Every month, I suffer from PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), and during my period, my energy levels are all over the place. Additionally, as a woman with endometriosis, my menstrual cycle really does impact my mood and symptoms.
After discovering the link between our menstrual cycle and energy levels, it just made sense why my mood has been overly full of ups and downs lately.
What are the four phases of the menstrual cycle?
The weeks we are not on your period are divided into three phases. Understanding how each stage of the menstrual cycle impacts our mind and body can benefit our lifestyle habits from diet, skincare, and exercise.
While many of you might think the period is the end of your cycle, it’s actually the first phase. The menstrual phase occurs if pregnancy doesn’t take place and our hormone levels, such as oestrogen and progesterone, drop. This phase is often associated with period cramps and can impact our mood, resulting in sadness, depression and irritability.
The second phase of our menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase. This phase starts when our periods end. At the beginning of this phase, our oestrogen levels are low, making us feel more tired than usual. As the day passes, this hormone’s level rises, and we feel more energised.
The third phase of our menstrual cycle is called the ovulatory phase. During this phase, eggs are released from the ovary. This period is called the “fertile window” when we are most likely to get pregnant. High levels of oestrogen and luteinising hormones lead to a bouncier mood, increased libido and high energy. It’s a perfect time to plan some activities, exercise and attend social events.
The final phase is the luteal phase. PMS occurs during this phase as your body prepares for a new cycle. During this period, you will feel a lack of energy, irritability and drowsiness as your serotonin (happiness hormone) levels drop significantly.
How to support your mind and body during the cycle?Constant Body Movement
Moving your body is a great way to release stress and navigate your mood during any cycle phase. When feeling low and sluggish, gentle movements such as yoga, swimming, simple pilates, and walking are recommended. If you don’t want to bother yourself by going to the swimming pool or doing yoga, try to go outside for a walk. Fresh air and walking are the best combination to refresh your mind and alleviate stress.Maintain sleep quality
Getting enough sleep is also essential for recharging your energy. Fatigue can impact your body and mind. Especially during the luteal phase, you may feel lower than usual. Review your night routine and create a more effective and relaxing ritual to signal your body to unwind.Create a self-care ritual
Practising self-care will make a great difference in controlling your energy and mood. Particularly on the days when you feel low, depressed, stressed and anxious, give yourself a much-needed rest. It can be taking a relaxing bath, staying in bed and binge-watching your favourite shows, or doing a special skincare routine.
How do we know which phases we are in?
Since becoming more aware of not just my period days but also my menstrual cycle, I’ve found myself becoming more gentle with my body and mind. What’s essential is listening to my body. There is no need to strictly follow the diet and workout routine when I’m feeling low. It’s best to be flexible according to my hormone levels and adjust my routine.