I know I mentioned this in my last post as a real treat to find, but I want to spend a little more time on WHY I think the 34-page free PDF called Let's go menstrual! by Miranda Gray is so amazing. For one, it treats our menstrual cycles as something to be welcomed and honored and worked with, not cursed and concealed and ashamed of. Something that can be used as a positive force in our lives.
We all know that with PMDD we feel differently on different days. This booklet shows you in simple, easy to understand terms, how to make the most of your good days, and even how to make the most of your bad days.
So I encourage you to use this booklet to raise your awareness of the different *seasons* of your monthly cycle, and to tailor your expectations to match what is naturally going on in your body during any one of these four seasons. In the end you will learn how to better meet your own mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, and doing this will help you to feel good about yourself. In particular, the author says (and I heartily agree), you will feel more:
Comfortable with (and in) your own body
In control because you know WHY you are feeling the way you do
Confident in your abilities (as long as they are tailored to your moods or seasons)
Empowered to created positive feelings about yourself
Now what PMDD woman couldn't use a little more comfort, control, confidence, and empowerment? Tell me what woman anywhere couldn't use a few more positive feelings about herself?
PMDD women in particular need to read the section about the Autumn/Fall of our cycles, the problem-finding (and solving!) portion of our cycle, where the booklet tells us we can feel the need to "clear out our (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual) rubbish, to curl up alone, and to sleep more."
Ms. Gray then tells us the Winter Phase is a time when we tend to reflect on the year (or cycle) just over, daydream about the future, what we want to do in the year ahead, and commit to our new resolutions. It's a time of rest, relaxation, and meditation, among other things. I personally use it to curl up in my big cozy chair and catch up on my reading.
Do not miss the list of suggestions for your Winter Phase, which coincides with the time of your bleeding.
Of course, the Spring and Summer Phases have equally invaluable lists of characteristics and suggestions for maximizing your well-being. The suggestion I liked best for the Spring Phase, (when we are full of confidence and are our normal, non-PMDD selves) is to "Use your self-confidence to do something different from your usual routine."
That's right, the time to take on something new and unfamiliar is your Spring phase. But the KEY to success is to only work on that project in your Spring Phase. Set it aside when Fall and Winter come. Do not let the innate negative energy and thoughts that those seasons bring to you undo all the positivity you have created in your Spring and Summer seasons. Both Spring and Summer will come around again (that's the beauty of cycles), and there is no harm in working toward your strengths.
Use your Spring and Summer seasons to discover just what those strengths are. The booklet even tells us what to watch out for in these highly positive and productive seasons, such as doing too many things at once, or doing too much for others, and ignoring our own needs.
Ms. Gray also tells us that Summer is the best time in our cycles to be sociable and work on relationships. But also to be wary of wishing we could be this light and cheerful and confident forever.
Then, in the Fall and Winter seasons, we are to (among many other things) focus on NOT BELIEVING the negativity in our minds, and not to try to maintain a Spring or Summer schedule when our body is crying out for some rest and relaxation.
We need this rest and relaxation to prepare us for the renewal that comes with Spring.
So, to recap:
Cycle Days 1-6 are your Winter Phase (rest, relaxation, take care of yourself)
Cycle Days 7-13 constitute Spring (a time of renewal, rebirth, and creative energy)
Cycle Days 14-20 should be your social and sharing Summer phase; (but is often where the problems begin in PMDD women instead); and
Cycle Days 21-Day 1 (first day of bleeding) is your Autumn/Fall phase (when PMDD strikes the hardest)
For more information, please visit www.optimizedwoman.com. There is a newsletter you can sign up for, and all sorts of good articles there, on how to increase your awareness of your body and its cycles.