As women we are cyclic.
Like the externally changing seasons, we have our own inner rhythm. We experience times of high energy, times of high inspiration or motivation and also times of waning energy where we may feel like retreating from the external world a little.
These changes in energy and in the way we feel like interacting with others and with the external world are not necessarily signs of being inconsistent or of not being able to follow through or of being somehow inadequate because you can’t maintain the same energy levels all of the time. These fluctuations are actually part of your innate cyclic nature.
Contrary to the way society runs, we as women are not linear (men’s hormones aren’t necessarily linear either, but their hormones don’t cycle in the same way that women’s do).
Your hormones, which follow roughly a 28- 30 day cycle (this is an average only and can vary from woman to woman) influence more than just your reproductive organs!
Whilst for many women hormonal swings and period problems can leave them feeling out of control or of being at the mercy of their hormones, your hormones are actually working for you, not against you!
There are many things which can disrupt the balance of your hormones resulting in symptoms such as period pain mood swings, headaches and fatigue. But it is important to also acknowledge that even when your hormones are in balance your energy levels and your inner world and the way you see and approach the outer world in your daily life will naturally change throughout your cycle. These changes are a natural flow on from the hormonal fluctuations of a healthy menstrual cycle and are not necessarily something to be controlled or overridden -even though we can feel like it would make life easier if we just had consistently high energy levels!
Each of us, regardless of gender has both masculine and feminine energies and qualities, just as both genders produce both male and female reproductive hormones.
Throughout the month, a complex interplay of each of these hormones influences not only the physical changes taking place in your body to support your fertility through ovulation and preparation for a possible pregnancy, but these hormones also influence many other aspects of your body including your brain function and your neurotransmitters. Your emotions, your perspective and how you see and interact with others and the world will also be influenced.
As your hormones rise and fall throughout your cycle there will be times where you naturally feel more energetic, alert, confident or assertive where you thrive on structure and in taking actions which take you towards your goals and then times where you feel more emotionally sensitive and inwardly focused.
This a natural physiological process and not a sign that there is something wrong with you or that you need to be more disciplined or exercise more willpower to get things done!
Earlier in your cycle when your masculine energy is going to be higher due to rising testosterone levels, along with increasing oestrogen, you might feel energised by getting up early for a high intensity gym session each day before work. Later in your cycle as you approach your period and your hormones are dropping you find that it feels like a real struggle to keep this up. This isn’t because you lack commitment or you’re self-sabotaging yourself as so many women berate themselves about! As you move towards the end of your cycle which will culminate in your period, your hormones are at an all time low, which will mean that your energy will be a little lower and you will tend to be a little more inwardly focused- and this is not a bad thing! You might find that a walk or a yoga session feels better for you during this time.
Just as we need each of the seasons- Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and the qualities which they bring, we also benefit from the changes which occur throughout our own internal seasons or cycles. The slower, more contemplative more inwardly focused phase at the end of your cycle ideally allows you the opportunity to focus within, regroup, re-evaluate and restore yourself before once again moving into the more active, action, externally orientated phase of your next monthly cycle.
There is still so much taboo around menstruation and the discomforts which many women have come to accept as as ‘just a normal part of being a woman’ which are actually signs of hormonal imbalance lead many women to dread their period and their cyclic changes.
This is further influenced by the pressure both external and internal that many women feel to be productive and on top of things at all times. The lower energy of the bleeding phase (Winter) can be a real challenge for many women because it does feel harder to keep pushing to stay on top of everything in the same way as at other times of the month.
Historically, women would retreat from domestic and other duties at this time of the month where they would gather with other women who were also in this phase of their cycle. Women tended to be cycling together and bleeding with either the full or the new moon because of the lunar influence on the hormonal cycle. This phase wasn’t dreaded or laden with shame or embarrassment it was recognised and honoured by both women and men and seen as the time where women were most able to be in touch with their inner wisdom which was of benefit not only to her but to the community at large.
A far cry from today where women expressing their true feelings at this time are often dismissed with “what’s wrong with you have you got your period or something?”
Obviously with the way our lives run now, it’s not always going to be realistic to retreat at this time each month. But a start would be to recognise and honour your need to go a little slower and be more gentle with yourself at this time. Schedule less, and go to bed a little earlier and modify your exercise if you need to.
If your cycle is regular and you’re tracking it, as part of your self care, get in to the habit of marking out that week ahead of time so that you don’t over commit yourself and then feel stressed or overwhelmed because you’re trying to do too much and pushing against your natural energy flow.
I will share more about the four phases of the menstrual cycle in another blog but for now my suggestion is to start with tracking your cycle and to begin to notice how you feel in each of the different phases physically, mentally and emotionally.
The first day of your period is day one of your cycle. The bleeding phase can be likened to Winter and goes from day 1 until around day 7.
The second phase is the pre-ovulation phase (Spring) from a 7 until ovulation around day 14. The third phase is day 14-21 (Summer) and then day 21- 28 for many women the dreaded premenstrual phase (Autumn).
As you track your cycle, begin to notice how your energy levels naturally change throughout the month and notice when it feels easier to be more social or active and when you also feel like doing less and are more inwardly focused.
Overtime this will allow you to capitalise on and flow with your cycle rather than feel like it is a hindrance or is working against you.
Want help to naturally support your hormone balance and experience greater ease with your cycle? Book your initial consultation here:
Or read about my 6 session hormonal balance program here: