Rainbow colors on a walkway symbolising the menstrual cycle seasons

Your Inner Seasons: The Power of your Menstrual Cycle

Have you ever wondered why some days out of the month you feel like hiding away in your bedroom to binge watch reruns of your favorite show, while other days you feel as though you could complete every task on your to-do list in a matter of minutes? This is the wisdom of your menstrual cycle and its seasons!

In our modern world, it seems we’ve lost touch with our bodies inner wisdom of the menstrual cycle. We treat it simply as a biological process that needs to be controlled, hidden, and forgotten through hormonal contraceptives and period products. And even though these modern day solutions can be great and helpful, we lose sight of the power we have.

In a previous blog post, we talked about the menstrual cycle and what happens in your body biologically during each of its 4 phases. Now let’s talk about how these biological changes affect your mood and energy and how you can harness it.

Your inner seasons of your menstrual cycle.

The wisdom of the menstrual cycle has been passed down from generation to generation, from woman to woman, and it is what connects us not only to ourselves but also to nature.

On a deeper level, the four phases of the menstrual cycle reflect the four seasons found in nature – winter, spring, summer, and autumn. 

Often we are pressured to remain full of energy and in a good mood all-the-time and when we can’t, we think there is something horribly wrong with our bodies. But knowing the deeper meaning of your cycle can help you channel the mood and energy of these inner seasons for your benefit, so you can be your absolute best throughout the whole month.

Inner Winter ❄️

Days 1-5 | Menstruation

What’s happening biologically?

Your period begins. If an egg has not been fertilized in the previous cycle, it will dissolve. Estrogen and progesterone levels drop and your endometrium breaks down and sheds as menstrual blood. 

How you may feel:

Because of the drop in hormones, you may feel tired and experience unpleasant menstrual cramps and bloating. You may feel more withdrawn and a bit more irritated when asked to do things that require a lot of energy. You may also feel sad and a little more emotional.

Harness your energy

Think of this phase as a time of self-love. In nature, everything reduces it’s activity and becomes dormant – the trees are bare, animals hibernate, and everything is about rest and renewal. 

Be kind to yourself, rest is just as important as productivity and growth. Allow yourself to “hibernate” and try restful activities like meditation, deep breathing, walks in nature, and yes…binging on your favorite show.

As your body is working hard to release the old blood, now is also the time to let go of the old – old energy, old habits, old thoughts that don’t serve you – and embrace the new. If you need to, let yourself cry and release emotion that has been stored up throughout the rest of your cycle.

Taking the time to rest will help you be more resilient and energetic throughout the rest of your cycle.

Foods for your inner winter:

Eat foods that are easy to digest and are warming such as soups and stews, so your digestive system won’t have to work so hard. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, can help your body eliminate excess estrogen and spices like turmeric, thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, and garlic can help move your gastrointestinal tract. Avoid alcohol and caffeine that can make you stressed and anxious.

Exercise for your inner winter:

Prioritize slow, gentle, and restorative movement. Try gentle yoga, slow walks, and stretching. 

Inner Spring 🌸

Days 5-13  | Follicular Phase

What’s happening biologically?

Your pituitary gland releases the Follicle Stimulating Hormone and estrogen. These hormones tell your endometrial lining to rebuild and your ovaries to grow a dominant follicle.

How you may feel:

As you begin to come out of “hibernation”, your energy levels will rise. You may feel more willing to socialize and go to events. You may feel more creative and willing to take on new endeavors and find it easier to concentrate and be productive.

Harness your energy:

Spring is a time of new beginnings and so is this phase in your cycle. It’s a new beginning for your cycle and your body. A fresh start. 

In nature, everything wakes up from its period of rest and begins to grow. You might feel this way as well – like your body is waking up. Think of this phase as a time of rebirth. You already shed the old you and you are growing as a new person. 

As your body is regenerating, rising hormones stimulate your brain. This is a good time to start new projects and challenges and take advantage of planning out the days ahead and learning new skills.

Foods for your inner spring:

Protein is especially important during the first half of your cycle to help regenerate your endometrium and follicles. For vegetarians, use plant sources of protein such as nuts, beans, sprouts, and grains and take advantage of protein powders. 

Exercise for your inner spring:

This is the best time for light cardio and strength training. This is also the best time to mix up exercise routines. Try home workouts, pilates, yoga flows, jogging, and swimming.

Inner Summer ☀️

10-18 | Ovulation

What’s happening biologically?

The dominant follicle on your ovary releases its egg for potential fertilization.

How you may feel:

Things start to heat up! You may feel your most expressive and energetic during this inner season. Your energy might be more outward and expressive and just as the days are longer in summer, your energy will last longer. For many women, this is the time of month they look and feel their best.

Harness your energy:

Summer is the season of nurturing. It’s a time to nurture relationships through socialization, sharing, and service. In summer, the heat is at its peak, and in your inner summer so is your creative energy.

Now is the most enjoyable time to hang out with friends and family and make connections. Since most of your energy is focused outwardly, now is also the best time to ask for a promotion or a raise, or start a new job.

Your sexual energy is also at its peak. Orgasms are easier to achieve and more intense because of more blood flow to your vulva, vagina, and uterus. Just be careful if you find yourself feeling extra frisky, as you are also at your most fertile during this inner season.

Food for your inner summer:

Your digestion has slowed down so eat your food slowly and chew well. Avoid raw, frozen, or cold foods especially ice and ice cream. Eat warming foods that are spiced and seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, turmeric and fennel. Rice, oatmeal, parsnips, onions, lamb, beef, stewed fruit, leeks, and chicken are also considered warming foods in Chinese medicine. 

Exercise for your inner summer:

Since this is the season you have the most energy, your body can handle more intense exercise. Try HIIT, cardio sessions, and strength training.

Inner Autumn 🍁

15-28 | Luteal Phase

What’s happening biologically?

Estrogen and testosterone falls, and progesterone is at its peak. Your basal body temperature rises and you burn more calories during this phase. If implantation doesn’t occur, progesterone levels fall and your period begins.

How you may feel:

As the heat from your inner summer dies down, you will feel your energy levels start to fall. Premenstrual symptoms may start to pop up as bloating, cramps, and mood swings. Your outward energy will begin to turn inward and you might begin to feel more reserved as your near the arrival of your period.

Harness your energy:

In nature, everything that was nurtured in summer, is ripe and ready in autumn. It’s a time of harvesting. The same with your inner autumn. You spent your inner summer nurturing relationships and the new projects you took on in your inner spring, and now it’s time to reap the benefits. 

Because you spent time nourishing relationships, in this period of slowing down and moving into your inner winter season you may feel more supported by others. This is also the time to reap the benefits of that new job, promotion, or raise you asked for in your inner summer.

As your energy wanes, take what you nurtured in your inner summer and savor it in your inner autumn. Harnessing your energy in this way will help you get through your inner winter when your menstrual cycle, and your inner seasons, begin all over again.

Food for your inner autumn:

Drink lots of water and increase magnesium intake with leafy greens, vegetables, tofu, bananas, avocados, and dried apricots. Magnesium helps progesterone production. Limit coffee and caffeine as these decrease blood flow to the uterus, they also increase the risk of clotting and miscarriage, and increase stress and anxiety. 

Exercise for your inner autumn:

Your autumn energy isn’t quite as low as in your winter energy. Light to moderate exercise can help ease any premenstrual symptoms and move stagnant energy. Try light cardio such as hiking, swimming, jogging, or yoga.

Don’t worry if your menstrual cycle seasons are different.

Your inner seasons can be longer or shorter than what you read above. On average, a normal cycle lasts one lunar month – or 28 days. But it’s normal if your cycle is a few days longer or shorter.

If you are on hormonal birth control, the natural production of hormones is suppressed to prevent ovulation. It is possible you might not experience the same inner seasons that you would if you were not taking birth control. That being said, You will probably still feel changes in your mood and energy throughout the month, and it may just be that you experience a certain inner season longer than those who are not on birth control.

Find your pattern.

The best way to harness the power of your inner seasons is to track your menstrual cycle and it’s 4 seasons.

There are many apps that will help you track the length of your cycle as well as when you enter and exit each phase. But you can also easily track your cycle by writing down how you feel each day. 

Grab a journal, and start on the first day of your period. Write down how many days you bleed as well as how you feel everyday until your next period arrives. You can quickly chart your energy levels by writing a single letter next to each day like this:

L – Low energy
M – Moderate energy
H – High energy

Then write down your mood next to each letter. 
Be consistent. It takes a few months to find the pattern of your cycle!

You can start tracking your menstrual cycle seasons today with our free monthly report card! What are you waiting for?

Experience your menstrual cycle in a whole new way!

When you look at your cycle as an inner power and not as simply a biological event, it becomes something to be celebrated and not vilified. Now it’s your turn to harness the ancient wisdom of the inner seasons of your menstrual cycle so you can feel your absolute best in this modern world!

Share below!

  • Do you think the descriptions of the inner seasons above accurately reflect how you feel during each phase of your menstrual cycle? 
  • How has your perception of your cycle changed since learning about your inner seasons?

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