When I first discovered menstrual cycle awareness, I experienced waves of grief and understanding. My brain, my emotions, my fluctuating existence on this planet suddenly all made sense.
I am a cyclical being.
The world of cyclical living is exciting, especially when we realize how much our hormones influence: they affect our hunger levels, our libido, our body’s appearance, our mental health, our sleep quality, our emotions, our physical performance, and so much more.
It’s easy to get caught in the riptide, pulled under the waves of information, hot tips, and cycle syncing propaganda. There are numerous blogs and posts across social media promoting syncing your workout with your menstrual cycle, seed cycling with the phases, adjusting your diet every week… the list is endless.
As a woman with ADHD, I understand the attraction. My flat is full of crafts and supplies for new hobbies that are currently collecting dust. It’s thrilling to discover this new realm and want to do it all, and perfectly.
But fundamentally, menstrual cycle awareness guides us away from the daily patriarchal structure our society is built around (the one that suits men’s 24-hour hormonal cycle, not our average 28-day cycle). The issue is that cyclical living is new, it’s outside the box of how our world typically operates. As creatures of habit, we replace one routine with a new one. We move away from trying to show up the same each day and instead try our hardest to show up the same every month.
I have seen it in my peers and my clients: the need for doing cyclical living perfectly.
This is where the cycle syncing chatter comes in… “Do these three things, and have the perfect month!” “Change your exercises with your cycle!” “Eat this, not that!” As though we don’t have enough happening around us already.
It’s overcomplicating a very simple topic.
The truth is you do not need to do any of the above, especially if you’re brand new to this lifestyle. Cyclical living is a new language to learn, and adding layers and layers of stuff to do detracts from you learning your own body’s unique rhythm.
The foundation of cyclical living is boring, repetitive and crucial: Charting your own menstrual cycle. Checking in with yourself each day to see how you’re feeling physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, even if it’s just typing a few words into your Notes app. It’s all that matters. Let me explain.
None of the content on social media, the tips on how to have a better menstrual cycle, the seed cycling, the period books, or the cycle coaches will be able to benefit you if you’re completely unaware of your unique cycle. I could tell you a million things about menstrual cycles and the fluctuations the average person experiences, but none of it matters if you don’t understand the language of your body.
How do you know if you can improve your overall cyclic experience, if you’re not even aware of your hormonal patterns? What emotions and feelings are influenced by your hormones? What body image issues are influenced by your hormones? What health, business or lifestyle goals are benefitting or being sabotaged by your hormones?
I told you earlier, hormones affect everything. When you start charting your cycle, you’ll see just how much “everything” really is.
Ignore the chatter, the distractions, the flashy and hyped trends. I’m telling you, you don’t need it.
Chart your cycle, discover the patterns month-over-month, and move from a place of knowledge. Not sure how to do that? Check out some basic how-to instructions here or (if you have some time) watch a replay of the workshop I hosted where I taught this foundational lesson for free.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve started cycle charting! I would love to hear about your experience.