And then a microscopic single-celled organism has decided otherwise. For the first time, the whole world is taking a break, and we are forced to confine ourselves to the house!
And here I am, in quarantine, and menstruating.
What a unique opportunity to start this cycle in a new way. The whole world is finally giving us the opportunity to experience our menstruation resting and listening to our bodies. So let's seize the opportunity!
In these times of forced break, I invite you to (re)define your period and the way you live your menstruation.. Here are some tips and inspirations to help you better understand a woman's menstrual cycle, find your own rhythm, and listen to your body in these times of change!
Understanding a woman's menstrual cycle better
Like the moon that shows its various phases every night, our body evolves and lives in cycles that restart every 28 days. The first day of menstruation begins this cycle, with all the symptoms and moods that follow.
Often misunderstood and feared, this hormonal storm has a purpose. Understanding menstrual cycles, hormonal changes, and their physical and psychological impacts can help us approach them in a new way! So here's a little explanation of a woman's menstrual cycle and hormones.
The different phases of the menstrual cycle: hormones at the controls
Our cycle is rhythmic by its endocrine secretions. À chaque étape du cycle menstruel, de nombreux changements sont provoqués par des hormones suivantes :
- FSH: follicle-stimulating hormone,
- LH: luteinizing hormone,
If there has been no fertilization, the premenstrual period begins with a gradual drop in the level of progesterone and estrogen. This hormonal drop prepares the uterus to shed blood and the lining of the uterus (endometrium), and tends to develop side effects.
Menstruation, therefore, contrasts with the time of ovulation, when the energy is in full swing! Cramps, fatigue, difficulty falling asleep, headaches, or irritability are some of the physiological and emotional responses to hormonal turmoil.
Emotional fragility also has its reasons! It is caused among other things by prostaglandins. Produced by the endometrium, these molecules actively participate in these menstrual pains and other symptoms. Designed, among other things, to promote uterine contractions to drain blood, they also play a role in our neurotransmitters!
Hormonal changes and menstrual cycles: how to interpret this time of the month?
During this phase of the menstrual cycle, our body and our entire genital system work very hard. We are therefore invited to rest to support it as much as possible. After preparing for 14 days, it must let go of the fruits of its creation! It is therefore a time of mourning, withdrawal, and elimination, but not only physically.
As a matter of fact, during menstruation, we are also invited to express and let go of all the physical and emotional burdens accumulated during the last cycle. And in our hectic lives, it means there are things to evacuate!
Menstrual cycle in quarantine: an invitation to listen to your body
After these few explanations, you will understand that these mood swings and discomforts are not only there to annoy us every month, but they also have something to communicate with us!
So here are some tips to approach this phase with more gentleness and kindness towards yourself.
During menstruation, we often forget the basics: breathing. As soon as you experience menstrual cramps, or any other symptoms, take a break and breathe. During the peaks of pain, I often put one of my hands on my lower abdomen, and the other on my chest, and I take deep breaths and exhale.
It might not seem like a big deal, but taking a moment to stop, connect with your pain, and accept it with a deep breath can completely change the way you experience your period.
Accept that it's part of your natural cycle and welcome everything you feel allows you to be more attentive to your body, and what it communicates to you. Pain, tension, fatigue, emotions... welcome everything gently!
2. Allow yourself to slow down
The time of menstruation is a time of rest and withdrawal. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to stop everything and stay in bed... even if some days we could indulge ourselves! But your energy level is lower, so you have the right to slow down.
Besides, we're not machines. Periods or not, you don't always have to be at 100% of your capacity!
In times of confinement, we have the opportunity to give ourselves this rest. So, your baths, naps, readings and pajamas, it's a time for you!
3. A moment to let go
As Lucy Peach explains in her lecture The Power of the Period,the period is a time to let go. Anything that frustrated, angered, hurt, disappointed, or pissed you off… can be eliminated during these times of bleeding, if you want to.
After all, menstruation is a time of evacuation in various forms!
It is also a special time to take stock of everything that happened during the 28 days of the previous cycle. You can let yourself live and express all these accumulated emotions. No control, judgment, or obligations, you can just listen to your body and naturally let out everything that needs to let go!
Besides, why not make it a habit for the rest of the cycle?
4. Create your own menstruation ritual
In some cultures, women take a break from spiritual activities during menstruation. The reason is simple: we are already letting go of so much that there is no need to take on more. Especially since it is a time of letting go, we are therefore invited to put a pause all habits of scrutiny, or willpower and work on oneself.
But you can still create your own ritual to welcome this time of the month. Candles, incense, dance, flowers, cards... this ritual can take any form you desire! It will allow you to celebrate the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. On this special occasion, you can make an intention for this new cycle that will accompany you until the next menstruation.
5. Evaluate the products best suited to your body
Listening to your body during your period also means assessing what suits you and what doesn't make you feel good. Take this opportunity to evaluate food, cosmetics, or environmental factors that no longer serve you.
It's time to do some cleaning, let go of what no longer fits you, and welcome the new! Trust your intuitions, they'll be able to advise you wisely.
It's also an opportunity to test new menstrual products! If you wish to switch to healthy menstruation, we invite you to discover the menstrual panties and other sustainable and eco-responsible products from Mme L'Ovary.
Menstruation and confinement: finally quality time, for me!
You now understand everything your body needs to experience the start of the cycle peacefully: listening, withdrawing, and resting! No need to do two hours of sports, carry four bags of groceries at the same time or redo all the living room decorations (although in confinement, it's rather tempting). You can approach this moment with gentleness.
The whole Mme L'Ovary team wishes you a smooth quarantine and menstruation while listening to your body and discovering the messages of a thousand wonders that it shares with you!