How to align your life with your menstrual cycle

Every woman has this unique gift. The ability to bring children into this world. If you are experiencing a lot of symptoms during your menstrual cycle, this gift becomes more like the worst present ever given. How can you align your life with your cycle in such a way that you thrive and be symptom free?

Have a healthy menstruation is not always a given. My PCOS was diagnosed because I didn’t had a period for 1,5 years after I stopped taking birth control. And taking birth control only masked a real menstruation. Long story short, I had no idea if my body was capable of having a ‘normal’ menstrual cycle.

What does your menstrual cycle look like?

Fase 1 – Menstruation fase: this is the most obvious fase of your cycle, your bleed. In this fase the unfertilized egg and uterine lining will be pushed off by your body, because it isn’t usefull anymore, causing you to bleed. This will last about the first 5 days of your cycle.
Fase 2Follicular fase: as the name says, the follicels will ripe in your ovary and this will lead to more oestrogene in your body. Usually you feel better about yourself in this fase. This fase is usually day 6 to 10.
Fase 3 – Ovulation fase: your body gets ready to procreate and will lead to an ovulation (ideally on day 14). Your testosteron will rise and naturally you feel like having more sex and you feel on top of the world. This fase is day 11 to 14.
Fase 4 – Luteal fase: this fase is the longest one and will last from day 15 to 28, until you get your period. In this fase you progesteron will be higher because this hormone will make sure that a follicel can implant itself in the uterus.

Rhytymn is a dancer

Hopefully with the explaination above, you begin to understand that our hormones will change during our cycle, depending on what it needs to do in our bodies. And because they are dancing around, it has a really big impact on our day to day life as well. That is why sometimes you feel like you are on top of the world and sometimes you feel like you can’t even come out of your bed in the morning. Why you can sleep so good sometimes and sometimes you are awake the whole night. Why you sometimes can run a marathon (or at least 5k) and sometimes the only thing you can do is a walk. If you can learn more about your body, your cycle and align with it, you make your life even better, feeling good about yourself and reduce symptoms that are a result of imbalanced hormones.

Symptoms related to your menstrual cycle

A lot of symptoms are directly a consequence of imbalanced hormones and a cycle that makes your life more miserable. If you can relate to the symptoms down below or you have a disruptive cycle or just want to have a life that flows more for you (yes pun intended), making small changes to your lifestyle that are more aligned with your cycle and natural rhytym can make a huge difference, let me tell you!

  • Painful menstruation
  • No energy
  • Bloating
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Moodswings
  • Cravings
  • Acne/bad skin
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain/not able to lose weight
  • Disrupted metabolism
  • Problems with sleep
  • No energy to do anything, being social

How and what can you do?

Menstrual Fase
– Focus on evaluating and reflection your projects
– Listen to your body and choose light exercise like walking and yin yoga
– Eat foods with more iron and zinc, like seafood and kelp

Follicular Fase
– Focus on brainstorming, planning and starting creative projects
– Try a new workout and focus on more cardio
– Eat more fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha and yogurt

Ovulation Fase
– Focus on communication and collaborating and social activities
– HIIT worksout are your best option!
– Eat more raw veggies, dig in the salads!

Luteal Fase
– The perfect fase to tick of the boxes of all your projects you want to complete
– Do more strength exercise
– Eat more root veggies like carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin

Balancing your cycle

By adjusting your work load and energy, eating foods that work together with your hormones, and doing the different kinds of exercise that don’t cause extra stress, will help you to reduce your symptoms by a lot! If you want to learn more about what your hormones actually do and what impact they have on your body and life, I have 2 book recommendations that really help you to feel better and understand how you can balance your cycle and hormones yourself.

For our fellow Dutchies, there is Jouw Persoonlijke Cyclusplanner by Vivian Reijs
For everyone: In the FLO by Alisa Vitti

These books really helped me to understand my body better and by focusing on certain foods and exercise at a certain cycle, I keep my life diverse, interesting and I eat plenty of various meals. I know exactly know in which fase I am with just tuning in with my body (it’s actually pretty funny when I do check it in my calendar and see how accurate it is haha) and I also understand better where my symptoms are coming from and what I can do about it.

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