In my conversations with women, I’ve discovered that many women endure excessive physical discomfort during their menstrual cycle, sometimes at ovulation and very often during/before menstruation. As part of my Harmonious Hormones program, we examine the rhythm of our bodies over a monthly cycle and look at reasonable expectations for each part of the cycle, in particular during the moon-time/period.
In a spiritual sense, I was taught that the bleeding period is essentially a cleansing process, a letting go, a renewal. It is also a time when, so to speak, the veils are thin between the worlds - dreams are more potent and inspiration may be lurking below the surface, if we can just let go of our active minds and allow it to arise.
In theory a simple idea, but as we all know, -those who have found ourselves running from job to job or job to after-school activity to shop to meal making … it doesn’t always feel like a sacred time - more like a painful, exhausting inconvenience.
Any yet, what if we listened just a bit closer and learned to embrace, to dance with, to surrender to those natural rhythms?
In my journey with this body, over the years I’ve learned to avoid certain activities during my moon-time and to welcome and embrace others.
Of course, there times when great productivity is necessary at a time when I’d prefer to be curled under the duvet, sometimes this is unavoidable.
I’ve discovered that by listening to my body, allowing for the different stages of my cycle and making appropriate choices - the month will flow more smoothly.
If I don’t listen - if I overwork or overstress around my moon-time, I am more likely to become ill, exhausted or flip the lid at someone - most likely my children or husband.
In fact, the entire month can be influenced by how I handle those precious, vulnerable, tender days.
Here are some things I’ve learned to avoid as much as possible during my moon-time/period:
Reading or listening to current affairs/heavy news stories or researching any political media (risk of overwhelm)
Going on social media - especially group discussions with opinions flying around (risk of overwhelm, comparing self to others)
Undertaking extra study/research for work (risk of brain fag)
Doing accounts, or making financial/business plans – (mentally & emotionally challenging)
Any very vigorous exercise (ugh!)
Visiting crowded busy places – (my introvert self can’t handle it)
Drinking a lot of alcohol – (I’ve less tolerance & it lowers my immunity significantly)
Eating crap junk food. (It’s okay for one meal but good sustenance is important to keep energy levels and immunity up.)
Here are some things I find nourishing and helpful to do during this time:
Simplify the work! Do the basics that must be done, or that I am inspired to do and let the rest go.
Befriend my inner introvert - go inwards- meditate, pray, journal, write, reflect, dream – this is the time for reflecting and dreaming, let yourself go with it.
Rest! - Either sleep late, go to bed early or make time to lie down on your back for 20 minutes in the early evening with a ‘headspace’/’insight timer’ meditation/yoga nidra. (Heaven.)
Take a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils like lavender/geranium (the pleasure of completely unwinding, letting go)
Spend time in nature -mother nature is comforting and forgiving
Do some gentle exercise/movement like relaxed swimming or gentle yoga
Drink plenty of water
Eat regularly and eat nourishing foods – plenty of vitamin c, plenty of greens, good protein.
Eat dark chocolate – (not for everyone but I am one of those who love it)
Read relaxing, un-taxing books, poetry or watch cheesy Netflix shows
Our bodies are not machines; they follow a rhythm, a pace that cycles like the moon. We can be full of energy, extrovert, dynamic as a full moon and we can be introverted, quiet and gentle as a dark moon. Each phase compliments the next.
But if we expect our bodies to have the same energy, dynamism and passion every day, every month, every year - we may put enormous, unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
I’m not suggesting that our minds are making up the pain or discomfort or that by following these suggestions alone, all will be resolved. There are many cases where deeper, more specific treatment is necessary.
However - tuning in to your body and listening to what is required at any given stage, following the rhythm of each cycle can cultivate greater self-compassion, kindness and appreciation. When we develop realistic expectations, it can lead to a more insightful and more harmonious cycle.
Be kind to yourself,
If you would like more information about how I work, contact me at email@example.com
Thanks to Drew Tilk on Unsplash for image