Women usually have their period once a month, since they’ve been a teenager and until they start menopause. It is something super natural and still a lot of us don’t like talking about it. When we are bleeding we hope no one notices it and we often feel shame, when we go to the toilet with a period product. In this article I want you to understand that your menstrual cycle is nothing to be ashamed of, but probably one of the greatest gifts! If we understand how it works and how we can work with our body & mind during the different times of our cycle, there is so much power in it.

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1. Why I started to learn about the menstrual cycle

As I think a lot of women have similar difficulties, I want to shortly explain to you, how and why I started to learn more about the menstrual cycle.

PMS, my biggest enemy

Until I was 26 I never experienced PMS before and period pain has not been in my life for several years. But all of a sudden I started to have trouble with those symptoms again. My boyfriend had to go through a lot with me every time my period was about to come. I had very bad mood swings that made me believe I rather wanted to be single, than in a relationship. I started to doubt everything I had. It kind of felt like a teenager in puberty, who wants to have everything they don’t have.

Every month, after three days of not liking my life or even myself, I started bleeding. This brought relief to my feelings, but at the same time pain into my lower belly. I kept on living with PMS and period pain for a couple of months without even questioning it.

UNDERSTANDING The signs of my body

I remember, that after signing up for my yoga teacher training for women, I had to read a book about the menstrual cycle. And honestly, this has changed my life!

Reading this book I finally started to understand, that it can be totally normal to feel more tired than usual once a month, that mood swings were a sign of my body for fatigue and that the menstrual cycle is such a gift. Working with it, I started to accept my body and feelings more and more. I even started to be more understanding for myself. The best part was, that my symptoms started to disappear and that I developed so much more love for my own body.

As I also want you to understand how amazing your body is, you will find the most important information about your monthly cycle hereafter.

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2. How the menstrual cycle works

There are 4 phases, you might have already heard of. As they are very similar to the seasons throughout the year, let’s have a look at nature to then understand their individual powers. Unlike the seasons, a normal and healthy cycle can vary from 24 to 35 days. The days of the phases below are based on a 28-day cycle.

The 4 Phases

Winter (Menstrual Phase)

The cold has come and the snow starts to cover the ground. The air feels refreshing and so clear. For the moment nature has become quiet. Almost every flower has withdrawn itself for a couple of months, recharging energy, to show itself with all the beauty, when the days are finally getting warmer again.

Days of the Phase: 26- 5 (with day 1 being your first day of menstruation)

The power of winter:

  • silence and calmness
  • high sensitivity
  • deep connection to intuition
  • inspiration, vision and orientation for the next phase

How you get the most out of it:

  • turn your attention inwards
  • take time for yourself
  • if you feel tired, allow yourself to rest
  • spend more time with yourself than with others
  • do some soft, easy exercises

Especially in this phase it is super powerful to deeply connect with your inner world. If you accept that you don’t have as much energy as you have in the other phases and allow yourself to do whatever feels good, this makes such a huge difference.

Spring (Follicular Phase)

Spring is probably my favorite of all seasons. Days are getting longer, the sun is shining more often and birds start singing again. How beautiful, right? This is were the beauty of nature unfolds. After most of the flowers and leaves have been hiding, they are now starting to bloom and show themselves again.

Days of the Phase: 5-12

The power of spring:

  • energy is coming back
  • focus, motivation and positivity
  • curiosity and playfulness emerge

How you get the most out of it:

  • get out of your comfort zone and make new experiences
  • start new projects
  • get out there and meet up with others
  • do activating workouts

Although it can feel so good to „be back“, it is super important to find your balance. Don’t rush yourself or start with a thousand things at once. If you feel exhausted during fall, it can be the too rapid, enthusiastic transition from winter into spring.

Summer (Ovulatory Phase)

The sun is our best friend and everything around us is blooming. Nature is showing everything its got. The air is warm until late at night, kind of giving us a feeling of „nothing can stop us“. If we look around, not only nature is showing itself, but also the people. Streets and restaurants are filled, it’s hard to get a free spot on a lake and everybody seems to be filled with energy.

Days of the Phase: 12-19

The power of summer:

  • high point of energy
  • optimism
  • flow- experiences

How you get the most out of it:

  • get out there and meet up with your friends
  • best time for challenging workouts
  • perfect for important meetings
  • do exercises that challenge your discipline

In this phase you might feel like you can do anything. Please make sure to listen to your body and don’t go beyond your limits.

Fall (Luteal Phase) 

Leaves start to fall of the trees again, days are getting shorter and the air feels colder. It is such a beautiful time for long walks outside to enjoy all those different colors.Nature is starting to prepare itself for the cold winter. Some trees might hold on to their leaves longer than others, but after all they know when it’s time to let go.

Days of the Phase: 19-26

The power of fall:

  • creativity
  • reflection
  • letting go

How you get the most out of it:

  • easy, less activities
  • accepting and working with your feelings and emotions
  • selfcare such as massage and warm baths
  • be gentle to yourself

This is the phase most women have trouble with, as it can feel really challenging to accept that your energy is getting less and your body is telling you to slow down again. It is important to give your body a lot of love, care and attention.

3. Period Tracking

To really get the most out of your cycle you first need to know, in which phase you are. If your period comes very irregularly, this can seem a little bit challenging at the beginning. Therefore it is most helpful to keep track of your energy, feelings and periods. There are a lot of Apps or free sheets on the internet. Just pick whichever suits you best.

In my experience it is not necessary to track every detail on your cycle. Most important for me was to write down the times whenever I had more stress than usual, felt uncomfortable or had bad mood swings. This has helped me to finally understand that all the symptoms my body was sending me were not there to annoy me, but to tell me to slow down.

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4. Final thoughts

Now we have seen, that our cycle is very similar to the seasons in nature. Maybe you ask yourself, why this should be a gift. Wouldn’t it be better to always run around with a lot of energy, meeting up with friends all the time and not needing any rest?

For a couple of weeks, this would probably feel really great, but sooner or later, we would find ourselves burned out. We would be so caught up in life and the things we want to do that we wouldn’t even know what makes us happy anymore. Time for ourselves, to reflect on the things that are going on in our lives, is so important.

And this is exactly why our cycle is such a gift. It is our monthly reminder to take time for ourselves, to connect with our inner world and to give ourselves the space to really feel everything that wants to be felt. Our menstrual cycle helps us to invite more self love into our life. Reflecting the past month can help us to make changes the next one and therefore always make sure we’re still on the right path.

There will always be times, we may not feel comfortable tapping into our inner world, times we would like to just stay a little longer in our „summer“ phase and times we ignore the signs of our body. Try to be patient with yourself, try to listen to what you need and give yourself a lot of understanding.

If you want to be supported by understanding your menstrual cycle, when you feel stuck, I will be more than happy to be there for you in a single session or for a whole month. Just have a look at my 1:1 sessions by clicking HERE.

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