By Nathalie Daudet
Each cycle, we journey through the four phases of the menstrual cycle. Each phase has its own unique gifts and challenges and presents a potential for deepening your connection to your body. Fertility charting inevitably brings awareness to the change in how you feel throughout the menstrual cycle because, with fertility awareness, you are paying attention to the different cycle days and charting your fertility signs.
I like to break up the cycle into the life cycle of a flower from seed (menstruation), sprout (pre-ovulation), bloom (ovulation), to decay (pre-menstruation). In today’s post, I’m going to focus on menstruation or the seed phase.
Menstruation / Seed Phase
The first phase of your cycle starts on day 1 of your cycle (the first day of full bleeding) until the end of your period. I call this the seed phase of the cycle, likening it to a plant’s beginning life stage. When a seed is underground it is gathering nutrients from the soil. It is in hibernation, preparing for the cycle ahead. The very beginning of your cycle is a wonderful place to begin connecting with the phases of your cycle. It’s hard to ignore your period, which is why it’s great if you want to sync your life with your cycle.
How might you feel during menstruation?
During this phase, hormone levels are low, and energetically you may feel withdrawn. This is your built in time to retreat, rest and to take a birds eye view of your life rather than being fully “in” your life.
Many women experience discomfort or cramps during menstruation. You can look at this as a sign from your body to slow down. We can’t function at 100% full capacity every moment of every day. We have to refill our own cup to be present in our work, family, or other responsibilities.
Nobody wins an award for being the most burnt out, exhausted, and depleted.
If you’re able to schedule in rest during your period, or even 10 minutes to yourself, see if that makes a difference with any discomfort. You can also apply heat with a hot water bottle and keep yourself warm by drinking tea or another non-caffeinated warm beverage like hot cacao.
If you’re someone who works out, think about doing gentle exercise during menstruation, check in with your body - what type of activity would feel right? Think gentle yoga, walking or stretching.
Pay attention to your emotions
You may feel a sense of renewal or relief during menstruation if you experienced PMS symptoms the cycle prior. Conversely, if you’re TTC, you may feel a sense of grief or sadness that you didn’t conceive the cycle prior.
Look at this time of the cycle as the start of your menstrual new year. It’s like a fresh start every single cycle!
What practices or routines would you like to incorporate? Cycle day 1 might be just the time to start any new habits. Let go of the previous cycle. Physically, you’re shedding and releasing - think about what you’d like to let go of and use the power of your cycle to do this.
Use a cycle affirmation
Affirmations are repeated phrases that signal your intentions.
Listening to or writing down your own menstrual phase affirmations can be a practice that brings your cycle back in focus.
Think about how you want to feel during menstruation, and write down some words that resonate with you, which could be something like:
"I am grounded and supported"
"It is safe for me to rest"
"I release and let go"
Repeat these words and have them close to you when you're on your period.
Quick note: if you're someone who experiences debilitating period pain, even after implementing lifestyle changes like resting during your period or applying a heat pack, you may want to investigate the cause of the pain with a holistic healthcare provider.
To learn how to mentally connect with your cycle, read this.
Nathalie Daudet is a social worker, FEMM instructor and future cycle coach based in Winnipeg, Canada. She discovered fertility awareness after searching high and low for a non-hormonal method of birth control. After learning the magic of fertility awareness and the gift of body literacy, she decided to pursue formal fertility awareness training and share the knowledge of fertility awareness with women looking for a natural birth control option. Fertility Awareness Project is the hub for Nathalie’s FEMM classes in both group and individual formats, online and in person in Winnipeg. If you love this post and would like to thank Nathalie, shop Tempdrop with Nathalie's unique referral link.