How Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle Can Improve Your Mental Health
Thoughts from Eclectically Jeany
Last week I was on such a high. I was confident, eating clean, full of energy, excited, motivated and about to launch a new business. I felt like everything was coming together and I was so here for it.
Then this week, that energy all came crashing down on me. I felt those same intense feelings, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. I felt depressed, anxious, riddled with Mom guilt, unable think clearly or make a decision, and like everything was falling apart.
Now this ain't my first "depressy" rodeo, so I know when it's time to acknowledge the red flags and check in with myself. Where is that beautiful and confident woman from last week? I know she's still in there somewhere! The first place to look... My journal! Fortunately, the one non-negotiable(ish) thing I do for myself each night is journal before I go to bed. I have two journals, one is for my goals and the other is purely my self check-in.
My check-in journal tracks the moon cycle, my menstrual cycle, any physical ailments I've experienced that day, and the rise and fall of my moods as I coast through pre-ovulation (approx. days 7-13), ovulation (approx. days 13-21), pre-menstruation (approx. days 23-period), and menstruation (approx. days 1-7). I basically am my own science experiment. But like any mad scientist would do, I review my research anytime something dramatic happens... Like the way I've been feeling this week.
I look at the day I'm on in my cycle, and I review what I was experiencing on those same days during previous months. And guess what? The moods always fucking line up! This week, I'm premenstrual. This is the hardest transition for me because of the dramatic drop in estrogen and serotonin that our cyclic bodies experience when we don't become pregnant during ovulation. (Yeah, they don't teach you this shit in school, but it's damn science).
When I'm in ovulation mode (like last week). I am unfuckingstoppable and full of love for others and myself, confidence and the energy to accomplish and overcome anything in my way. This is thanks to the rise of estrogen that we experience after we bleed. It peaks during ovulation and it feels so dang good! For me, these two parts of my cycle are the most dramatic. Every single time I make that transition between ovulation and pre-menstruation, it's incredibly uncomfortable.
My to-do list that was made by "ovulating Jeany" suddenly looks like it's impossible to achieve, I become withdrawn from people, I can't make even the most simple decisions, and I begin to fill with self-doubt and insecurity. But guess what?! Thanks to the supporting evidence I have in front of me in my journal, I am comforted in knowing that I will get through this, and I do get through this every single month.
I'm now given a timeline and I know that once my period begins, so does sweet relief from this bitch of a mood that I'm consumed by right now. I also know that I will see that badass and totally all-together part of me within the next 2 weeks.
Suddenly the world isn't so scary. My anxiety over my mental health is put to ease by my scientific evidence. I no longer try to convince myself that I am not okay, or suffering from some sort of mental breakdown or psychotic episode like I have told myself and others in the past. I am able to give a heads up to my husband (bless him) and others who are close to me. And I know that what I am experiencing is just part of my natural female cycle.
I encourage you to give it a shot! Try to incorporate tracking your cycle into your daily routine. I keep my journals beside my bed, so this way they are pretty hard to forget about each day. You'll eventually find yourself becoming excited when it's time to journal. My husband makes fun of me some night's because I jump into bed and say to my journal "girl, I've got some tea for you!" anytime something crazy happens. We besties.
I'd love for you to gain that same special relationship with your journal! Find out what days are your unfuckingstoppable days, and what days you need to just call in sick to work and eat chocolate all day. After a couple months of journaling, you'll be able to call your shit out instantly!
At Thistle Lune Candles, we've put together a "Female Cycle Set" through our Divine Womxn Collection. It contains a womb loving candle for each season of your Menstrual Cycle. It's the perfect addition to your self-love routine, all month long!