Cycle Syncing – What, Why and How
Cycle syncing is a holistic approach to women’s health that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves aligning daily activities, diet, exercise and self-care practices with the natural rhythms of your menstrual cycle. By syncing your activities with your body’s hormonal changes, you can improve your energy levels, mood, and overall health.
Every rhythm in our body has a story to tell us, and if we listen, understand and live in alignment with natural rhythms as much as we can, life (and menstruation) is much easier!
Think about it – back in the old days, women went to the red tent when they had their period. This could be seen as punishment and exclusion, but on the other hand, maybe it wasn’t! This gave women the opportunity to rest, regenerate and honour our natural rhythms. This is now not possible for most women in modern society, and this is where cycle syncing has gained popularity, as it gives us the opportunity to honour these rhythms as best we can.
What I notice these days is that menstrual issues are now seen as normal and part of being a woman – it doesn’t have to be this way. The other thing I notice is that women are not empowered to understand the natural rhythms of their bodies, and don’t see the signs that their body shows them, until it’s a big problem. That inspired me to write this blog.
The menstrual cycle is a complex process that involves the interplay of hormones and physiological changes in a woman’s body. It typically lasts for 28-32 days, and each phase of the cycle is characterized by different hormonal fluctuations and physical symptoms.
The Phases of Your Menstrual Cycle
Cycle syncing involves tracking your menstrual cycle and adjusting your diet, exercise, and self-care practices to support your body’s needs during each phase of the cycle. Here are the four phases of the menstrual cycle and how cycle syncing can support each one:
- Menstrual phase (days 1-5): This phase is characterised by the shedding of the uterine lining and a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. Women may experience cramps, fatigue, and mood swings during this phase.
Cycle syncing during this phase may involve gentle exercise, such as yoga or walking, to support the body’s natural healing process. Women may also benefit from incorporating iron-rich foods, such as leafy greens and red meat, to replenish lost nutrients.
- Follicular phase (days 6-14): This phase is characterized by an increase in oestrogen levels, which stimulates the growth of a new follicle in the ovary. Women may experience increased energy and focus during this phase.
Cycle syncing during this phase may involve incorporating more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and legumes, to support the body’s energy needs. Women may also benefit from incorporating high-intensity exercise, such as weight lifting or interval training, to take advantage of the body’s increased strength and endurance.
- Ovulatory phase (days 14-15): This phase is characterised by the release of an egg from the ovary and a surge in oestrogen levels. Women may experience increased libido and a sense of vitality during this phase.
Cycle syncing during this phase may involve incorporating foods that support hormone balance, such as cruciferous vegetables and omega-3 rich foods. Women may also benefit from incorporating activities that support emotional and relational connection, such as spending time with loved ones or engaging in creative pursuits.
- Luteal phase (days 16-28): This phase is characterised by a decrease in oestrogen and progesterone levels and the preparation of the uterine lining for menstruation. Women may experience PMS symptoms, such as mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness, during this phase.
Cycle syncing during this phase may involve incorporating foods that support liver function, such as beets and leafy greens, to aid in hormone clearance. Women may also benefit from incorporating gentle exercise, such as restorative yoga or walking, to support the body’s need for rest and relaxation.
31 Ways To Sync Your Cycle
Cycle syncing is a way to optimise your lifestyle according to the changes in your menstrual cycle. By aligning your diet, exercise, and other daily habits with your menstrual cycle, you can improve your overall health, reduce PMS symptoms, and boost your productivity.
Here are 31 ways (actually 36!) to do cycle syncing:
- Track your menstrual cycle using a period tracker app or a paper calendar. You can use this to track fertility windows, libido, plan conception, follow symptoms, track mood, energy, appetite and cravings, and even plan your life! You can use it to plan travel and events, and optimise productivity based on your energy levels. Tracking will help you implement all of the other suggestions
- Adjust your workout routine according to your menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase (days 1-14), focus on strength training and high-intensity workouts. During the luteal phase (days 15-28), switch to low-impact exercises such as yoga and Pilates. Practice gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming, during your menstrual cycle to reduce stress, fatigue and cramping. Avoid strenuous exercise at this time
- Use natural remedies to ease menstrual cramps, such as warm baths, Epsom salts baths, heating pads, hot water bottles, or ginger tea. Chamomile tea, ginger and turmeric can help to reduce menstrual pain and inflammation. Peppermint and ginger teas are good for nausea and digestive upset. You can get great quality epsom salts from my shop here
- Incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet during the luteal phase to reduce inflammation and alleviate PMS symptoms. Good sources include salmon, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
- During the follicular phase, focus on foods that boost energy and stamina, such as complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and green leafy vegetables.
- Reduce your caffeine intake during the luteal phase to ease anxiety and insomnia.
- Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises to reduce stress and improve mental clarity. I have a great meditation recorded that works for most people the first time – watch it here
- Adjust your sleep schedule to match your menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. During the luteal phase, aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Get plenty of sleep during your menstrual cycle to support hormone regulation and improve energy levels. For sleep tips, check out my blog
- During the follicular phase, prioritize socializing and networking to take advantage of the surge in estrogen, which boosts confidence and sociability.
- During the luteal phase, focus on self-care and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Use natural menstrual products, such as organic cotton tampons or menstrual cups, to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and reduce waste.
- Adjust your skincare routine to match your menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase, focus on exfoliation and brightening products. During the luteal phase, focus on hydration and soothing products.
- Use natural remedies to alleviate menstrual bloating, such as dandelion tea or magnesium supplements.
- During the follicular phase, focus on new projects and creative endeavors, as the surge in estrogen enhances creativity and innovation.
- During the luteal phase, focus on organization and planning to take advantage of the boost in progesterone, which enhances attention to detail and analytical thinking.
- During the follicular phase, focus on boosting libido and sexual energy through exercise, healthy diet, and relaxation.
- During the luteal phase, focus on nurturing intimacy and emotional connection in your relationships.
- Adjust your wardrobe according to your menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase, wear bold colors and patterns to match your energy and confidence. During the luteal phase, opt for comfortable and cozy clothes to match your need for relaxation.
- During the follicular phase, focus on building new habits and breaking bad ones, as the surge in estrogen enhances willpower and motivation.
- During the luteal phase, focus on consolidating and reinforcing good habits, as the boost in progesterone enhances consistency and stability.
- Adjust your haircare routine to match your menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase, focus on volumizing and styling products. During the luteal phase, focus on nourishing and strengthening products.
- During the follicular phase, focus on networking and socialising
- Plan downtime and rest during the luteal phase when energy levels may be lower.
- Practice yoga poses that support your menstrual cycle, such as Child’s Pose, Reclined Bound Angle Pose, and Seated Forward Fold.
- Eat foods that support your menstrual cycle, such as leafy greens, whole grains, and lean protein during the follicular phase. During the luteal phase, eat foods high in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds.
- Hydrate with water and electrolyte-rich drinks, such as coconut water, during your menstrual cycle to support fluid balance.
- Schedule important tasks during the follicular phase when energy levels are highest.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol during your menstrual cycle to reduce symptoms.
- Focus on foods that support liver function, such as cruciferous vegetables, during the luteal phase to support hormone metabolism.
- Use essential oils, such as lavender or clary sage, to support relaxation and reduce menstrual pain. Externally only, and make sure you dilute them!
- Avoid processed and sugary foods during your menstrual cycle to reduce inflammation.
- Practice mindful eating during your menstrual cycle to reduce overeating and support hormone balance.
- Sync your skincare routine with your menstrual cycle. Use gentle cleansers and moisturizers during the luteal phase and focus on exfoliation during the follicular phase.
- Schedule important work meetings during the follicular phase when energy levels are highest.
- Experiment with different self-care activities, such as meditation or journaling, to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Practice gratitude and self-compassion throughout your menstrual cycle
Now You Know
Incorporating cycle syncing into your daily routine can be a powerful way to support your overall health and well-being. By aligning your activities and self-care practices with your body’s natural rhythms, you can optimise your energy, mood, and physical health throughout your menstrual cycle. If you’re interested in exploring cycle syncing further, or your cycle is irregular, or very long or very short ,consider working with a healthcare practitioner or holistic health coach who specialises in women’s health.
Where To Now?
If you’d like additional support from me, feel free to book an appointment with me. You can book for either face-to-face in Bella Vista, Sydney, or online – book here