TEMPLE, Texas — This week, we're getting a little more personal and talking about periods. So ladies this one is especially for you.
Did you know, syncing with your menstrual cycle can make you more productive, more stress-free and happier overall? It's something 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin has dove into over the last few months. In this week's Your Best Life, she met with a menstrual health coach to find out how to live in flow with your flow.
Victoria Zimmerman is a menstrual health coach and the founder of FemmeHead, a website and YouTube page dedicated to empowering women one cycle at a time.
Zimmerman said many women never learned about their cycles in school and if they did, it probably didn't sink in.
"They teach you like, okay, you're going to start bleeding. This is how you take care of it. And good luck and you don't learn actually what's going on. And I'm sure they do show you like diagrams and figures and all that but in your young mind that's not being absorbed it's not being taught in a way that makes sense to you or resonates with you,” she explained.
Now, Zimmerman teaches women how to chart their cycles and get in sync with their periods.
"I think when people think of their period or their cycle they think of when they're actually bleeding, that like week or so. And that's only like one of the four phases of your cycle."
Those four phases are follicular, ovulation, luteal (or pre-menstruation) and menstruation. Zimmerman said every woman's cycle is different.
"Not every woman has a 28-day cycle, that's a myth. But your cycle length only varies within like a couple of days. And so you can kind of have an idea like oh I'm probably going to get my period sometime next week instead of being surprised and not having the products you need," she said.
To know what phase you're in, Zimmerman suggested taking your temperature with a thermometer each day before you get out of bed and tracking it through an app or journal. Your temperature spikes slightly when you're ovulating. You'll really be able to notice your changing phases by tracking cycle symptoms like cramping, migraines, fatigue and mood swings.
"So when you start tracking all those things out you can look at your chart from the past month and you start noticing patterns like oh I get really irritable, towards the end of my period, and you know my boobs are really sore at this time. I'm really energetic, I sleep really well at this time," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said one thing many women don't know is that changing hormone levels make you better at certain things during certain phases.
"After your period around ovulation, that's my favorite time of my cycle because that's when you get all the energy and you can just take on the world,” she said.
Do you want to try a new hobby? Do it during your follicular phase when energy levels are rising and you're open to new things. Do you want to ask for a raise or promotion? Do it around ovulation because you'll be great at communicating. Need to de-clutter? Do it in your luteal phase when you're best at paying attention to details. But during your period, rest and do as little as possible.
Zimmerman said, "Understanding that it's okay to slow down during your period because if you do that you're going to have this energy that's going to allow you to get all the stuff done you missed, and so much more. If you don't slow down, then you're just going run yourself ragged."
In fact, that's her biggest piece of advice to clients.
"I think we have this mindset that we always have to be going, always have to be productive, we always have to be pushing. And that we like have to push through the pain, push through like whatever is difficult, but if you allow yourself to slow down leading up to your period and those first couple days like magical things happen," Zimmerman said.
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