Lucy Peach, author of Period Queen, is passionate about educating women on how to manage their cycle and deal with the dreaded period pain so many of us women suffer from. Here, she writes exclusively for The Carousel about how to life hack your cycle.
A woman said to me recently, “You know, I thought I was just the same all the time, but now I’m wondering if maybe I just wasn’t taking any notice of myself…”
What if more women started to take more notice of themselves? What if girls and people with periods grew up learning that their bodies are powerful beyond measure, and what if this self-knowledge enabled them to love and care for themselves and then, in turn, expect that others would too?
My name is Lucy Peach, author of Period Queen, and I, along with Australia’s first B-Corp-certified underwear brand, Boody, are on a mission to embrace the power of the period.
There are as many ways to period as there are those of us that have them, but what unites all of us is that we are cyclical creatures. The emotional changes we experience throughout the month are not a random rollercoaster; instead, there are four unique hormonal phases that we can predict and plan for over and over again. It’s called a cycle for a reason. You have powers; all you need to do is tune in to them. So, where are you in your cycle today?
Most of us didn’t grow up being encouraged to pay attention to our cycles or to rest while bleeding. Making time to bleed well is life changing – which is why I was so excited to team up with Boody to champion this message loud and clear for everyone to hear. If you have your period, #DoLess! We can never hear enough of this.
Firstly, I invite you to start tracking – use a cycle tracker (download the free Lucy Peach Cycle Tracking Chart here) to learn how your phases work for you. And now for an overview on your four phases:
The Dream phase begins with menstruation. From day one of your cycle until about day five; you are letting go and starting again. This is a time to rest and receive and to ask for help when you need it. Slow down and fill your cup with energy for the month ahead. Make time to meditate, journal and reflect on the month you’ve just had. Be intentional about the energy that is coming in the next phase. What do you want to grow this month?
During menstruation, it’s also really important to find the right period products for you. I’ve loved getting to know the new Boody leak-proof undies during my last two periods. They are so soft and just the right amount of snug, to feel held and supported. There is also something affirming and powerful, knowing that they’re made from sustainable fabrics and that while I’m doing less during my period, I can also do less to the earth. If you’ve been thinking about making the switch, do it!
Speaking of ‘do’, The Do phase begins around day six when you’ve finished bleeding until you ovulate. This is your power week! With rising oestrogen, now you are faster and stronger (provided you got enough rest during your bleed). In the days before ovulation, with a surge of testosterone; you are six times more motivated (unless you are using hormonal contraception). Woah. Go you good thing! This is the time to lead and strive.
The Give phase begins around mid cycle, on about day 14 or whenever you ovulate. Use a thermometer and take your morning temperature to find out when this phase begins for you (your temperature goes up by almost half a degree the day after you ovulate and stays elevated until just before you bleed). With a rush of progesterone, nature’s feel good hormone; this part of the cycle is designed to hold and support life, all kinds of life (not just babies!), including your passions, projects and people you love. This is a time to collaborate, communicate and to connect. You have a lot to give right now and can feel like saying yes to everything, but don’t give it all away and slide into the final phase on empty!
During the Take phase, when your hormones are plummeting and you are getting ready to let go again. It is crucial for you now to take what you need; more time, more food (especially as your metabolism is now at its highest – eat!) and more space to be with your own magic (this is my favourite time to write songs).
Your period is a vital sign and taking care of it is good for your physical, emotional and mental health. It is normal not to feel the same from week to week as your body moves through the four phases. It is normal for your energy levels to change and it is helpful to know how to take care of yourself all month long so you can feel supported to do all the things that you want to.
You are enough. Every day and in every phase, the world is lucky to have you just as you are. So, believe in your body and track your cycle!
Ask yourself these three questions each day;
- What day are you?
- What do you need?
- How can you channel your power today?
You’re going to have around 450 periods, so you might as well use them and when we tap into this internal wisdom, well – life just gets better. The best time to learn about your cycle is before it even begins. The next best time is now.
Big love to you and your body,