Most of us came into young womanhood without much guidance. You probably got your period one day, got a bit of not so empowering feedback about it being a ‘burden’, and received instruction on how to deal with the monthly practicalities. Unfortunately, not many of us are taught how to respond to the hormonal fluctuations and needs throughout our cycle. There are different ways to become more aware of your menstrual cycle, so you know what your body needs throughout. Thousands of books and articles have been written on the topic, to get more in synch with your body in a fundamental way – through nutrition, exercise, rest, socializing, creativity, communication, and nesting. There are fluctuations of hormones, which lead to different energy levels, and emotions. Understanding how your own body works is your first step at figuring out how to create a more harmonious daily, and monthly rhythm around your physical, and energy needs.
The first step is bringing your awareness to what goes on throughout your own cycle, so you can experience it more fully. I’ve created the monthly ritual below for you to get more in tune with yourself over a full month, or more…
Photographer: Barbara Galvacs
This is what you do.
This will take roughly a month. A full cycle. You will need a small notebook that you can keep with you throughout the month.
Write down the days of your cycle, or download a fertility chart, there are also plenty of menstruation apps out there to test out. My all time favorite is Ovuview (Android), but since moving to iPhone last year, I’ve been testing out a few, and my personal favorites now are: Kindara and Ovia.
Day 1 is your first day of your menstruation. Keep track of the cycle day.
Everyday notice the fluids of your cervix, and make note of how it changes. What colour is it – clear, whitish, opaque? What is the texture, is it sticky, slippery, or creamy? How much is there? Do you notice a damp sensation? Take note of the days when there isn’t any fluid as well.
Note how you’re feeling each day: happy, sad, depressed, angry, irritable, moody, horny, uninterested in sex, ambiguous, motherly,…
Record major events, your sleeping and eating patterns, and any possible relationship with how you feel in your body.
Take 5 minutes each day, at a time that suits you, to switch off from the outside world and explore you. Put your phone on airplane mode, find a space without many external impulses and where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and lightly scan your body.
Pay close attention to any pains, aches, or other physical symptoms you experience.
Be gentle with yourself when needed. Start noticing your moods, and how to manage them, through rest, bonding, sharing, and alone time, throughout your cycle.
Tip: some women like to log their cycles on a moon chart, to see the correlation with the moon phases – I hope to try this sometime this year.
By the end of this month (or two), you should be more aware of what to expect, your personal cyclical signs and hopefully feeling a little more in tune with YOU!
Stay tuned for more posts on how to take this knowledge to the next level.
© Juel McNeilly
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