The menstrual cycle can be broken down into distinct seasons, each with its own unique energy that you can use to your advantage.
Winter AKA Your Period
The winter season is your period, also known as the bleeding phase. Winter marks the beginning of your cycle and should last between three and seven days.
Just like the actual season, a woman’s inner winter calls for warm, nourishing foods, time to rest and take things slow, to be extra protective of yourself, and to observe and reflect. It’s also when you would do well to schedule time alone, so that you can be still and connect with your womb space.
Spring AKA The Follicular Phase
A woman’s inner spring begins the first day after bleeding stops and lasts until the final days leading up-to-and-including ovulation. When it comes to your body, this is the time when Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is stimulating your ovaries to grow follicles, only one of which will become dominant and eventually release an egg. As the dominant follicle continues to grow, estrogen levels continue to climb, along with your feelings of well-being.
Both your physical and mental energy is on the rise, making it a great time to put plans into action, start new projects and be creative. Rather than get hung up on the details (something more appropriate for the Luteal Phase) engage in big picture thinking and strategizing.
Summer AKA Ovulation
Most women look and feel most attractive during their inner summer and it’s no wonder. Estrogen is about to reach its peak, giving your skin that beautiful glow and making things extra juicy down below. Meanwhile a surge of testosterone should have your sex drive running extra high. This is the shortest season of the cycle and the main event is ovulation. For some women it occurs as early as Day 11 and for others as late as Day 21.
The ovulatory phase can feel almost manic, as you want to do many things and push yourself beyond your usual limits. From a physiological standpoint, there’s no better time of the month to be flirty, socialize or even try that HIIT workout.
Fall AKA The Luteal Phase
A woman’s inner fall corresponds to the Luteal Phase or the last 12 to 16 days of your cycle. With progesterone on the scene after the dominant follicle ruptures and the corpus luteum is formed, the energy during this phase should be calm, grounded, and focused.
Since our brains are primed to fixate even more on all the little details, don’t be surprised if your inner critic is also hyperactive when it comes to your flaws. You can counteract this effect by regularly practicing self-compassion through meditation.