Have you ever thought about how similar your menstrual cycle is to the seasons we go through each year? No? Well, now you have! Turns out, they’re very similar. Both are cyclical – they keep on moving through the paces, sometimes going unnoticed and sometimes feeling like they run your life.
As with a change of season you may change your plans along with it, you might also change them for your different menstrual phases.
Here’s exactly why your menstrual cycle is like the seasons…
Menstrual phase: winter
Just like in winter, during your period, you might feel more like hibernating away from the world, we feel you! You wait it out until it’s over, with plenty of snacks and a hot water bottle. Your menstrual phase is when you’re on your period. Your progesterone and oestrogen levels are at their lowest, and you might be feeling menstrual fatigue, experiencing pain, or other PMS symptoms.
During ‘winter’, or the menstrual phase of your cycle, we recommend taking extra care to be gentle with yourself. Give your body exactly what it needs:
- Lighter exercise
- Early nights
- Try not to over plan or over socialise
Check out our Instagram for more tips on making the most of your menstrual phase:
Follicular phase: spring
Your period has just ended. You can finally wear your favourite pants without worrying about leaks, you’re no longer fatigued, craving chocolate, or doubled over in pain – you’re free! Winter is over, and you’ve made it into spring. The days are getting longer and warmer and life feels good again.
Spring is the perfect personification for the follicular stage of your menstrual cycle. Just like new-born baby animals, your body has a whole new lease of life and your oestrogen levels are increasing. During the follicular phase your skin is at its clearest and brightest, your PMS symptoms are nowhere to be seen, and your body can take on whatever you throw at it. Make the most of the spring of your menstrual cycle by using it to:
- Achieve your goals – whether that’s personal, work-related, or a physical PB
- Do something creative
- Make plans with friends and family
Ovulatory phase: summer
The ovulatory phase equates to summertime. Your oestrogen is at its highest and you’re at your most fertile. This will mean you’re feeling super energised and social which is ideal for – you’ve guessed it – – summertime! A summer romance, long nights spent with friends, and exploring new and exciting places or activities.
Your menstrual cycle’s version of summer, the ovulatory stage, is the perfect time to:
- Keep your momentum going from the follicular phase and smash your goals
- Get together with family, friends, and loved ones
- Start a new hobby and meet new people
Luteal phase: autumn
Hello and welcome to mood swing central, also known as the luteal phase, or autumn. Autumn can be recognized by weather that can rarely make its mind up, chopping and changing from blue skies in the morning, to light rain in the afternoon, and thunderstorms all night. It’s also when the temperature starts to drop after summer, and the days get darker and shorter.
The luteal phase of your menstrual cycle is almost identical to autumn. After the peak of the ovulatory phase, your hormone levels start to fall and rise dramatically, and the PMS symptoms kick in – this is when you know winter (your period) is coming. Your moods are likely to be unpredictable, your skin might start to break out, and you might not feel as sociable. Take it easy and focus on doing things that make your mind and body feel good like:
- Getting outside for a gentle walk
- Stretching your body with some yoga
- Taking time to yourself to relax
There has been a longstanding association of how the menstrual cycle mirrors the natural rhythms of the year. If you use a menstrual tracker you might start to recognise the parallels yourself. It can also be incredibly effective to adjust plans in your life to really maximise where you are with your season.
Does this sound like your menstrual cycle? Let us know in the comments below if our winter is more like your spring.