Flowing with Your Cycle: Enhancing Wellbeing and Productivity

Every month, I experience a cycle of about two weeks, roughly 14 days, where I feel empowered to tackle anything and everything I desire. It’s like a window of opportunity, where not only do I feel ambitious, but I also have absolute clarity on what needs to be done, why it’s important, and how to achieve it. During these days, I am fully aware of who I am and what I want, believing that anything is possible if I just take action. Doubts fade away, fears are silenced, and my vision is as sharp as a hawk’s.

However, as the third week of the month approaches, just before my period, I notice a significant slowdown. The vision remains, but the drive and focus to pursue it seem to diminish. It’s almost as if I’ve transitioned into a different version of myself, becoming more grounded and introspective. The grand aspirations and goals I had in the previous weeks may need to be put on hold or approached with a slower pace. I find myself asking more questions than providing answers, delving inward rather than being outwardly expressive.

By the fourth week, all I crave is to retreat, draw the curtains, and find solace in peace and quiet. Initially, when the first two weeks of the cycle rolled around, I felt like I had achieved a miraculous breakthrough and had completely transformed. However, when the third and fourth weeks arrived, I often found myself doubting and feeling guilty about my lack of motivation to maintain the same level of productivity and ambition.

Like many women, it took me a long time to recognise this pattern in my menstrual cycle. Understanding it was a journey in itself, and it took even longer to acknowledge and honour this rhythm as a guiding force for my life. Particularly in a world structured around men’s cycles, where consistency is often expected regardless of the natural fluctuations we experience.

It’s been a gradual process for me to embrace all phases of my cycle as integral parts of myself. Each phase serves a unique purpose and deserves acknowledgment and space. I think that my initial preference for the more active and confident phases over the reflective and introspective ones was deeply rooted in societal norms that prioritise productivity and action over contemplation.

Today, my aim is to be a woman who seeks harmony within herself and her environment, aligning with the natural flow of life’s rhythm, wisdom, and the needs of my own body. I am learning to value and utilise each phase intentionally. I no longer take the energetic first two weeks for granted but rather seek to harness them purposefully, knowing they’re temporary. I welcome the slowdown phase as an opportunity for reflection and learning, and I fully want to embrace the restorative nature of the final phase without guilt.

This is how I aim on working more in-tuned with my flow and so can you!:

  1. Empowered Phase (First Two Weeks):
    • Plan and Execute: During these weeks, when you feel ambitious and clear-headed, take advantage of your heightened energy and focus. Make a list of tasks or goals you want to achieve.
    • Prioritize: Identify the most important tasks and tackle them early in this phase. Your vision is sharp, so use it to set clear priorities.
    • Physical Activity: Engage in physical activities, exercise, and outdoor pursuits. Your body is more receptive to movement and strength-building during this time.
    • Socialize and Network: Use your confidence and clarity to connect with others, attend meetings, and collaborate on projects. Especially as an introvert, this can be the time for social activities that won’t leave you too drained.
  2. Transition Phase (Third Week, Pre-Menstrual):
    • Self-Reflection: As you notice the slowdown, embrace this transition. It’s an opportunity for introspection. Reflect on your progress and any adjustments needed.
    • Modify Goals: Revisit your goals from the previous weeks. Some grand aspirations may need to be adjusted or temporarily put on hold. Be kind to yourself.
    • Self-Care: Prioritize self-care. Rest, meditate, and nourish your body. Recognize that your energy levels are shifting, and it’s okay to slow down.
    • Communication: Communicate openly with colleagues or family members about your changing pace. Set realistic expectations.
  3. Retreat Phase (Fourth Week, Menstrual):
    • Honoring Rest: As you crave retreat, try your best to honor it. Create a cozy space for yourself. Dim the lights, listen to soothing music, and allow quiet moments.
    • Minimal Obligations: Minimize external commitments. If possible, reduce work-related tasks and social engagements.
    • Creative Expression: Use this introspective time for creative expression. Write, draw, or explore artistic endeavors.
    • Gentle Movement: Opt for gentle exercises like yoga or stretching. Listen to your body’s cues.
    • Nutrition: Focus on nourishing foods and stay hydrated.

Besides the above, this is what I have been doing to help follow and align more with my cycles:

  1. Cycle Tracking: Using apps or calendars to track my menstrual cycle. Understanding my pattern helps anticipate these phases.
  2. Normalize Fluctuations: Recognise that consistency doesn’t mean being the same every day. Embrace the ebb and flow of my energy flow through the month.
  3. Advocate for Myself: In a world structured around men’s cycles, I try my best to advocate for my needs. This also helps educate others about the power of honouring natural rhythms for female bodies and their valid need to function differently in our society.

I believe that our cycles can be unique guides for our lives. By embracing all their phases, perhaps we can work smarter, not harder, and achieve more balance and fulfilment in the process.

I’m curious to see how my months and years unfold as I continue to respect and learn more about these important phases. It’s an exciting journey of self-discovery and empowerment as a woman.

I hope this has been of benefit and I wish you a blooming relationship with your flow friend!

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