The sun is rising as your alarm goes off. And before you hop out of bed to grab that first cup of coffee, you remember - you're getting your period today... so exactly how should you set up your morning routine for your menstrual phase?
Before cycle syncing, I didn't give much thought to my morning routine, except doing a workout. Whatever the day and regardless of which cycle phase, I'd be rushing from point A to point B. Throwing a smoothie together, grabbing the lunch I prepped the night before, while trying to curl my hair and look somewhat presentable. I always found the more stressful way to start the day.
During each week, your mind and body needs slight differences in your habits. The trick is to match what you truly need to how your hormones are naturally fluctuating.
Make the most of your menstrual phase morning routine with these quick tips:
1. Take at least 10 minutes to sit and reflect
Many women have a special spot in their home where they like to meditate or journal. This can be the cozy corner of your couch, wrapped up in the warmest blanket. It could also be a special spot in your bedroom where you can light candles and use an essential oil diffuser, set to lavender and eucalyptus scents.
Your menstrual phase is the best time for reflection. Each morning, if you can take just 10 minutes to sit and be with your thoughts, you will begin to notice month after month how much calmer you feel while having your period.
Frustration and overwhelm can come forward at this time if you are not listening or honoring your emotions.
At first, I found it very uncomfortable to be one with my thoughts. I wanted to find anything and everything to distract myself from truly recognizing how I wasn't living the life I wanted. I would challenge myself to flow write in my journal.
Flow writing is where you set the timer for 5-15 minutes and you just start writing. You don't think or judge your thoughts. You just put pen to paper and write.
This process will help you discover the sneaky fears holding you back and see where you're hiding in your comfort zone.
You'll start to feel emotionally calm during a time of month most women feel agitated and depressed. Your mindset is everything and practicing reflection during your period will transform your life!
2. Do a short cardio workout
After you become one with your thoughts, do a short cardio workout to get your blood flowing. This can be anything from a run or dance video to a 20-minute HIIT workout.
The goal here is to release endorphins, which are powerful pain relievers. Cardio will also increase your blood circulation. It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but increasing blood flow and kickstarting your feel good hormones has the power to alleviate or get rid of painful menstrual cramps.
90% of the time I don't feel like going out for a run when my period is starting. But every time I lace up my sneakers and ignore the voice in my head I should just skip it, I am so glad I've motivated myself to get outside. Those first five minutes of a run is all I need to keep going and help alleviate cramps I'll feel later in the day.
My trick for cardio during the menstrual phase is to not push myself too hard. A steady run feels better than quick sprints or going to a spin class where the music is too loud and the lights are too stimulating. I like to listen to soft music or catch up on podcast episodes.
3. Eat a warm breakfast
You really want to focus on eating warm foods during your period. Cold smoothies and raw salads can cause blood to become stagnant in your uterus, making those cramps feel more painful.
Skip your usual smoothie and whip up a quinoa porridge or sweet potato toast from the Balanced Bombshells Recipe Guide.
4. Prepackage healthy snacks and meals
If you've been tracking your cycle and know exactly when your period is starting, you can do this step the day before your period starts (hint: it'll feel extremely empowering!)
If you're like most women, you know all about period cravings! These cravings can derail all the hard work you put into being healthy all month. Prepackaing healthy snacks and meals allows you to have grab n' go options so you don't have to think about it. Take that cookies and chips! You only make me feel more tired, bloated, and irritable, and you have no space in my life.