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Nervous System Regulation Across Your Menstrual Cycle: A Holistic Approach to Well-being


Understanding the connection between your menstrual cycle and nervous system regulation can empower you to navigate the ebbs and flows of your emotional and physical well-being with greater ease. They can also allow you to explore different practices depending on which phase of your cycle that you're in - and I know that has been a game changer for me.


Throughout the menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations occur, influencing not only reproductive processes but also mood, energy levels, and stress responses. By embracing practices tailored to each phase of your cycle, you can cultivate a deeper sense of balance and resilience.


Hormonal Changes and Their Impact:


Follicular Phase: The follicular phase occurs right at the start of your menstrual cycle and lasts approximately 13-14 days. During this phase, estrogen levels rise, leading to increased energy and a sense of renewal. However, some may experience heightened anxiety or restlessness. Symptoms may include mood swings, irritability, and difficulty focusing.


Ovulatory Phase: Ovulation isn't really a phase of your cycle, but it is an even that occurs at approximately 14 days (or halfway) into your cycle and marks the transition point from the follicular to luteal phase. Estrogen peaks during ovulation, promoting feelings of vitality and sociability. Yet, heightened emotions and sensitivity may arise, accompanied by potential stress triggers. Symptoms may manifest as increased sensitivity to stressors, heightened emotions, or heightened anxiety.


Luteal Phase: The luteal phase occurs from ovulation to the first day of your period. Progesterone levels rise during this phase, contributing to a sense of calm and introspection. However, some individuals may experience mood fluctuations and heightened emotional sensitivity. Symptoms may include mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and increased stress.


Menstrual Phase: Again, though our menstrual phase isn't a true phase because it occurs during the beginning of the follicular phase - it can have us feeling some kind of way and its important to recognize this. As hormone levels decline, energy levels may decrease, and physical discomfort such as cramps and fatigue may arise. Emotional sensitivity may also be heightened, leading to feelings of vulnerability or low mood. Symptoms may include fatigue, mood swings, irritability, and heightened emotional sensitivity.


Practices for Nervous System Regulation:


During your Follicular Phase: Engage in energizing activities such as yoga, brisk walks, or dancing to capitalize on increased energy levels. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing to manage any anxiety or restlessness.


During your Ovulatory Phase: Prioritize social connections and engaging activities to harness the vitality of this phase. Practice grounding techniques such as meditation or spending time in nature to maintain emotional balance.


During your Luteal Phase: Embrace gentle movement practices such as restorative yoga or tai chi to support relaxation and ease any tension. Prioritize self-care activities such as journaling, aromatherapy, or warm baths to nurture emotional well-being.


During your Menstrual Phase: Honor your body's need for rest and restoration by prioritizing self-compassion and gentle movement such as restorative yoga or gentle stretching. Practice self-soothing techniques such as abdominal breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to alleviate discomfort and promote relaxation.


By attuning to the unique rhythms of your menstrual cycle and incorporating practices that support nervous system regulation, you can cultivate a greater sense of harmony and well-being throughout each phase. Listen to your body's cues, honor its needs, and approach each phase with self-compassion and understanding.


I hope this mini guide was helpful for you to learn more about nervous system regulation and your cycle.


Sending love,

Carly

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