Menstruation and menstrual cycles – more than just inconvenient bleeding?

Menstruation and menstrual cycles – more than just inconvenient bleeding?

Do YOU keep an eye on your menstruation, or does it keep an eye on you?

Are we in-line and together with our menstrual cycles, OR can we feel at times that we’re being controlled by something that’s actually very natural and supportive to us as women, that is to be embraced, not discounted?

I say this as someone who had bought heavily into the idea and belief of the twenty-eight day period model. And with this, the belief that as a ‘normal woman’ I could expect to bleed for an average 5-7 days, every 28 days, and that anything outside of this is considered not normal. That is, I was abnormal.

Periods ARE important!

Over the last few years, I’ve realised just how super-important periods are in leading our lives as women, though they are not often regarded or treated as this, being more of an annoyance or inconvenience. But imagine that in one lifetime, we could have some 432 periods between the ages of 15-51 if we bled every month. That’s a lot of periods!

So let’s pause to consider the fact that:

  • This time of the month is more than just a monthly bleed cycle full of commonly regarded annoyance and inconvenience.

  • Periods contain a treasure chest of information about our relationship with ourselves and how we relate to those around us as women.

  • Our monthly cycles are regular opportunities to empower ourselves by really understanding what is going on in our bodies, making caring and self-loving choices after each bleed towards a more changed and balanced way of living.

Conversations with friends and women reveal we’re well aware of the familiar feelings and symptoms of PMT (Pre-Menstrual Tension) we get every month. It is also common for us to notice a definite ‘change’, release, or cleansing when our period actually arrives and we feel like ourselves again. But what’s not always popular, or even absent, is the tracking of each period, the relationship between periods and any impact this may be having upon our lives.

Period trackers – Our Cycles App

Period trackers are great useful tools. My old approach was always to use them as a way to know when my next period would be and check if I was ‘on track’! But I’ve now found an awesome new App, Our Cycles, that’s uniquely different. This App offers the opportunity to record how our body feels, our moods and general feelings towards ourselves and life each day – throughout our entire menstruation cycle – so we can create more awareness of our body and get to know ourselves more intimately.

My periods have now become very interesting events through taking space every day in which to review my feelings, moods and how my body has felt. I’ve become more aware of things that stop me from feeling balanced, or patterns that keep me going in circles, for example:

  • Why is it that I become agitated with my boss at work before my period – am I being this agitated or harsh towards myself also?

  • Do I eat more when I’m feeling sad, lonely or indecisive?

  • When I’m taking notice and looking after myself, do I eat more of certain foods that nourish me?

  • Which days of my cycle do I feel beautiful and sexy (or ugly) – is there a pattern to this?

  • Do I find I need more sleep throughout menstruation – do I take that rest, or push myself to do things ... then feel more exhausted?

Women are all different shapes, sizes, weights, lead different lives and make different choices and decisions. So does it not make complete and normal sense that our ‘time of the month’, or menstrual cycle – including the length, symptoms, feelings or moods we each experience – can never really fit a standard model or popular belief, but instead is reflective of the lives we are choosing to live?

For example, if we’re living a stressed, intense and hectic life, where we make no time to look after or care for ourselves, are our periods likely to be free flowing and come with ease? OR, are we more likely to experience complications like painful periods, PMT, or experience a very heavy period with blood clotting, a super light flow, or even skip a period entirely?

If periods were acknowledged as nature’s events that are taken note of and celebrated, instead of being regarded or treated as a curse, we would be more open to the truth that they are Golden Opportunities in which we can learn more about ourselves as women.

Filed under

Women's healthHuman bodyMenstrual cycleMenstrual painStressSelf-love

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