Seasons & Your Menstrual Cycle
Have you ever thought that as a woman, you may have lost touch with your most feminine side? By this, I mean the sacredness we associate with our menstrual cycle.
Menstruation is often looked upon as a burden and that we, as women, are unlucky to have to go through this monthly cycle as part of our life. This should not be the case, however. The menstruation cycle is such an integral part of being a woman. It’s what makes us distinct as females and humanity wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this part of our anatomy.
For Everything, There’s a Season
The menstrual cycle doesn’t just base itself on the week of bleeding but rather on an entire four-week cycle that recurs throughout a woman’s reproductive years. The best way to gain a new understanding and respect for the menstrual cycle is by associating it with the seasons of the year. When we label each week of our cycle with a corresponding season, it allows us to connect to our femininity on a deeper level so we can be more in touch with our body. As a result, we are able to see our menstrual cycle more like a gift rather than a burden.
We should really view menstruation in this light – this part of our femininity contains pearls of wisdom which allow for a deeper insight into how powerful we really are as women.
I am so passionate about self-love and I think respecting and appreciating our cycle is one of the biggest self-love practices we could ever partake in.
Self-love is about accepting and loving everything about us, including the yin and the yang sides of our being. Every single month, our menstrual cycle gives us an incredible opportunity to connect to our body on a deeper level and practice acceptance and self-love.
WINTER: Day 1-6
Day 1 to 6 of our monthly cycle is referred to as the WINTER phase. This is also the stage when we experience our menstrual bleed. Some words to associate with this season include ‘darkness’, ‘stillness’, ‘empty’ and ‘release’.
Our hormones are at their lowest as bleeding begins in the winter phase. As the first week progresses, our oestrogen levels begin to rise. Appetite may be low at this time of the month, so I encourage you to treat yourself like you would in the real season of winter. Eat warming and nourishing foods – slow cooked meals are the best. Also, include a bit of dark chocolate as a treat! Dark chocolate helps alleviate cramps and contains endorphins which can elevate your mood.
We always want to move our body, but it’s best to focus on minimal or gentle movement during the winter phase. Gentle yoga and walking are highly recommended. On a spiritual level, you’ll notice that meditation enables you to connect with your body on a deeper level during this stage of your cycle. It’s a great time for journaling and gaining a real connection with your intuition.
Winter is really a good time to press the ‘pause’ button and seek guidance from within. Social life in this week of your cycle should be quiet; it is a time to pull back, say no and give some energy to yourself rather than others. Some other beautiful practices which I encourage you to engage in during the winter phase are painting, writing, creating vision boards and most importantly, resting and taking naps wherever possible.
SPRING: Day 7-13
Day 7 to 13 of the cycle aligns with the season of SPRING. This is the pre-ovulation stage of the menstrual cycle. Some words to associate with this phase are ‘fresh’, ‘virginal’, ‘young’ and ‘renewed’.
When it comes to hormone levels, oestrogen is on the rise while progesterone remains low but is slightly in an upward trend. Testosterone levels also build up as you approach ovulation. Nutritionally, it’s the best time of the month to consume whole, healthy plant foods to feed all of that renewed energy after your winter hibernation.
Energy levels are on the rise during this phase and you’ll find that your body feels light and euphoric. It is a great time of the month to plan social gatherings, holidays and important events. You have lots of fresh energy and you’ll be more open and responsive to spontaneity and adventure.
You’ll also notice a general increase in the desire to be with people and connect with them. If you work or run a business, the spring phase is a great time for taking action and starting big projects as you’re able to tap into some masculine energy in this week of your cycle. A lot of women also seek this week as a time for cleaning the house and creating space for light and freshness. It’s a great time for planting healthy seeds for the rest of your cycle.
SUMMER: Day 14-20
Day 14 to 20 of the menstrual cycle corresponds with the SUMMER season. This is the stage of ovulation. Some words you can associate with this season are ‘full’, ‘nurture’, ‘life’, ‘light’ and ‘create’.
Hormone activity this week is particularly high as you experience peaks in oestrogen and testosterone levels as well as a surge of progesterone. This is the time of the month when women usually crave really salty foods and experience great digestive capacity. The summer phase is when you can exercise the most as you feel stronger and more resilient than any other stage of the cycle.
As this is a very fertile time of the month, most women end up spending more money on others and are especially romantic with their partners. They also find the need to nurture important relationships in their lives. Libido peaks during this phase of the cycle and there’s heightened external sexual energy. Of course, we want to make love when we are most fertile, right?! Again, this is a good time to connect with friends or call distant family members for a nice chat. To sum up, it’s a great time for strengthening connections in all aspects of your life.
AUTUMN: Day 21-28
Day 21 to 28 of the menstrual cycle is associated with the AUTUMN season. This premenstrual stage is often referred to as the ‘Wild Woman’ phase of the cycle as some women feel more agitated while others may actually experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Word associations with this season include ‘rich’, ‘earthy’, ‘wise’, ‘real’ and ‘reflection’.
In the hormonal sense, oestrogen and progesterone levels plunge at this time – that is, IF the egg is not fertilised. Women usually experience an increase in appetite and crave for carb-rich and sweet foods to fill them up in preparation for hibernation in the ‘winter week’ that follows.
Autumn is a time in your cycle when it’s more important to be wary of your alcohol and sugar intake. Exercise is equally important as it can assist with any premenstrual symptoms. On the spiritual end, it’s a great time to reconnect with nature and begin to turn inwards. Some find that the inner critic raises her head in this week, so try your best to let go of any negative concepts and emotions at this time.
Great relaxation practices to incorporate in autumn are warm baths, movies and massages. Women are no longer fertile in the autumn stage, so I encourage you to partake in sexual intercourse to alleviate any PMS symptoms. Declutter your home, create space and focus on letting go, all in preparation for your winter phase.
I hope this detailed seasonal association will allow you to have a more conscious understanding of the true meaning of your menstrual cycle. I encourage you to incorporate this awareness and apply the principles I’ve shared as you go through each day of your cycle. You truly deserve to feel your best self no matter what phase or ‘season’ you’re in!