Did you realise that for a woman, looking after herself during her monthly period / moon cycle is a very important time?
Maybe this idea is foreign to you or not something you have ever considered, so let’s explore the how’s and whys a little.
For me, during the heavy days of my cycle it is quite noticeable by how my body feels that I have a little less energy than usual. My uterus often feels full and heavy and it’s in these days of heavy flow that I’ve learnt I need to respect and support my body’s even more than normal.
You see while we bleed there is a reasonable amount of energy lost through that blood flow, as nutrients like iron are being lost. A woman’s moon cycle is therefore a time where our body is cleansing and releasing; as all the blood which has been held in the wombs lining – for the possibility of a baby – is being cleared out of the body.
Which means this time of month can be a very a releasing time for both our minds and bodies, if we allow it to be.
Emotionally this time of month can also be a great time to releasing (some women feel deep grief or express buried emotions) while we are physically releasing from the womb.
Giving the body rest, rejuvenation and appropriate foods / drink are very beneficial to support this process of cleansing and clearing out on all levels. Specifically warming teas and warming meals are idea as all of these support the flow and release of energy / chi flowing around the body.
How do you currently view your monthly cycle?
Many women understandably view it as a hassle or an inconvenience, but is that all it really is?
What if – like the women of old – you viewed this time as a reminder to nourish yourself a little more and revel in your uniqueness as a woman?
Honouring + nurturing yourself during your moon cycle
Ideally allowing yourself to perform only light activities during the heaviest part of your moon cycle – the first for three days of heavy bleeding – is for most women beneficial.
Naturally what you can cut back on will depend on your situation re child-caring or work responsibilities. While lightening your physical activity – such as vigorous exercise at the gym – is something that any woman can do if she chooses.
Now don’t get me wrong – most of us live in a world of busyness, order, structure and scheduling so it isn’t always possible to self-care during your moon cycle every month – unless you really plan for it. I am only suggesting that you reconsider HOW you spend this time for yourself now, to ponder if you can improve how you nurture and acknowledge yourself as a woman each month.
I have a friend who plans ahead to allow herself time during her moon cycle, where she can stay closer to home, work on light duties, not go out and socialise as much – whenever possible. She allows herself these days each month to do plenty of resting, meditating, reflecting and going inside to nurture her body and mind regularly.
When I first heard this from her, I felt a little envy and thought “wow, that is an awesome idea” but never did much about it. However this month my moon cycle began on my client free day, so I took the chance to nurture myself in ways she inspired me to do. And I’m really glad I did!
I thought I’d share what I did for myself, which might give you some ideas to experiment with for yourself.
Self-care during my moon cycle
I used three hours while my son was at school all for nurturing only me!
Truthfully, I had to forced myself to stay off the computer (a temptation in any quiet moment as there are always things to do), and instead of undertaking chores I decided to prioritise me and honour my womanly cycle. So after school drop-off I came home to enjoy some nurturing self-care in a simple way.
The short story; I did one hour of restorative yoga with some lovely background music playing, followed by some warming freshly brewed chai tea to finish up.
The long story; for the restorative yoga I used two bolsters, a blanket, an eye pillow, and got myself all snuggled into really comfy relaxing positions with soothing music playing in the background. Come along to one of my retreats to have an in person experience of this lovely nurturing yoga practice.
While doing the restorative yoga, I also put on some sound healing as my background music. You could put some chanting music on, nature sounds, meditation music, or anything that you find soothing. For me today the sound healing was what I chose.
And for the Chai, I concocted some Ayurvedic Chai (warming spices of clove, ginger and others together into a luscious tasting drink) and left the chai simmer on the stove for about forty-five minutes, while I was doing my restorative yoga practice. It certainly was a nice way to reawaken myself after lots of restful meditative yoga positions.
Was it worthwhile? Yes!!.
Honestly, this simple practice of moon cycle self-care was undoubtedly the best hour and a half of “me-time” that I’ve given myself over the last few weeks!
And if possible it is something that I will definitely continue to do most months, on at-least one of my heavy cycle days.
A wide range of self-care options
Now naturally you don’t need to do what I did, that was just what worked for me.
I am whole heartedly encouraging you to do anything that is allowing yourself to take a gentler path, even if only for an hour each day in your heavy bleeding time.
Whether it’s enjoying and soaking in a warm bath, snuggling on the couch with a hot water blanket, being in a restorative pose, or just coming home and resting instead of doing house work – anything that is a lighter activity during your heavy days of moon time are beneficial.
If you’ve got young children, allowing yourself extra couch time with cup of tea while you read them stories is another take it easy suggestion that I use if I’m exhausted. The ideas are limitless really.
Some women also like to acknowledge what is happening in the body during this time. You can do this putting your hands on your womb and connecting to your womb; thinking about what your body’s doing in this time, as it cleanses and let’s go, and what emotions you might want to let go of this month.
And did you know that even women who are in the post-menopausal stage of life still through emotional cycles each and every month? Regardless of bleeding or not our bodies and minds are cyclical in nature just because we are women.
Other examples for moon cycle self-care:
- taking time to sit and connect with a girlfriend over a cup of tea, and talking about how you’ve been feeling
- putting an aromatherapy diffuser on and sitting for 5 minutes to enjoy the aroma
- doing reheated meals or an easy night of dinner
- having a cup of tea – sticking mostly with herbal teas
- eating light, nourishing warming foods (which is something many people encourage) like easy-to- digest broths, soups, vegetarian casseroles
- lightening your activities with exercise
- try menstrual cups instead of tampons to lighten the flow
One last thing … have you heard of moon cups? I started using a menstrual cup regularly last year. And what I found is that it has really shortened up my cycle even more than it was.
While it used to be four or five days of heavier bleeding, now it’s two to three days, which is so totally amazing!! If you haven’t checked out menstrual cups, you’ll save a lot of money, time and effort during your moon cycle – personally it has really freed me from tampons and lots of toilet visits each day. It’s so convenient so give it a go!
If you like the idea of beginning to make time to nurture yourself a little more at this sacred time of month, please experiment with my suggestions and no doubt you will have many more that may work for you.
PS> Sound Healing
I recently attended a live Sound Healing event in Samford with this groovy guy which was just amazing to experience the vibrancy of drums in the body, chanting and a wide range of instruments. I loved it so much I’ve been using his music at home ever since!