In many traditional cultures, a woman is considered powerful, sacred, even a force to be feared during her menses (and not just due to her mood swings). Menstruation is traditionally a time of calm and reflection, and some cultures absolve women of many of their duties for those days. In our Western culture, fighting through one’s period and behaving as though nothing is different is seen as a badge of honor. We gulp down Pamprin, go drinking and hit boot camp like nothing is going on in our bodies, and then wonder why we feel like we’re going to die for a few days a month. In our culture, we seldom make adjustments to our diet and lifestyle with respect to this important time in our cycle, and consequently, symptoms of PMS are much more common than in cultures that have traditions of honoring the menstrual cycle. Guess what? Severe cramps, mood swings, fatigue, and other symptoms are not “normal” byproducts of our cycle, and covering them up with drugs is not the answer. If we can learn to listen to our bodies and honor what we need at various times in our cycle, we can learn to live in harmony with our periods, decrease or even eliminate symptoms, and live more mindfully all month long!
Next week, I’ll be launching a three article series with tips to guide you in eating, exercising, and living in harmony with your cycle. Did you know that what you eat and drink in the days leading up to your period can mean the difference between debilitating cramps and cravings, or a manageable period with little to no pain and no need to raid the fridge? Or that doing certain kinds of exercise at specific times during the month can maximize energy, weight loss, and calm? Did you know that you have times of the month when you are naturally more creative, more introspective, more outgoing, and more attractive to the opposite sex? Our menstrual cycles aren’t these burdensome mysteries to be glossed over and medicated. Rather, they are a chance to get super in tune with our bodies in ways that can be completely life-changing! Check the blog next week to learn everything you need to know about having Perfect Periods!