We're heading into a new decade and this may have you thinking about trying new things, or changing up your lifestyle. This does not only have to entail a new 10-step skincare routine - although we love finding those too ;). Whether or not you're into making big resolutions each year, this is one you may want to consider. Most people think to improve their lifestyles by working out more, eating healthy, and maybe starting a new hobby. These are all great ideas that will set you up for success, but what if there was something you could do that could make those choices even MORE powerful? Hint: it comes monthly and is not blue.
Yes, your PERIOD!
We all know that our periods bring about hormonal changes that affect our moods, our appetites, our complexion, energy levels and so much more. Even those of us who aren't very in tune with our bodies can certainly feel the changes, but maybe don't make the connection to the hormonal changes occurring. It is super common, so you're not alone! When we learn about the changes happening to our bodies, not much of that is in relation to how those changes will affect other parts of your life. Hopefully we can change that!
First thing's first - you'll need to find a tracking method that you love. Many use mobile apps like Flo or Clue which are super intuitive and easy to use, while many others still love using a classic traditional calendar. Whichever works for you!
Next step is to learn about each phase of your cycle and how to utilize each phase. One of our favorite places to learn everything there is to know about menstrual cycles and the female anatomy is in the Bright Girl Health Guide by Demi Spaccavento. This is such an awesome resource for new and old menstruators! We cannot sing its praises enough.
THE MENSTRUAL PHASE
Your cycle begins with your period, or the bleeding phase which lasts anywhere from 4-7 days. Since bloating is usually associated with this phase, avoid consuming too much salt or alcohol during this time, plan your night out for a different time! This is the time when you'll feel the most cramping and physical symptoms of your period. You may also get more food cravings, have less energy and be more withdrawn. This is all ok! Your body is doing important work to stay healthy. Instead, channel the bad feelings into something productive! Even though you may be feeling low, this is actually a great time to focus on organizing. This could be in your home or at work. Think about it, your body is purging its menstrual lining, so channel that and put it to use. At home you could finally go through your closet and donate the clothes you never wear, or organize your linen closet, your pantry - the list is endless! At work, you could organize and clean your desk, go through files that have been saved in weird places, or even come up with a new organization process. Doing this will in turn help your mood because it feels great to get stuff done! Win-win.
THE FOLLICULAR PHASE
This is a fun time! The Follicular Phase directly follows the bleeding phase and lasts until you ovulate. During this phase you'll feel much more energetic, focused, have fewer cravings, and more emotional stability. This is a great time to fill up your social calendar, try that new restaurant you've been eyeing, or hit the gym hard and set your personal best records. At work, if you can have flexibility with your time, schedule big meetings, project presentations, or interviews. You're more brave and curious during this time, so take advantage of it!
THE OVULATION PHASE
This is probably the time during your cycle when you feel cute, flirty, and outgoing! You feel the most communicative, and forthcoming. This is a great time to make big moves like asking for a promotion, asking someone out on a date, moving, or other large life decisions. Biologically speaking, this is when you're flaunting your feathers to attract romantic attention. It is also the time when you are most fertile, so make sure you are prepared accordingly!
THE LUTEAL PHASE
This phase is what then leads back to your menstrual phase and occurs about 2 weeks before you bleed again. This is where the ever-famous PMS symptoms come from! You may be a bit more hot and cold, and your moods may swing a bit more. You'll have a bit less energy and feel symptoms like headaches and tiredness. Try to keep your schedule light and manageable, give yourself time to rest, and be patient with yourself and others. Since you may get frustrated more easily, try not to go too hard at the gym, or tackle a big project.
YOU'VE GOT THIS
These are just a few suggestions that you may not have known about - there are loads of other things you could try to make sure you can continue to be your best self in 2020! Keeping these things in mind as you set your goals for the new year will hopefully make you feel like you can conquer the world! (Because you totally can!!)