Get To Know Yourself, Each Week Of Your Cycle

The female menstrual cycle is a beautiful concoction of hormones and fluctuations that if nurtured, can allow for us as women to spend more time honoring our precious bodies. 

Caring for our bodies during our cycle can sometimes feel overwhelming or confusing and whether you are on birth control or not, we highly recommend downloading a period tracking app like Glow. This app allows you to input all of your information everyday of your cycle and uses the data to keep you up-to-date with whats going on with your body, it's a wonderful tool for staying in-tune with your body. 

That said, we have broken down the process each week of a cycle for a more comprehensive understanding of what to expect and how to care for your body and soul each week.


Week One: The Start Of Your Cycle

Your period week marks the start of your cycle (1-7 days). Menstruation is your body shedding the uterine lining that was built up in preparation for pregnancy. There is a lot of "out with the old and in with the new" going on—both mentally and physically during this time. 

Care for your body physically:

This is a time to really tune-in to what your body is needing physically and there are a ton of holistic remedies for soothing the aches and pains that might be going on internally:

  • Take a Clary Sage oil infused bubble bath. Clary Sage can help in not only balancing hormones but can also help sooth the cramping associated with mensural flow by rubbing it directly onto the skin using a carrier oil.

  • If you don't have time for bubble baths and need some quick relief, invest in a heating pad to give the body some warmth and soothing relief.

  • Try slow yoga and specific poses for when you are menstruating, meditation and walking during this time, remembering to breathe and allow for moments of being present.

  • Increase your intake of fats, proteins, dark green veggies and dark chocolate!

  • Drink warm beverages made from herbs for overall comfort and balancing. There are some great recipes for making soothing period tonics on Mind Body Green.

Care for your body mentally:

Some women experience a longer Premenstrual Syndrome phase, making the start of their period a little more mentally foggy, moody or feelings of being drained. Other women, may experience an immediate increase of energy the first day of blood flow, this is due to the spike in estrogen levels and "feel good chemicals." Towards the end of your period (days 5-7), you may start to feel extra in-tune with the world around you due to the low levels of progesterone.

  • This is a good time to focus in on creative projects or connect with loved ones.

  • Notice what your body is needing emotionally during this time, it may be that you need extra love and down time or you may want to get out into the world.


Week Two: After Menstruation & Before Ovulation Begins

Your body starts to re-build the endometrium wall and is preparing for the release of a mature egg from the ovaries. Also your estrogen and testosterone levels are rising as well. 

Care for your body physically:

You will notice that you're feeling a lot more like yourself during time. Your body has lost some of the access water weight that it may have been using during your period, making you feel less bloated. Any hormonal acne has retreated and you may notice you have more of a glow. 

  • This is a great time to get out and mingle with friends, family and if you are single this could also be a wonderful time to date.

  • Allow for exercise and maybe more cardio. Continue to allow your body to be nourished though and be careful not to overdue it.

  • Continue to get sleep, drink lots of water and take time for your to-do lists.

Care for your body mentally:

Mentally, you are feeling more confident, motivated and overall more energized, so practice focus.

  • Allow time for really tuning into what you want to create or get done.

  • The spike of estrogen can cause a lot of energy and can lead to anxiety if not monitored, so practice breathing and continued focus as to not to overwork yourself.


Week 3: Ovulation Phase

This is the optimal time to become pregnant making it crucial for being in-tune with the body and knowing when to be safe or to allow for magic to happen. ;) 

Care for your body physically:

What's fascinating about this phase, is though it lasts 5-7 days there is actually just one day that an egg is actually released. Many women will feel a little cramping in the ovaries (either on the right or left) which is an indication that an egg is being released into the fallopian tubes where it stays waiting for a sperm. It remains there for 24 hours and if it is not met by a sperm, it dissolves (our bodies are amazing)! 

  • Because this is the optimal time for mating, there is typically an increase of libido due to the higher levels of testosterone. There may be inspiration to wear sexier clothes and an increase in attraction to the pheromones of others.

  • This is a great time to enjoy scented candles, essential oils and getting dressed up!

  • Take this week to really honor who you are as a woman!

Care for your body mentally:

Wether you are at the beginning of ovulation or at the end, it is important to be aware mentally that you are in this phase of you cycle. When your feeling a little extra flirtatious, honor that, if you are feeling a little more confident, dress up! Do what makes you feel the best.

  • Be aware, that towards the end of ovulation, libido levels can drop due to higher levels of progesterone. This can bring lower energy levels and less sex drive. This phase is called pre-PMS and can cause some mood swings and make you want to just rest.

  • Just know that again, your body is just trying help you create life so be extra gentle with yourself and allow time to rest.


Week 4: PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) 

Once you have finished ovulating the increase of progesterone begins and aids in the uterine lining thickening to create a nest for a potential embryo to form. If there is no fertilized egg your estrogen, testosterone and progesterone will decrease and this can cause some major fluctuations in the body.  

Care for your body physically:

This phase can be a real challenge for women both physically and mentally. However, the good news is there is a spike in libido again during this time that can help with some of the not so pleasant physical and mental symptoms. Physically, you may notice some hormonal breakouts, breast tenderness and fatigue.

  • Focus on getting plenty of sleep and allow yourself to keep less of a full social calendar—stay in and rest.

  • Make healthy meals and continue to exercise as that can aid in balancing mood swings and physical discomfort throughout the week!

Care for your body mentally:

It is important to communicate with your partner and the people around you about your symptoms so that you don't feel alone. Know that this is just part of the process in your bodies rejuvenation.

  • Enjoy quiet moments alone during this time to read, journal and practice saying "I love you, body" a lot.

  • Start a gratitude journal at night before you go to sleep to allow yourself to remain in a state of positivity.

  • If you feel symptoms of depression or sadness reach out to the women in your life and drink tea together or chat on the phone about the magical and complicated process of being a woman.


Rest, Love Yourself, Repeat

Ideally, we could rest and be alone whenever we needed. However, we lead busy lives and there may not always be time to rest, journal or take baths. But it is important to really listen to what the body needs every week of our cycle and practice the innate intuition that we as women are gifted with so that we can live our happiest healthiest life. 

Courtney Jay Higgins is the Content Strategist at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Her online blog hosts her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.