How to Practice Cycle Self Care during the 4 PhasesMar 03, 2020
Have you noticed how different you feel emotionally and physically depending on where you are in your cycle?
For example, you might be really optimistic and full of energy at one point and then feel quite sensitive and lethargic at another point.
If you’ve noticed this you’re not alone! It’s due to your changing hormones and it’s completely natural.
You’re not the same every day of your menstrual cycle. You actually go through cycles of emotions, energy, motivation, sexual desire and sociability.
Tuning into these rhythms is one of the best ways to care for yourself as a woman! I call this "Cycle Self Care" and it’s a bit different to ‘regular’ self-care – it’s far better!
In this article you’ll discover:
- What Cycle Self Care is
- Why it’s so important for women
- How to easily incorporate it into your life
So what is Cycle Self Care?
In short, Cycle Self Care is when you choose to care for your needs (and wants!) based on how you feel & what your body needs during the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle.
Let me give some examples so you can see the difference between ‘self-care’ and ‘cycle self-care’
Traditional self-care might look like:
- Drinking more water
- Washing your makeup off before you go to bed
- Hiring a cleaner
These things are good for your body and heart all the time, no matter what day of your cycle you're on!
But Cycle Self Care is more like:
- Not drinking coffee in your late luteal phase because it makes your PMS worse
- Choosing a walk instead of a run when you have your period
- Saying No Thanks for dinner dates in your premenstrual phase because you know it’s when you really just want to be alone with a book!⠀
Can you see the difference?
Why is Cycle Self Care so important?
If you think about it, your menstrual cycle is kind of the overarching system that your body is working within. It’s a cycle that it goes through over and over. And with that cycle brings predictability.
But you have to be willing to listen and tune into yourself to actually find that predictability. This can be especially difficult to notice because we currently live in a patriarchy.
What does it mean to “live in a patriarchy”
It’s nothing against men.
But, our month is designed around a 24-hour cycle and a 7-day cycle, right?
We live within the system of a day, a week and a month. We’re expected to operate the same, be the same, feel the same on all 7 of those days. No one tells you to rest on 2 of those days then start again but it’s what we all do right?
But you Lovely Lady, are not built to run on a 24/7 schedule. This schedule is made for men who really only have a 24hr cycle that their body is working within.
Nature created you with a 24/28 cycle not a 24/7 cycle.
Oh - don’t worry if your cycle isn’t 28 days long we’re all on our own actual cycle but 28 days is about the average.
So if you think about how you live now, within a 24/7 cycle, does that fit into the natural rhythms of being a woman? Nope! And THIS is why Cycle Self Care is so important!
How to easily incorporate Cycle Self Care into your life
There are two simple steps to learning and incorporating self-care:
- Know the 4 phases and what to expect
- Know how you personally feel in each of the 4 phases.
To get you started, here’s a very basic overview of the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle based on an example 28 day cycle.
A simple guide for what to expect in each phase of your cycle
Menstruation – days 1 to 4
Your hormones are at their lowest when your period begins. This means your physical energy, mood and mental capacity are low as well! You’ll likely feel very inward and prefer a slower pace, especially if you get period pain.
Follicular phase – days 5 - 11
Your estrogen has been slowly rising since your period began. In this phase, it’s getting higher which means you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm. You’ll likely feel social, excited about ideas and have more outward energy.
Ovulation phase – days 12 – 15
Estrogen peaks just before you ovulate and so does your energy and love for life! You’ll likely feel confident, sexy and have great multi-tasking abilities. The energy is still outward and you’ll want to be social and have good communication skills.
Luteal phase – days 16 to 28
This is a long phase and it can be broken into early luteal and late luteal. In the early luteal you’ll still have good energy levels but won’t feel like you’re ‘buzzing’ anymore. You’ll be productive at work and able to focus on details. In the late luteal you’ll become more inward and grounded. You may be irritable, emotional or susceptible to stress.
Knowing how you’ll personally feel in each phase
The key to making all of this really work for you is listening to your body and tuning into yourself.
The more you know yourself, the easier and more effective Cycle Self Care will be.
This is how you learn to do what’s truly best for you instead of what you think you should be doing.
Working with your menstrual cycle instead of fighting it is how you can move into alignment with yourself and your body. And sister, when you’re aligned, everything is so much easier!
Learning to live in alignment with the rhythms of your menstrual cycle has been one of the most popular reasons women book a call with me.
How to tune into your own needs & patterns in 2 minutes!
This is so much easier than you think!
- Download an app called Clue to your phone
- Pick the categories you’d like to keep track of (ie mood, energy, skin, digestion)
- Each day, tick the boxes that apply for you in those categories
- See a summary over all cycles tracked and notice your patterns!
Simply write what day of your cycle you are on and then jot down a few sentences about how you felt emotionally, your energy levels etc.
Once you’ve done this over a couple of cycles, you’ll be able to flick back to see what was happening for you on the same cycle day in the past and notice patterns.
Combining your new understanding of the 4 phases with your personal patterns will allow you to both plan your self-care and understand why you’re feeling a certain way in the moment.
Practising Cycle Self Care is one of the best thing’s you can do for yourself as a woman and I can’t wait for you to see the difference it makes in your everyday life!
Don't forget that I work via video call with women from all over the world so if this is an area you'd really love to learn more about, make an appointment with me here.
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