Cyclic Living: Measuring my Anxiety against the time of the month

Hi all!

12806094_10154043483114047_1778638546963194253_nSo, I’ve got 3 months worth of charting to examine. And I’m excited to share some insight with you!

In case you haven’t seen my previous blog posts, I have learned to honour my menstrual cycle and use what I understand of it to determine the level of my Anxiety, physical health and overall wellness. I’m Duffin’ chuffed to say that there appears to be a direct link between the time of the month and my mental state. Totally obvious but all-too overlooked, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not dictated by this pattern. There are other cycles and patterns to consider that may have an impact on overall health and wellbeing: age, seasons, moon cycles, star signs, and work routine being a few examples… but this is an intimate map of who I am, and it’s made me love my body (and my mind and soul) more than ever before.

Right, here’s a summary of what I’ve discovered about myself, from Day 1 to Day 28:

Day 1 (Menstruation)

This day is like a big sigh of relief. “Aaaaand exhale.” The weeks before have been intense, and now I am finally able to release all of that unnecessary energy and start again. That doesn’t mean to say I’m full o’ beans yet. To my mind, Day 1 is that feeling when you slump onto the sofa after a chaotic day of hard graft.

Days 2 – 5

Sluggishly spiritual, my body wants nothing more than to hibernate, and my soul yearns for a deep connection with the divine. It’s easy for me to tune in to my higher self, and listen to my intuition. But having a full-time job makes it tougher to honour this resting phase, meaning I can be more grumpy than I’d prefer. I am the wisest I can be during this ‘crone’ phase, so it’s in my best interest to slow down, think before speaking and listen to the gut… or rather, the womb.

Menstruation Summary:

Mind = wise, Body = sleepy, Spirit = deep, Anxiety = low

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Pre-ov Kitten. Meow!

Days 6 – 9  (Pre-ovulation)

Spring ‘as sprung! Duff is chuffed. I am courageous, self-aware, curious, child-like and… beyond frisky! I’m thrilled to be alive and want nothing more than to frolic through fields and sing my heart out, or roll around on a sandy beach, chasing waves, eating ice cream. I am a walking Center Parcs advert. I am a full-o’-beans-babe! Not great for when you’ve got a lot to focus on in the office. I get bored out of my brains and have a tendency to put it all off until the week after, when I know I can handle this…

Pre-ovulation Summary:

Mind = child-like, Body = active, Spirit = distracted, Anxiety = low

Days 10 – 14 (Ovulation)

Come to Mama. I am earthy, spiritually in sync with Mother Nature, nurturing, sensitive and all-round chill – perhaps too chill for a fast-paced work life. On the one hand, I am practically-minded and unafraid of getting my hands dirty. I am mature, confident, and at my most sensible in the workplace. On the other hand, when the going gets tough and escapes my control, I can get anxious and overwhelmed. I just want to snuggle up to a tree and feed the birds, K?

Ovulation Summary:

Mind = mature, Body = chilled, Spirit = earthy, Anxiety = middle-high

Days 15 – 17

Transitioning into the ‘pre-mens’ phase, I am not taking any s*** from the antagonist. I’m a dragon, fiery and driven. A protective mother, my soul is my child. I am meticulous in my work, quick to question anything that doesn’t add up, sharp-eyed and even sharper-tongued. Don’t mess with me. I’m too busy being an absolute BOSS.

‘Transition’ Summary:

Mind = driven, Body = strong, Spirit = fiery, Anxiety = middle-high

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Days 18 – 20 (Pre-menstruation)

This is the part of the month that lures me into a false sense of security. And it manages to do this every… darn… time, it would seem. My diary entries go a bit like this: “I don’t know what all the fuss is about! No PMS here. I’m as happy as Larry, wide awake, hella confident… what’s the big deal?” This is because I’m less spiritually in tune than I am in other weeks. I’m not listening to my instincts. I’m not putting 2 and 2 together and getting to grips with the pattern I’ve gone to so much trouble to identify. But hey! What’s the big deal?

Days 21 – 25

NOPE. My Anxiety is at its absolute highest. Everything could go wrong. Everything is at stake here. I’m scared of being sacked. I am scared of social situations. I’m at crisis point. I’m climbing up Everest and I’ve left my oxygen tank at base camp. I might die. I should not be responsible for anything other than the procurement of chocolate. My concentration levels are low and my attention span is as short as my breath. Don’t expect me to complete any tasks in this phase, folks.

Days 25 – 28…/29…/30…

While I am still emotionally intense, I am now hawk-eyed and wild, and the Anxiety has subsided. I have a lot of pent-up energy that I should apply to art, music, throwing my body about. My emotional state wants me to curl up in a blanket, while my body wants to run through the forest. I am a huntress who loves animals too much to kill them. I’m conflicted and stressy. I am in anticipation of the release. I am getting impatient with myself, with others, with God.

Pre-menstruation Summary:

Mind = crazy, Body = tense, Spirit = yearning, Anxiety = high to NOPE.

But guess what! The good times come back around! That’s the beauty of it!

There is something wonderfully unifying about this charting method in as much as it reflects similar patterns shared by women across the globe: the wise crone of menstruation, the childish maiden of pre-ovulation, the mother of ovulation, the wild woman of pre-menstruation. This is OK. And the fact that so many girls and women are unaware of this, the fact that I’ve only been aware of this for three months and I’m 25-years-old… bothers me no end.

Perhaps you’ll find charting helpful. Perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you’re way ahead of me. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Hit me up!

Want to know more? Check out any work by Lisa Lister and Alexandra Pope. And I’m totally loving on Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Peace, love and happy soul-searching ❤

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