This month is all about hormonal health. In the first post, we talked about hormones and hormonal health. Last week, we covered everything in order for you to understand your female cycle. This week, I want you to feel empowered to put this knowledge into practice. There is something truly magical about working with rather than against your cycle and adjusting your cycle for hormonal health. This knowledge was completely new to me until a few months ago. But it has, sincerely, transformed my life for the better.
Knowing and understanding your cycle is power. What happens when is a key component. How you can work with your hormones at any given time in order to be your best version, feel relaxed, balanced, and completely in sync with your body takes this knowledge to a whole new level! Let’s dive in.
Adjusting Your Cycle For Hormonal Health
As I said above, this knowledge was completely new to me. I am not sure why it is not talked about more often. But it is about darn time!! If you think about it – you have a day-to-day 24 hour circadian rhythm. You wake up, you might feel a bit grumpy or not fully rested. Then you get more awake and by lunchtime you might feel quite sociable. Then you get more work done during the later part of the afternoon, before you get tired again and then going to bed. Those are kind of your 4 seasons in a day.
Now, the female cycle also has four seasons, it is just that they are a bit longer than your day. First, oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest when you are having your period. This then slowly builds until you reach ovulation. Then your hormone tends to dip until you reach another period again.
Think of Your Cycle as the Four Seasons of a Year
There is a framework that was developed by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer. They came up with the idea to think about our cycle as the four seasons of a year. Whereas for every person the exact timing of these phases is slightly different, it is still a great guideline that can totally support you. In order to understand your own unique rhythm, though, you have to track your cycle and listen to your body and how you are feeling.
This is usually a few days before your period and the time around your period. Your hormone levels are really low during this time. Just like in winter, we may feel a bit more tired, and vulnerable. Because of our low hormones we are also more susceptible to mental health challenges. During this period of time it is important to give your body plenty of rest, sleep, nourishment in form of cozy, earthy foods and spices. When it comes to exercising, do not overexert yourself. During this time period it makes sense to stick with gentle yoga exercises, walking, and nothing that makes your body even more tired. You may also feel less sociable during this time and want to huddle up at home. Listen to those feelings and provide your body with the rest it deserves.
Once your period is done your estrogen levels are increasing until you peak around ovulation. This is your spring time. In spring, everything is exciting and new. Your energy is gradually improving. Your memory is on point and you feel like everything is awakening. From a nutritional point of view – think everything “spring” – so loads of fresh veggies and fruits that match your inner balance. Now is also a great time to plan out tasks (kind of like a “spring clean”). Exercise should be fun, engaging, and you can definitely push and challenge yourself more during this first half of the cycle.
When oestrogen and testosterone are at its highest, this is your summer (or peak time). You will likely feel very sexy around this time. It is the time to procreate (from a body perspective) so you feel sociable, good, and ready to mingle (literally). You will also have loads of energy, even if you are not sleeping super well. As it is also in summer, we are less interested in food and we can sustain on slightly less food (think: When it is super hot we also do not tend to be super hungry).
This is the time Post-ovulation and before you are heading into winter again. Rising progesterone levels usually mean that you sleep your absolute best and most restful. So use this time to get in plenty of zzz’s. It might make sense to go a bit earlier to bed during this time as well. From an immunity perspective, we typically tend to be a little bit more susceptible to sickness. There is also an urge to get things done, boggle down and focus on completing tasks. Exercises should be focused on strength training, and again stopping to excert yourself. Try to avoid high intensity training and, e.g. sprinting. Foods should become more earthy and grounding again.
The Takeaway From This Post
This post is just a tip of the iceberg in terms of the female potential and how to ensure that we are using our cycle to our advantage! Once you know, understand and support your cycle in these specific ways, you will feel an ultimate shift and a true balancing of your hormones. If you want to learn more, I strongly recommend Alissa Vitti’s book “In the Flo” or Maisie Hill’s “Period Power”. Beautiful cover foto von Kevin Domfeh auf Unsplash.