Understanding your menstrual phase and navigating through it for a better period.

For this period wellness guide, treat your cycle like your personal moon regardless of what’s happening with the moon cycle. This isn’t to say, don't respect the lunar cycle, it’s to say as the body is land, our cycle is the moon that guides that land.

The New Moon / Menstruation / Follicular Phase -

Duration: Menstruation ranges from 3-7 days while Follicular phase lasts 7-10 days

What’s happening in the body:

Menstrual fluid from the uterus is eliminated through vagina. 
Pads, tampons, cups and now period underwear are used to absorb the menstrual flow. Follicle stimulating hormone is released for the ovary to produce follicles to bead on the surface. Each follicle houses an immature egg out of which one follicle can become an egg during the start of ovulation phase (day 10 from your period). The growth of the follicles stimulates the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for possible pregnancy.

Strengths during this phase:

Creativity and Planning. 'As the estrogen rises during the menstruation phase, it boosts the brain's working memory capability - the ability to handle complex processing tasks. It's best to schedule most mentally challenging assignments for this week since estrogen's effect on your brain improves your ability to solve problems, strategize, and plan. Hormonal levels during this phase also spark creativity, making this the ideal time to focus your energy on new projects at work, working on new business ideas or going after new clients. Engage in brainstorming sessions with your coworkers to take advantage of the boost in your cognitive creativity' says Alicia Vitti, the founder of Flo living.

Game plan for the follicular phase:

  1. Reflect on the last month, highlights and areas that need to be reevaluated 
  2. Journal what you would like to work on for the next cycle. Journaling is excellent as your notes are something you can come back to at the beginning of your next cycle. If you are new to journaling simply start by the golden moments over the last cycle, matters you'd like to improve and accomplish by the coming cycle. 
  3. Set at least three intentions for yourself. It could be anything from what you desire for yourself  or for the world in general. Setting intentions or manifesting is a method of directing your positive energy into a thought and thus giving it more probability to happen in this reality.

Meals for inspiration: 

Breakfast - Oatmeal bowl or Chia pudding or fresh fruit or nuts & berry mix. 
Beverage - Prefer tea to coffee during this time. Coffee makes your cramps worse, so keep the caffeine intake limited. 
Lunch - Lentils mixed with wild rice or big salad bowl with a slice of bread or steamed and herbed root vegetables with tahini dressing.
Dinner - Thai curry soup or Mushroom/Chicken soup. It's essential to keep yourself light to keep away from insulin levels spiking while you are going to sleep. If you plan to have heavy carbs, try to eat before 4-5 hours before you go to bed.