Have you ever sat down at your computer, ready to work, and found yourself hopelessly distracted and unable to focus? Or have a big day planned, but all you want to do when you wake up is sloth on the couch and watch Netflix? We are all so stressed and overwhelmed, it is easy to lose sight of what our body is trying to tell us. As women, we have a natural monthly cycle, where it is normal to feel more energetic at some points throughout the month, and need to rest and recover at other points. Sometimes the creativity is flowing, and other times our analytical side comes through. Our body is trying to show us where our strengths are at each point throughout the month. Here are some ways to listen to what your body is telling you and how to lean into that natural rhythm.
Let’s start with chocolate cravings.
There is a very good reason behind the cliche of craving chocolate around the time of your period! When we get close to menstruation, our body’s need for magnesium increases. The cocoa used to make chocolate is high in magnesium, so our body craves it to supplement our magnesium needs. Chocolate also has lots of sugar, fats and caffeine, so there may be other reasons why your brain craves it, but magnesium is a good place to start, as it is estimated 80% of Australian adults are magnesium deficient. We have many different forms of magnesium at our practice, like liquid supplements, sprays and creams and bath salts, so make sure you pick some up next time you are in for an adjustment!
Next is exercise.
We have all had those days where you would rather hide under the covers than work up a sweat. Take note of where you are in your cycle when your energy is low. Chances are it is in the lead up to your period, which is a natural time to rest and recover to prepare for the month ahead. The good news is you can listen to your body! On those days where you don’t feel like pushing hard, don’t. Take a walk, do some yoga, lighter weights or have a rest day. Your energy will return and you can do the HIIT session or run then.
When to push through and when to procrastinate.
Is this task the best use of my time right now? Have you ever had to struggle through a writing task or an assignment and not been able to make the words flow? Ever been in a planning meeting and got so stuck on minute details you couldn’t see the bigger picture? As women, we naturally gravitate towards certain tasks at different phases in our cycle. If you can postpone a certain overwhelming task, try it again in a week or two, when your brain is optimised for that task. This could help each task be less effort, saving you time in the long run.
The week before your period and the week of your period are times when you will feel more withdrawn and possibly irritable. Being aware that you will be emotionally fragile at this time can make it easier to moderate your response and perhaps not bite your partner’s head off for leaving his socks on the floor, again. While we have little control of where we are in our cycle, we can control how we react, and knowing that we are going to be a little more sensitive can be very powerful.
Food as fuel- what your body needs and when
While cravings are often seen as silly, being able to honour your body and give it what it is asking for can be very powerful. Now we’re not saying eat the whole tub of icecream or bowl of chips, but a small serve of what you are really wanting to eat can help your body. At certain times of your cycle, energy needs may be higher, so food intake needs to be more. So listen to your body and be able to fuel it accordingly.
All of these points can be tailored to you and your own cycle. Take a diary or app, and track yourself for a couple of months. Daily recording of where you are in your cycle, mood, energy, exercise (and how you felt after), cravings and whatever else you would like to track can give you a blueprint to start shaping your month around your cycle.
Want to know more, or confused on where to start? We will be hosting ‘Own Your Own Health’ on Wednesday September 8th at 7pm for their ‘Female Advantage’ workshop, which covers all this and more to help women be their best. Click here for more information and to reserve your spot.
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At Ballarat and District Chiropractic we know you want to be empowered when it comes your health so we want to help you by sharing all our knowledge about Chiropractic.