“When you start making use of cyclical living, it gets easier to go with the flow in life – literally and figuratively.”~ Nina Gruenewald
I used to be really mean to myself right before and during my period.
I made myself believe that I had to be super productive every single day in order to achieve my goals – at work and in life.
And when my energy levels dropped before menstruation, I would be disappointed in myself.
And my inner critic would rear her confused ugly head (bless her) and roar, “You should be better than this! Look around! Everyone is working hard. You need to work hard also. Your period is no excuse.”
And wow, was I wrong!
What is Cyclical Living?
“When we begin to perceive our bodies, our energy, and time as cyclical instead of linear, we not only feel relaxed on a cellular level in a way most of us have never experienced, we also begin to pick up momentum without having to struggle.”~ Kate Northrup, Do Less: The Unexpected Strategy for Women to Get More of What They Want in Work and Life
In her book, Kate describes what the four female cyclical living phases are (menstrual, follicular, ovulation, luteal), what energy they each carry, what kinds of tasks to do best in which phase, how you can use them in your business and creative processes and, ultimately, in your life.
She explains how the four phases correlate with the energy of the different moon phases and even with the four seasons of Mother Nature.
I felt immediately drawn to this mysterious way of living with my cycle – as opposed to against it.
Instead of fighting it, I wanted to learn to flow with it and be guided by my bodily wisdom.
The first steps I took were simple.
I started to observe my cycle days, my moods and emotions every day and noted everything down in my journal in a specific “cycle section”. I invented a cycle wheel so I could track the correlation of my emotions, cycle days and energy levels. I also downloaded cycle tracking apps to collect data in a more efficient way.
Kate Northrup’s book became my new recipe book for a happy and sustainable life and it only took until my next cyclical phase that I noticed the mind-blowing and life-changing effects of this lifestyle. And today I want to share with you 5 ways in which cyclical living has epically improved my life. And it can do the same for you too.
5 Ways Cyclical Living Can Epically Improve Your Life
1. Cyclical living helped me stop hating my period.
Not only did I use to be mean to myself before my period – I disapproved of the entire event.
But thanks to my new insights I understood that the menstrual phase was just as important as all the other phases and that it was actually a great occasion to pamper myself. I don’t only mean hot-water-bottle action, but an allrounder of kindness. I looked more into what kinds of foods are the best to eat during your period and hello, there were my new favourite foods, salmon and dark chocolate.
And because I had started tracking my cycle, my period no longer came as a surprise – I knew when to expect it and how to plan for it.
2. I quit the negative self-talk during my period.
Once I realised that having lower energy levels before my period was a matter of my biology and that it was really nothing I could do the slightest about, the voice stopped bothering me. I began being kinder to myself and doing easier tasks at work on the days just before the pads hit the road.
It’s like the weather. I can’t change that. So, even my inner critic doesn’t complain.
3. I started having more energy.
Since I stopped pushing myself through low-energy phases and quit exhausting myself with negative self-talk, I actually started to have a lot more energy.
I started to adjust my type of work to my energy levels wherever possible. When a high-energy phase comes around, I make the best use of that.
But rest has also become an important part of my process. Now, I swear by taking a day off at the beginning of my period. Not because of pain but because I want to honour my low energy.
The result is that I now bounce back way faster than ever before.
4. I started having more time.
As Kate Northrup says, “The secret of having more time is not managing your time. It’s managing your energy”. And I can definitely vouch for that.
Adjusting tasks to my energy level meant that I used my time more sustainably.
Also, since I started to manage my energy based on my cycle and my personal intimate observations, I started to look at time as circular. And that changed my world. I no longer fear that I am not achieving enough and I am no longer afraid of running out of time because I know that the right time for each task will come again.
5. Cyclical living helped me gain more trust in myself and life.
This deep understanding of my cycle and of how my energy works (and I am still learning) also makes me trust myself and life in a way that I have never experienced before. It feels like surfing the wave of life and even if I sometimes drop off my board and splash into old patterns and try to force myself to do a certain type of task in the “wrong” phase, I return to my wisdom rather sooner than later because I know what’s possible.
Your female cycle is not a hindrance.
It is not linear and it doesn’t only have a “period on/off” switch.
I know it can feel overwhelming and your period always manages to come around at exactly the wrong time.
But fortunately, there is another way.
What if you were fully aware of your cyclical phase and its miraculous benefits?
What if you could take back control and plan things around your cycle instead of having your period slide into your innocently made plans?
When you start making use of cyclical living, it gets easier to go with the flow in life – literally and figuratively.
And you can take the very first step to get to this place right now by downloading a cyclical tracking app or by whipping out your journal and start monitoring your cycle status every day.
Believe me, it’s worth it. You got this.