It wasn’t until about a year ago did I really start to connect with my internal cycle. I had never tracked my cycle before in my life and to be honest had always thought of my period as being a massive inconvenience. I was on the contraceptive pill at the age of fourteen to help with acne but continued to take it as a form of contraception until the age of 27 when I decided to have a baby. I would skip the menstruation pills and therefore skip my period almost every month. Even when I did get my period they were very inconsistent. Even when I did get my period back 9 months after pregnancy the first time and four months after the second child, I was so disconnected to this innate and natural part of me up until now. It only took 32 years!
Up until recently, I have always been one to ‘push through’ and keep working regardless of how my body felt. I felt lazy if I took time off and needed to always be ‘productive’. I even saw a Facebook ‘memory’ pop up the other day and it said “Sick as a dog with tissues stuck up my nose but have the laptop out and charging on”. I look at that now and want to slap that girl for not looking after herself. My mindset when it comes to rest and self care has done a 180 as I now feel like a self care junkie! Now when I get my period, I don’t resent it or spend energy wishing it were gone. Instead I honour it and honour my body. I prepare myself for what my body is about to go through and adjust accordingly.
‘I felt lazy if I took time off and needed to always be ‘productive’.
The first step of honouring your body during this time is getting to know your cycle and it is as easy as noting it down in a journal or diary. Your first bleed is day one of your cycle. This can be as far as you go, noting down when you get your period then you have an average cycle length and can estimate when you will have your next period. You can go into more detail which makes it more interesting and you can really start tapping into and owning that feminine energy, check in with yourself and increase self care practises, surrendering to what is as well as getting to know yourself on a deeper level.
In your diary or journal, or just asking yourself out loud you can start to answer the following questions daily to gain more insight into your cycle –
• How am I feeling physically?
What are my energy levels like? Am I holding tension in my body, if so where? Did I have a restful night’s sleep? Did I have any notable dreams? What is my appetite like? Am I experiencing symptoms such as cramps, bloating, tender breasts or breakouts? Am I craving particular foods? What kind of movement feels good in my body?
• How am I feeling emotionally?
What emotions am I experiencing today? Am I expressing my emotions openly or am I suppressing them? Am I craving alone time or to be social? Am I easily overwhelmed or do I feel capable? Are my emotions stable or are they feeling unstable? Am I grounded or do I feel scattered? Is there anywhere in my body that feels these emotions?
• How am I feeling mentally?
Am I feeling positive or negative? Do I feel more creative or logical? Do I feel supported? Am I feeling productive or distracted? Do I feel motivated? Am I experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety? How are my stress levels on a scale of 1-10?
• How am I feeling spiritually?
Do I feel anchored within myself? Do I feel deeply connected to something bigger than myself? Am I needing time in mother nature? Is meditation coming easy or is it hard to settle? Am I feeling a sense of disconnection from myself or others or source/universe/devine? Is my intuition strong and easy to access? What is my soul asking for today?
Taking the time to journal can give you insight into how your body is feeling at any phase in your cycle. You can then begin to design your life around when you are feeling low and fatigued as opposed to when you are feeling sexy and adventurous. You can also schedule out time for self care at the start of your cycle.
Only empowerment comes from insight.