In a recent group coaching programme I attended with Imogen Roy, we talked about the menstrual cycle. Particularly how we can feel very different depending on which stage of our cycle we’re in.
Most of us know we feel different coming up to or during our period but often, that’s about it. We don’t dig deeper.
If, like me, you want to understand WHY you feel different depending on the time of the month you’re in, you’re guilty of ignoring your body’s signals and powering through when all you wanted was to crash on the couch…
Then this post is for you.
The 4 phases of your menstrual cycle and why they matter
Your menstrual cycle is punctuated with 4 different phases where you may experience: pre-period emotions on overdrive, seasons of amazing creativity and outward-going energy on steroids, and periods of contraction where we pretty much want to be left alone.
Let’s dive into the specifics of each phase.
WINTER PHASE – Days 1-6
The winter phase is when your period arrives, your hormones drop to their lowest levels, and fatigue and emotional vulnerability set in. You probably feel like pulling away from the world, and you may even feel a “fertile void”.
- Difficulty to concentrate or engage during this phase.
- You may also experience pain and cramps.
- You might have a tendency to numb your feelings and carry on because of guilt or societal pressure.
- Or, it could show up as not resting enough and putting yourself “out there” too early because you think you feel fine.
Let’s see what the opportunities are
Self care is key in the winter phase, how you care for yourself here will likely set the tone for the rest of your cycle.
- Take the time to retreat and rest, and tone down your exercise routine.
- Don’t hesitate to ask and receive help and support during this time.
- Trust your intuition, it tends to be particularly high during this phase.
- Now is a great time to tune in to your inner wisdom and get clarity.
SPRING PHASE – Days 7-12
This is the phase right after your period ends. Your energy is probably on the rise, and you may be feeling more curious, hopeful and may even make a fresh start. You’ll also likely feel more playful and optimistic.
- Explore the new ideas that are budding, try a new routine or new habits.
- Experiment and embrace imperfection (done is better than perfect as they say).
- Use this time to spend in high energy activities and socialising.
- As for your exercise routine, this could be a good time to try some more intensive cardio exercise because this is when you have the highest endurance.
- Don’t become a yes-woman too soon.
- You may struggle to find focus and get serious about all the ideas you may be generating in this phase.
SUMMER PHASE – Days 12-18
Hello Superwoman! During summer, your magnetism is tuned up to the max and you feel unstoppable (meaning you can do more with less effort). Your resilience is also likely at an all time high and your testosterone levels are peaking, meaning you have more confidence, enjoy more risk-taking and more action.
This is the time to show yourself to the world as your communication and presentation are especially powerful.
- The thing with putting yourself out there is that you may also feel visibility fear creep in (hello imposter syndrome).
- You may also be buzzing and need to manage that energy accordingly. The down side could be experiencing some angst against “wasting’ this energy.
- And finally, don’t fall into the productivity trap and feel like you need to stay in summer forever! Remember, seasons come and go and you can’t fall behind in a cycle.
- Summer is THE time to get cracking on the hard stuff. Take action on your insights, use your voice, put in the hours, make big moves.
- Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, date and flirt (if that’s what you want), get your photos taken, schedule in pleasure and fun and get ahead before autumn and winter roll round.
AUTUMN PHASE – Days 19-28
In the autumn phase of your cycle you’ll probably feel your energy winding down, and you’ll start withdrawing into yourself. Nagging negative thoughts may crop up here and you may be extra sensitive to criticism. You may also find yourself being reactive rather than responsive and your libido may be low during this time.
- Did you overload your schedule during endless summer and now you need to deal with the aftermath as you crash into menstruation? Don’t do it again.
- You may experience destructive tendencies or thoughts and feel like things are unraveling around you (or within). Finally, you may feel tired and withdrawn as you navigate relationships and social obligations.
It’s not all doom and gloom though!
- Use autumn to let your inner Self speak her truth and really listen. Get curious about what isn’t working in your life. Think about productivity differently : work smarter, not harder.
- Take this time to make decisions, edit and organise your life and projects and tidy up any loose ends. Perhaps most importantly, slow down.
Thriving throughout your menstrual cycle
So there you have it, the four different phases that make up your menstrual cycle. Now that you know them and the specific challenges and opportunities each one carries, I hope you will feel a little more empowered about your cycle.
Tell me, will you consider using this newfound knowledge to help guide your life? Do you have any cycle related questions, stories or experiences you want to share? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments below.
PS: please note days are approximative and are based on a 28 day cycle. Some of us have longer and some shorter cycles. Always listen to your body.
Are you done surviving? Ready to thrive in life? Want to revolutionise your productivity all whilst banishing burnout? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, I recommend you check out Imogen’s Align and Flow course.
I am not getting paid to write this by the way 🙂 I genuinely love Imogen’s work and have taken one of her 1:1 coaching programmes and attended some of her other events and workshops.
If you have any questions leave me a comment below or contact me via the contact page.
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