Nurture your body and mind through every phase of your menstrual cycle
By tracking your menstrual cycle and being aware of what your body’s going through during each phase, you can empower yourself to really care and nurture your mind and body with some quality period self-care.
It all starts with menstruation
Getting your period marks the start of phase 1 of your menstrual cycle. This phase lasts around 1-7 days. During this time, you might struggle with cramps, low energy levels, and possibly nausea. Your body’s going through a cleanse, which makes this the perfect time to treat yourself and prioritise your period self-care.
- Treat yourself to a relaxing facial, foot massage, or manicure.
- Enjoy a soak in a deliciously warm, oil-infused bath. Lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint oils all help with inflammation. Clary sage can help soothe cramps.
- Drink warm herbal teas and eat more proteins, dark chocolate (yes!), and green vegetables (think kale, broccoli, spinach, and the like).
- Check in with yourself regularly and make sure you’re taking notice of what you need. More love? Extra downtime? Naps? Prioritise you – you deserve it!
Let’s get follicular
Phase 2 is the follicular phase and is when your body’s preparing to ovulate. You’ll feel much more energised, your skin might be looking better, and any bloating you experienced during your period has probably disappeared.
- Start a new creative project – your energy levels are up, and you’ll be feeling more inspired!
- Work up a sweat – get to the gym, try a new sport, or get out in nature and go for a refreshing hike.
- Lock in a night out (or in!) with your friends – fill your cup with fun and laughter.
- Make sure you don’t overdo it though – piling too much onto your plate can lead to anxiety, so keep checking in with yourself to stay in touch with what you need.
Ovulation… egg-citing times!
Ovulation happens about 2 weeks before your next period’s due to start, and is usually accompanied by a boost in confidence and libido. This is when you’re at your most fertile, so whether you’re planning for pregnancy or trying to avoid it, it’s important to be aware of what’s happening at this stage.
- Dial up the romance – your relationship status is 100% unimportant here because we’re focusing on you! Light those scented candles, dress in the clothes that make you feel your best, and be the best dang date you’ve ever had.
- While you’re feeling more confident, try a new hobby or do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t quite had the courage.
- Increase your intake of salads, vegetables, and lean white meats. Your body will thrive on these during this phase of your menstrual cycle.
- If you’re wanting to push yourself physically, now’s the time to do it. During ovulation you’ll feel more energetic, so take advantage of that extra endurance.
The luteal phase
Phase 4 is the luteal phase – the time between ovulation and when your next period starts. If you’re not pregnant, your energy levels will start to decline, you may experience some hormonal effects, including skin breakouts, breast tenderness, and fatigue, and PMS will start impacting your mood.
- Embrace your own company and start minimising your social commitments. With your lower levels of energy during this phase, you’ll appreciate the downtime.
- Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Your body’s doing a lot, so you’ll need your rest.
- Increase your intake of magnesium and iron. Add things like avocados, dark chocolate, nuts and legumes, shellfish, and spinach to your shopping list.
- Get rid of the word ‘should’ and listen to what your body needs – now’s a great time to level up the self-love.
You do you boo
Remember – everyone and every body is different. Your cycle may look exactly like this, or you may experience things differently. Be mindful of where you’re at in your cycle and what that looks like for you, and check in regularly with what you need.