Most of us know when we will get our next period and how we feel during it or just before it. But what about the weeks in between? People with an uterus go through a menstrual cycle over and over again. Because month after month we have an ovulation, our periods, hormonal changes. We spend most of our lives in cyclical rhythms that have a direct influence on our mood and energy. Cycle awareness can therefore bring many advantages with it. You may ask yourself what exactly term cycle awareness means and how you can learn it? Then have fun reading!
What is cycle awareness?
Cycle awareness is the knowledge and appreciation of the individual menstrual cycle and the associated energy and mood patterns. The aim is to understand our own body better and to learn what we need, when and above all why. Knowing our own cycle well help us to improve our well-being. Living cyclically means accepting the body and its changes and living in harmony with your own menstrual cycle. For a better understanding, the menstrual cycle is divided into the four seasons, each with its own characteristics.
4 questions for more cycle awareness
In order to get to know your cycle better, it is a good idea to keep a little journal where you write down in summary how you are feeling emotionally and physically. Because our bodies are both fascinating and complex. The following questions or areas can serve as an inspiration for your notes:
1. How are you doing emotionally?
How are you feeling today? What are you thinking about? What are your needs?
2. How are you doing physically?
How much energy do you have? What do you feel like doing? Are you active? How is your digestion?
3. Anything out of the ordinary?
Were there any special moments or major events, such as a big trip or a job change? Anything that was different from the routine?
4. Where are you in your menstrual cycle?
Aspects related to your menstruation can also be helpful. It is best to always add the day of your cycle to your notes. The first day of your period is also the first day of your cycle. New period = new cycle. This will make it easier to compare your notes later on, and patterns in your menstrual cycle are easier to find using the cycle days.
Nurturing the relationship to our body
It is important that you take notes over several cycles each day and reflect briefly on the day. Only then can you develop a better understanding of your own needs. Based on your own notes, you can make conscious decisions for the coming months and have a better sense of how you will feel when. Living cyclically is not something that we learn overnight or that can be radically implemented. Unless we throw everything overboard once and start again from scratch. It is rather the attempt to align your life based on your own feelings, moods and inner seasons. Most of us will slowly but surely move towards more cycle awareness. Gradually we can build more and more cycle awareness into our everyday life, into our routines. And in this way, consciously nurture the relationship with ourselves and our own body.
Example: How I plan my vacation according to my cycle
For example, when possible, I plan my travels according to my cycle. On the first days of my period I love to rest and to just be at home. So it’s best if there is nothing on the travel plan those days. I especially avoid longer bus trips or bigger excursions. In the middle of my cycle I can be active every day again and even multiple-day-hikes are not a problem at all.
The problem: Living in a patriarchal world
Our society is based on performance and our world is dominated by men. Cyclical life finds little space or place in our world. Far too often our time is determined by everyday life, work and obligations, which allow little opportunity for a flexible organization of our own energy. We must function, day after day. We are often anchored in fixed structures. The phase of the cycle in which we find ourselves is ignored. For centuries, menstruation has been associated with limitations or weakness and the rest of the menstrual cycle, meaning the time between periods, is simply ignored. This is because everything is designed to function evenly, but for menstruating people this can quickly manifest itself in physical period problems, such as menstrual cramps or PMS.
Why it is worth living cyclically
Our own body and the cyclical compass are at the centre of our attention. If we know who we are, we can work with ourselves and not against us. Through cycle awareness we learn to listen to our inner voice again and to trust our own intuition. This in turn can help us in our self-esteem and self-determination. To live cyclically also means strength. Because there is strength to arrive and live in one’s own body rhythm. It often feels more true, more consistent. And it is no longer a constant struggle to have to function perfectly every day. Cycle awareness gives us the space to have different needs or personalities. Because it is ok and even normal that we feel different on different days. Living in harmony with yourself opens up undreamt-of possibilities and brings your real potential to the surface. Because the natural change of our energy in the course of the menstrual cycle is not a disadvantage, but rather a great enrichment. Just like the seasons. Each time brings its own charm and special features – so does our menstrual cycle.
Acception the cycle as a friend
And it is time to take our cycle and make it our new best friend, to understand it without any words needed. Because in it lies both peace and strength.
Do you want to learn more about the specifics of the menstrual cycle and cycle awareness? Then I can recommend the book ‘Wild Power: discover the magic of your menstrual cycle and awaken the feminine path to power’.