There’s power in appreciating the female body—everything she does. Through her, we can evolve, connect, work, play, dream, and bring life into this world. Our bodies are nothing short of magical. But it’s easy to take our physical being for granted. In turn, we get caught up in unhealthy behaviors: too much (or too little) exercise, inadequate rest, chronic stress, and under-nourishment. However, taking care of ourselves is paramount for everything from conception to longevity. And where does that begin? With the menstrual cycle. Like the seasons, you can treat your period as a guide for your life. Time to learn how to master your menstrual cycle.
What are the phases of the menstrual cycle?
As women, our bodies work similarly to the seasons. At certain times of the month, our energy rises and falls. We may feel more abundant (spring and summer). Other weeks, we may crave solitude (fall and winter). Just like the seasons, a woman’s menstrual cycle has four distinct phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal.
• MENSTRUAL: the start of your period
• FOLLICULAR: 7-10 days leading up to ovulation
• OVULATORY: 3-5 days of ovulation
• LUTEAL: 10-14 days before your period
Keep in mind that every woman’s cycle is different, and it is normal for lengths to vary. Your cycle may be longer or shorter than the phases listed above. If your cycle is absent or irregular, use my hormone balancing eBook to heal your hormones, naturally!
All about cycle syncing
When it comes to mastering your menstrual cycle, look no further than cycle syncing. Cycle syncing is a holistic approach to aligning daily activities and lifestyle choices with the natural hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. This practice involves recognizing and adapting to the distinct phases of the menstrual cycle—menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. By understanding the varying energy levels, moods, and physical changes during each phase, you can tailor your diet, exercise, and self-care routines to optimize overall well-being. This mindful synchronization aims to help you foster a deeper connection with your body. Download my guide to get started with cycle syncing!
How to Track your Menstrual Cycle
New to tracking your cycle? Ultimately, the aim is to choose a menstrual cycle tracker that aligns with your specific goals and lifestyle. For example, if you don’t want to take your body temperature every morning, consider a wearable device that records that for you!
Ava: Ava is a wearable fertility tracker that monitors multiple physiological parameters, including skin temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and more. It provides insights into the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and sleep quality. It also syncs with a mobile app for comprehensive tracking!
Tempdrop: Tempdrop is a wearable basal body temperature (BBT) sensor that tracks your temp throughout the night. In turn, providing accurate data for ovulation predictions. It’s designed to be worn only during sleep.
Femometer Vinca: The Femometer Vinca is a BBT thermometer that connects to a smartphone app. It provides personalized insights based on your temp readings, helping you track ovulation and fertility patterns.
OvuSense: OvuSense is an internal, clinical-grade fertility monitor that tracks core body temp. It claims to predict ovulation up to a day in advance! It’s very precise.
Daysy: Daysy is a hormone-free solution for managing your fertility, cycles, and health. Daysy calculates when you are fertile and when you are not. Every morning when you wake up, you measure your body temp under your tongue.
Mira: Mira measures hormone concentrations in your urine to predict ovulation and fertility windows. It’s known for its high accuracy!
the menstrual cycle, by seasons
To live in tandem with your menstrual cycle, consider each phase a different season.
You may feel more introverted while you’re on your period. Rest, recharge, and reconnect with yourself—set intentions for the month ahead. Nourish your body with healthy fats and iron-rich foods. Read. Gently move your body. Because your progesterone and estrogen levels are at their lowest, you might feel menstrual fatigue, experience light pain, or have other mild PMS symptoms.
As your period ends, you may begin feeling more energetic, inspired, and focused. Now is the time to socialize with friends, start a new project, and be intimate with your partner. Focus on fermented foods and raw carrots to metabolize estrogen. This is an optimal time to dedicate focused time to projects, reading and researching, learning, and performing physical tasks.
Feeling a surge in libido? This is completely normal! This is the best time to conceive (or take extra precaution in the bedroom). Collaborate, network, and try a new workout class. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods to support your liver. At your most fertile time, you’ll likely notice your cervical mucus is slippery and watery. During the summer phase, a woman’s energy is more expressive and outward. Some research suggests that ovulation is the best time to ask for what you want—whether that be from your partner, or asking for a raise at work.
As with fall’s harvest, now is the time to nourish your body with grounding foods. See here for foods to eat during this phase! The luteal phase will begin energetically, then wane. Begin this phase with an emphasis on strength training, then restorative exercise towards the end. As the fourth week in your cycle, you may notice yourself feeling more inward at this time. Nurture your creative insights, write poetry, draw, or come up with strategic ideas for your business.
heal your relationship with your body
Consider this: if we’ve come to associate a natural, beautiful and sacred aspect of our own being—our period—as frustrating, dirty, or something to hide, then what are we telling ourselves about our bodies? What are we telling ourselves about our worthiness as women? When we mend our relationship with our cycle, we mend our relationship with ourselves. We pave a healthier inner voice for our daughters and our sons about what it means to be a woman who bleeds.
When you understand your shifts in mood, wants, and needs, you are inevitably in more control of your life. Rather than feeling as though you’re being thrashed around by an emotional rollercoaster (hello, PMS!), your self-awareness navigates you through stormy water. An empowered woman’s journey involves learning to love her cycle rather—rather than deny its power.
The best Period books
Below are my top four books for menstrual cycle healing, creativity, and soul nourishment. These are all great reads for the inner-autumn, pre-menstrual time period.
This is all about discovering that your power lies in the rhythm of your menstrual cycle. Through this book, you’ll connect with your body on a deeper level. In turn, finding healing, balance, and wholeness.
If you’re new to understanding your period and how the rest of your lifestyle impacts your cycle, read this.
Transform your periods using all-natural solutions like diet, vitamins, and hormone-balancing nutrition. This is an all-encompassing period repair manual.
This is a phenomenal resource for women of all menstruating ages. As a double-certified Nutrition Consultant—who specializes in female hormonal health—I can honestly say this book is packed with well-researched and accurate information. By reading this, you’ll be surprised by how much we were never taught about the female body (and you’ll now be empowered to take care of it).
Get My Hormone balance ebook
Ready to take the next step in your hormone-healing journey? Grab your copy of Master Your Menstrual Cycle—my holistic guide to balancing your hormones with ease. Available for only $15!
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Wellness with Edie. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.