ SM

Holland, J. (2015). Moody Bitches.  The truth about the drugs you’re taking, the sleep you are missing, the sex you are not having and what’s really making you crazy. London: Thorsons.