SPARK Wellness: A Conversation on Menstrual Cycles

What better day than galentine’s day (and #wcm), to talk about cycles – menstrual cycles that is!

Blame it on the cosmos right now with warrior Mars and erratic Uranus aligning in fiery Aries and basically just unleashing a full force battle cry today … But I just feel like this is something that should be discussed!

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The Menstruation Cycle

One of my astrological planners for 2019 is from a company called the Magic of I, and it is really standing out from any planner I’ve had before because it allows for menstrual cycle tracking. In fact, my favorite thing about my new astro planner IS the menstrual cycle calendar. It shows you the phases of the moon and associated zodiac sign it’s in each day. It is also laid out in a way to give you an overall view of the whole year which will show you any trends you may have in your cycle, either in what moon phase it is showing up in or even what zodiac sign.

Being a woman has a lot of hidden parts and pieces that get tucked away to make people (men) feel more comfortable. (Or in other cases these parts & pieces of women are shamed entirely). I believe that stigmas around menstrual cycles should be broken and normalized, and discussed more openly. Especially considering around 50 PERCENT of the entire population has a menstrual cycle. Do you have a mother? She has (or had) a menstrual cycle – I mean like how the fuck do you think you got here? Do you have a wife? A girlfriend? Daughter? A girl that is a friend? ALL of them have, had, or will have, a menstrual cycle whether you like to admit it & talk about it, or not. IT STILL HAPPENS.

Now more than ever, women really need to empower other women, (and men need to empower women too!) And we ALL need to work together to help create safe spaces for women to be just that – WOMEN. Ignoring the fact that a woman has a menstrual cycle is like ignoring the fact that we all eat, shit, and sleep. (Wait, whaaaaat?? Women poop too??)

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My own cycle has been synced to the full moon for over 6 months, until January 2019 came around that is. Many factors can contribute to cycle changes so it’s hard to pinpoint one way or another, but I’ll be curious to see how my cycle trends in line with that of La Luna as the year progresses.

2019 is going to be the year we normalize all of what it means to be a woman >>> including women’s sexuality, and women’s menstrual cycles. Being a woman is a beautiful, magical, completely goddess like thing, and by no means should we have to sweep normal parts of our everyday lives under the rug to make other people (mostly men) more comfortable. Women should be proud to be women, not ashamed. Nobody has time for fucking shame anymore. Release your inner womanhood, scream it from the mountaintops, I don’t care what you do just DO NOT be ashamed of it.

Fact: Women’s bodies are such powerfully incredible works of art that often times their cycles even sync up with each other’s too! I remember noticing this a lot when I had roommates in college or when I played sports in high school.

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Next up: Sick days for menstrual cycles. Some companies out there already offer this as a benefit for women! Have you ever had to call in sick because of menstrual pain? I have. And you know what, when I was asked how I was feeling I straight up told my boss that I had menstrual cramps. Fuck it. It’s literally 2019. I said what I said. I’m not hiding who I am. And that includes every womanly part of me too! I shouldn’t have to be ashamed of what I’m going through and why I need to stay home and rest. My body is literally RIPPING APART its own uterus walls each month and sometimes that can be a damn painful (& even traumatizing) experience! FOR REAL THOUGH.

Also, what is with this shit where we have to hide tampons by shoving them up our sleeves in order to walk it to the bathroom to change it out? I’m SO sick of that shit too. It’s normal, it’s natural, it’s going to keep happening for many of us month after month. I shouldn’t have to go out of my way to hide a tampon so no one sees it just so I can get to the bathroom. Absolutely mind boggling. Can you think of anything a man would have to hide so no one saw it on his way to the bathroom??? NO. [Actually I can think of one thing; this guy at my work hides a can of chew and takes it to the bathroom every afternoon for a little ‘buzz’.]

I’ll even take this one step further for you all, because I KNOW most all of the women reading this will be able to understand and relate. Have you ever been somewhere where you feel a … leak … taking place (or coming on). And instead of feeling comfortable enough to deal with it and tell your friends or whomever you are with, you have to make up some sorry ass excuse to immediately leave and go home to deal with your ‘problem’? … Yeah fuck that shit too. I wish I could remember what episode it was, but I recently remember listening to a guest on a podcast talk about this very scenario and how she stopped carrying to make excuses when she was around her guy friends, or even on dates with men. She talked about one specific time this happened while at a male friends house for dinner and she noticed that she accidentally left a mark on one of his chairs. She COULD have just ignored it and left or secretly tried to wipe it up when he wasn’t looking. But instead she choose to just tell him flat outright – HEY MAN, I just got some period on your chair. And you know what? He reacted like a fucking MAN and said, No worries let me go get a towel – and he fucking cleaned it up himself!

Remember that next time.

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BONUS: I’ve also been learning a lot about seed cycling in conjunction with menstrual cycles from my friend Asha over at Wellflower. Check it out – pretty cool (and tasty) stuff!

PSA. If any of this kind of stuff makes you uncomfortable then you should probably spend some time taking a cold hard look in the mirror and figuring out what it is about yourself that you need to confront and deal with. Because it surely isn’t the problem of me or any of the women in your life who have a fucking menstrual cycle. Grow up.  #Endrant

FOR THE WOMEN OUT THERE

Things that can help regulate your menstrual cycle:

  • Hormone health: The hormones that make your menstruation cycle happen are mostly a mix of estrogen and testosterone and imbalances in either can cause irregular or painful periods. I’ve been learning a lot about hormone health from podcast episodes. One of the podcast hosts from Almost 30 podcast also talks very openly about her hormone health journey – you should check out Krista Williams page for more.
  • CBD supplements: Game changer! CBD can help you regulate your hormones naturally! It’s an adaptogenic superhero in the wellness world. Take it daily for the best results.
  • Eating well: This one should almost be common sense, but it still has to be said. If you fuel your body well it will most definitely work at least a little bit better. DUH.
  • SLEEP: A lack of sleep screws up so many things it would take too long to even list them out right now. Be sure to get adequate (DEEP) sleep every night. If you are having trouble sleeping then you should start checking into other things like your anxiety levels, insomnia, are you eating before bed, alcohol consumption, etc.

Things that can help decrease the pain of menstruation:

  • CBD supplements: Wait, this again? YES. CBD can help a TON with menstrual pain and cramping. (It is a natural pain reliever after all)
  • Hormone health: Regulation of your system will lead to less extreme onset of your cycle each month.
  • Heating pads: Oh gosh do they help relieve pain during this special time of the month!
  • REST: I literally can’t say it enough. Oftentimes we are always on the go, go, GO and we don’t take enough time to just slow down and REST.

Things you should avoid during your cycle:

  • Coffee: Did you know that caffeine can increase the pain you experience during menstruation? It’s a good idea to cut back (or avoid entirely) during your time of the month.
  • Alcohol: Honestly though, are there many things that alcohol is really GOOD at even? Aside from social lubrication …

Times are changing

My hope is that even a year from now writing something like this wouldn’t feel so taboo anymore.  My hope is that women will continue to empower other women all around the world. My hope is that it will just keep increasing, and spreading like wildfire. My hope is that women will feel comfortable in their own bodies and in their own skin. My hope is that they won’t be afraid to acknowledge and talk about their bodies and what they are going through.

Normalize menstrual cycles. 

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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo

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