Growing up, there wasn't much period talk going on around me. Forget the fact that up until recently I wasn't even aware that my cycle included 4 Phases (yes that's right, read more about all 4 Phases of Menstruation here) So when I was 11 and got my first period, my mom handed me a pad discreetly and moved on. After that, it was years of hiding tampons in my fist or back jean pocket as I walked to the bathroom. Saying "I didn't feel good" or "had a headache" when really I just had really bad cramps.
so no more internalized period shame
we believe that in addition to teaching people how prevent period blood from getting on their pants, we should also be educating people on how to take care of themselves, physically and emotionally, during all 4 Phases of their cycle.
so here we are sharing the ultimate CYCLE SELFCARE GUIDE including some of our favorite self care practices, snacks and tips for making the best of each phase. now remember, selfcare is in fact a practice, so by all means do not treat this as a checklist but rather an inspiration board of ideas that hopefully make you feel good.
the phase we know most about, the menstrual phase. when our bodies are busy shedding that uterine lining. physically we may be feeling pain, discomfort, bloating, restlessness and/or just plain old tired. so what we may need for these 4 to 7 days is lots of rest and compassion for ourselves.
menstrual self care tips
rest: and we put it as #1 for a reason. society as a whole convinced us that we need to put on a brave face while we may be suffering with non stop pain for a week and "live with it" but honestly that is going to be no for us. if you feel the need to rest extra during this phase, we wish you the space to do so and strength to communicate that need with the people in your life. we are sensitive to life getting in the way of this, so don't feel pressure if you need to abandon plans or reschedule if possible.
binge watch an old classic: some of our favorites are Gilmore Girls, Parks & Recreation, and . If we are going way back then Boy Meets World or Sabrina the Teenage Witch. If we are trying to cry, then we all know it's The Breakfast Club.
indulge, if the mood strikes you no explanation needed, if you want to get in all snacks then you know what to do.
go for a soak: whether it's in the bath, hot tub or somewhere outdoors like a pool or even better, a hot spring.
don't be hesitant to have sex (if you are in the mood) that is right we said it, sex on your period is not taboo (and can even be, YES!) so if you are feeling like it then go for it.
our favorite menstrual products
here are some of our favorite products to help with your menstrual cycle
menstruation is done, and it may feel like a new day. estrogen is rising and the sun is shining and bit brighter. you may notice you have a bit more energy and things are looking up. so in these days following the menstrual phase we will do our best to get on our feet a bit more, taking care of our physical needs and spending a little extra time of loving up on our favorite person, ourselves.
follicular self care tips
get active: go for a hot girl walk, swim, sign up for a class, get a stretch in. whatever way you enjoy getting moving GO FOR IT.
plan something fun: maybe a date day with yourself or a fun activity you have been wanting to do. for us maybe a matcha date and some thrifting with a bestie, or drinks and a show.
start a new book: spending that extra energy looking inward with a self help book or you can always just dive into something fiction. whatever floats your boat.
things are getting going! and sure this is the shortest phase of all but don't underestimate it. your estrogen levels may go way up, but they will be dropping soon, so for the next 12-48 hours it is ON!
ovulatory self care tips
get productive: if you have something you have been wanting to do, now is the time. start (or finish) that project, wrap up that book you are reading or brainstorm a new adventure. it's a short window of opportunity but the ovulatory phase is that day of the month where things can feel just good.
treat yourself day: whether its a day at home with a face mask and a bath, or something simple like making your favorite dinner.
pay it forward: return the favor, or pay it forward. big or small.
also known as the second 1/2 of the menstrual cycle, it's starts about two weeks prior to your period. progesterone rising, progesterone peaks, so feelings can change.
luteal self care tips
during the first week - with estrogen and progesterone both up, you may notice you feel a bit more focused and maintain a higher energy
some more active movement: like hiking, or some cardio could benefit you. if that doesn't seem like the right choice then yoga, riding a bike or even just going for a walk outside could work too.
start a new hobby or project
during the second week of luteal: as the body prepares of menstruation, things might feel like they need to slow down a bit. and that's ok and perfectly normal, really tune in to your body during this time.
journaling: since we are tuning into our feelings now may be a good time to sit and reflect on some of those emotions. journaling or setting some intentions could be a helpful tool.
get those carbs in: don't even hesitate, if the mood strikes for pancakes for dinner then you know what to do.
crafting: if this is your thing, it could be a good time of month so get creative and entertain yourself with some no pressure craft projects like crocheting or making a vision board.
(disclaimer time) we are obviously not doctors, and we are certainly not writing this as a one size fits all plan for everyone. cycles can change from month to month. as we always say, wellness is a personal thing, and this article is merely suggesting practices that hopefully will make you feel better during each of the four phases of your cycle. if there is a practice or something we need to add or edit, please let us know in the comments.