Cycle Syncing: A Feel-Good Guide To Living In Sync With Your Menstrual Cycle

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Ever feel not quite yourself during your period? Menstrual cramps can slow you down, drain your energy and even dampen your mood. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you harness the power of cycle syncing. 

At each phase of our menstrual cycle, there are practical steps we can take to live in alignment with our hormones, mood and energy levels. 

Ready to feel good every day of the month and maximise the year ahead? We’re sharing our top tips for what to eat, drink and do at each stage of your menstrual cycle. 

What is cycle syncing?

So much happens during your menstrual cycle. Across the four key phases of your cycle, your hormones will fluctuate and impact everything from your appetite to your mood and beyond. 

That’s where cycle syncing comes in. Rather than forcing yourself to do things that drain and exhaust you, syncing with your cycle allows you to listen to your body and make conscious decisions that help you to feel your best. 

Take this example: during your menstrual phase, the last thing you probably want to do is sweat it out in a HIIT class or pack your calendar with endless social events. Instead, you could adapt your daily routine during these days to prioritise rest, focus on gentle movements and fuel your body with wholesome nourishing foods.

The aim of cycle syncing is to make each phase of your cycle easier to manage and to make the most of the phases in your cycle where you’re naturally upbeat and energised. 

A practical guide to the four phases of your cycle

Phase 1. Menstruation

Yep. Aunt Flo is in town. The crimson tide has arrived. Code red is here. Whatever you want to call it, this is probably the phase you know the most about.

The uterus lining is shedding, and you’re bleeding. 

This phase is a bit of a doozy: your progesterone and estrogen levels drop and your energy levels go down with it. Luckily this bleed only lasts around 3-7 days and there are a few easy changes you can make to help make the most of this time. 

How to move your body

Rest is key, so now is not the time to push yourself. Opt for gentle movements such as yoga or a meditative walk to decrease muscular tension and ease discomfort. As your flow gets lighter, moderate aerobic exercises can help get you back in the swing of things. 

What to eat

Replenish your body with mineral-rich foods to replace the iron and zinc you’ve lost. Think warming stews and soups and dishes packed with energising carbs, protein, and healthy fats.

While we never want to tell you what not to eat, cutting back on fried foods, caffeine, dairy, and alcohol has been proven to help reduce cramps

Mindset hacks 

If you’re feeling extra emotional at that time of the month, now is the time to go inward and take care of yourself. Try journaling or meditation and get in touch with how you’re feeling. 

Phase two. The follicular phase

Once your bleed comes to an end, you’ll enter the follicular phase (running from around day 6 to 14 of your cycle).

While your energy is likely increasing and you’re experiencing more emotional clarity, it’s important to keep in mind that your estrogen levels are still low. 

How to move

Your stamina isn’t back to full capacity, so start adding moderate-intensity workouts into your routine. Think hiking, light runs and flow-based yoga classes to build up a sweat. 

What to eat

Prioritise restoring lost iron from the menstrual phase as well as increasing fibre to aid the body’s metabolism of estrogen. Add fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut to your sandwiches and salads.

Hack your mindset

Feeling more sociable at this time of the month? Thanks to an increase in estrogen you’re probably feeling energised and upbeat. Now’s the time to say yes, take risks and make new connections in your personal and professional life.

Phase three. Ovulation

At this phase of your cycle, your hormones are peaking – which means your energy levels are likely to be at their highest. 

How to move

Get your sweat on. Kickboxing, boot-camp class and HIIT workouts are your friends right now. You’re in the right place to push yourself hard as your body will naturally be gravitating towards feeling strong and powerful.

What to eat

Look for goods that will keep your estrogen levels balanced and will aid in the detoxification of your liver. Think raw fruits and vegetables (particularly broccoli and cauliflower). If you’re moving your body more than usual, make sure to consume nourishing meals packed with fibre, protein and a healthy dose of carbs (and don’t forget to stay hydrated, too).

Hack your mindset

Rising testosterone brings a boost to your confidence, meaning now is the time to socialise, have fun and connect with your loved ones. 

Phase four. The luteal phase

At the final phase of your cycle, your energy typically drops and your mood may begin to fluctuate. Brain fog and waning concentration are also common. PMS may also occur bringing on feelings of bloating, appetite changes, migraines, insomnia and acne.

How to move

You might not be able to push yourself as hard as you did last week, but that’s okay!  Reduce the intensity and focus on walking, low impact strength training or Pilates.

What to eat

This phase is pretty demanding on the body, using energy to rebuild the uterine lining. And with all the hormonal surges it’s important to prioritise magnesium-rich food (like dark leafy greens, whole grains and legumes) to help beat that fatigue.

Hack your mindset

You know what’s ahead of you in the menstrual phase, so now is the time to plan and prepare. Get everything in order so you have some time to relax when that time of the month does roll back around. 

Remember, everybody is different so it’s important to really take some time to get to know your body, how your cycle works and how long each phase lasts for you. With a few simple diet, exercise and mindset hacks you can live in sync with your cycle and maximise the year ahead.

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