5 Reasons Tracking Your Period Will Change The Way You Live
Have you ever thought about tracking your period and menstrual cycle and what that looks like in your day-to-day life? What I mean by that, is the things you do, feel and think about every day in conjunction with what phase of your cycle you are in.
Personally, I have found mapping this information incredibly helpful in how I set out my day, week and month, and how much living in alignment with the key phases increases my mood, vitality, connection and overall well-being.
5 Reasons Tracking Your Period Will Change The Way You Live
How do I track my period and menstrual cycle?
The day of your bleed (first day of your period) is marked as day one and is the start of your menstruation phase. The average cycle has four phases. It is generally based on 28 days but this is really just a guide, you may find your own cycle to be shorter or longer. As you track your cycle you will begin to find your own natural rhythm.
If you don’t have a period, or it’s not consistent right now, map your phases against the moon phases. Start your menstruation week beginning on the new or full moon – whatever resonates best with the phase notes and what you are observing within yourself.
You can keep track of cycle data in an app, diary or journal tracker.
What are the phases of my menstrual cycle and why are they important?
Your menstruation cycle has four phases, each honouring a season of the year.
- Winter (Menstruation)
- Spring (Pre-Ovulatory)
- Summer (Ovulation)
- Autumn (Pre-Menstruation)
When you observe these phases, you will likely notice key themes, patterns, habits, moods and thoughts that come up. Your energy and needs change from one phase to the next and when you observe these changes and listen to what your body is telling you, you can start to map out your month and live with more ease, contentment and alignment.
If you have an irregular cycle, painful symptoms and/or other concerns, tracking your data over these phases can provide useful information to you and your trusted healthcare professional, and provide insights into where changes can be made to feel happier and more supported in your life.
What should I track during my menstrual cycle?
Bare minimum information to track
Any good period tracker or menstrual cycle app will have you track the following across the month:
- Physical symptoms (such as acne, cramps, headaches, bloating, aches, tender breasts, etc)
- Mucus (eg. dry, moist, white, clear, wet, claggy)
- Flow (eg. light, medium, heavy)
- Sexual activity
- Food and cravings
This is the absolute bare minimum to track. It will help you determine your menstrual cycle phases but not really provide the data you need to see what is working for you and what isn’t in terms of your day-to-day living.
Basic information to track
Personally here is what I initially tracked for three months to find my own rhythm and insights:
- Food: what, when and how did I feel after, any cravings
- Nutrient intake: supplements, water, vvegetable, fruit and sauerkraut intake (number of cups)
- Physical symptoms: as noted above
- Mucus and flow: as noted above
- General mood: on waking, mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon, evening and bedtime
- Exercise: what, when, duration, feelings before and feelings after
- Overall daily energy level: low, medium, high
- Outward daily energy: feeling social, needing alone time, focussed, not focussed
- Rest and restore activities: meditation, breathing, visualisation, reflection activity, other
- Sleep: overall hours of sleep, quality of sleep, naps (length and time), screens off at what time, bed time, feeling upon waking
- Intimacy: activity, where, when, duration, feeling before, feeling after
- Connection to Earth: did I watch the sunrise or sunset, time in sun, time in fresh air, time in nature
- Finances: not making ends meet, making ends meet, comfortable, sweet
- Healthy Mind: did I get physical time, sleep time, downtime, time in, connection time, focus time, playtime
Advanced information to track
It’s also beneficial to keep a brief journal with these daily notes. Collecting the following information alongside can provide further context and is invaluable insight when analysing your rhythms:
- Activity highlights (any activities or major tasks impacting the day – eg. exams, interviews, work events, social events, appointments)
- Day reflections (stressors, motivators, thoughts, habits, beliefs)
- Cycle alignment (what phase you are in, what’s working for you, what’s not, notes for next month)
- Boundaries (what did I say yes to that I didn’t want to, what did I say no to that felt good)
- Goal and task plan (what did/didn’t I do, was it easy/hard, etc)
How will tracking my menstrual cycle change my life?
Although it seems like a lot to track, it can take just 2 minutes to complete, depending on your mood and desire to reflect deeper. Reflecting on the data in line with the natural phases of your menstrual cycle gives you a whole new level of perspective.
It was a game-changer for me. It allowed me to drop beliefs and expectations around operating the same way every day and taught me to tap into my body and my needs in each phase. It was like a goodbye to robotic and autopilot living and hello you beautiful, wild, cyclic woman.
Here are five reasons tracking your period will change the way you live:
- Easier to plan activities
- You can trust in your rhythms more
- New insights on food, exercise and rest
- Know your healthy mind recipe for each phase
- Know what impacts your day and when.
Reason #1 Easier to plan activities
When you track your data you get to know what your energy is like over a course of a month! As a woman, not every day is likely to be the same. Tracking your data against your menstrual cycle will tell you things like:
- when your energy is high or low
- when you are creative or more methodical
- when you are more social or hermit-like
- where you need more rest and restorative activities
Having this information about yourself means you can better plan appointments, catch-ups, projects, tasks, etc.
Reason #2 Trust in your rhythms more
Get to know your rhythms so you work with your energy instead of against it. Make the most of certain energies and look after yourself and your needs in each menstrual phase.
- use your nesting energy to clean, cook and stock up, so you can rest when the time comes
- know that you can take the extra rest your body is craving it because you’ll be full of energy again soon
- get that personal admin done when you’re in checking off list mode instead of busting your creativity bubble.
Reason #3 New insights on food, exercise and rest
Understand what foods, supplements, physical and restorative activities are best during what phases of your menstrual cycle. Learn to check in with your body each day so you can see the patterns. For example:
- What foods do you crave and when? What additional nutrients might you need during that phase?
- What foods increase or decrease your energy; create uncomfortable body symptoms; affect your mood?
- What exercises work well all month round, and what ones are more suited at particular phases?
- When do you need more rest and what affects your sleep quality and habits?
- When do you feel more sensual and sexual, what do you like and when?
Reason #4 Know your healthy mind 'recipe'
A healthy mind requires time for:
- physical activity
- connection to others, self and nature
- rest and down time
- time in (mindfulness, meditation, contemplation)
Get to know what activities sit under each of these themes and learn what “recipe’ works for you during each phase and day.
Reason #5 Know what impacts your day
During our childhood and upbringing, we gather beliefs and stories from others – even certain habits. It’s important to gather information about yourself and learn what really impacts you and your day. Start by bringing your awareness to:
- What motivates you and what stresses you (and when)?
- What habits are working for you and against you? What ones do you want to cultivate or eliminate?
- What patterns and themes are showing up in your life?
- What thoughts and beliefs keep you stuck in patterns or particular ways of thinking?
- Where do you say yes to others and no to yourself?
- What tasks or people impact your flow, behaviours and moods?
- Where are you living out someone else’s values instead of your own?
Start bringing awareness to where you are reacting to life and where you are living life by your design.
What do I need to track and plan in alignment with my menstrual cycle?
Here are the things you need to be able to track and plan in alignment with your menstrual cycle:
- Tracker journal and/or menstrual cycle app
- Commitment to observing yourself for 8-12 weeks
Personally, three months of serious data tracking was enough for me to see the patterns. Now I do it sporadically to check in or when I want to know something more specific about myself, behaviours, habits, etc.
Most importantly this is about you tracking your data for your own insights and getting support where you need it. It isn’t about filling something out because somebody asked or told you to. It’s about bringing all of you into light and seeing the connections and patterns between your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual layers and observing how you can be more in alignment with your needs and desires.
How do I start to track and plan in alignment with my menstrual cycle?
To begin tracking and planning:
- Start to think about what you want your month to look like.
- Review general menstrual phase themes and key activities here.
- Think about your current schedule – what you have coming up that you need to plan for and how can you start living more in tune with your cycle based on each phase.
- what kind of classes are you going to do at the gym/home workouts
- when can you afford the energy to have some late nights
- when do you need to ensure you have plenty of rest
- what are good times for social activity, sensual activities, downtime, etc.
Use your diary or journal tracker to track your data through the month, as it will give you key information for the following month. Days that you felt certain things. Things that you did that day that made you feel good or not so good. Use the data to influence the next month, how you live and habits you may like to keep or remove.
Keep plotting based on your knowledge and the new data you are finding. Soon you will start to see the rhythms playing out, areas you are acing and those that you need support in.
The more aware you are the more you can observe, the more you can track. Tracking leads to data which leads to truth. Once you have the truth, you can really see what’s working for you and what’s working against you.
What you choose to work on is up to you, but instead of treating symptoms you can use the data to formulate a whole picture and find the core information that’s either working for you or against you. You will then have data to work with your support team and really begin to design your life rather than react to it.
Need help making changes to your life?
Need help analysing your data or making changes to your life? Let’s chat! Book your free session with Amy here so we can get to know each other and see if I am the right support person for you.
- Beautiful You, Natalie Kringoudis
- Adore your cycle, Claire Baker
Amy helps her clients move from this idea that they are broken or missing pieces of their own puzzle, to owning their story, claiming back all parts of themselves and merging together as one team to allow them to rest and be in their deepest expression.
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