After just a couple of weeks of lockdown in Scotland I began to get direct messages, emails, texts and calls from women all around the world. A trickle which soon became a deluge. They were all worried and fascinated women who’s cycles were up the swanny. Missing, late, heavier, more painful, less painful, lighter, more frequent and just different to how they always are. My mind started ticking.
I put out a general shout for women’s experiences and this is what I found.
Despite evidence to the contrary women living together were pulling their cycles together. “Syncing”. I wonder about that evidence because there is seemingly no doubt that women living together bleeding together is a common occurrence. Aside from all the women in the house falling into pre-menstrual energy together mothers particularly seem really heart warmed they are bleeding with their daughters.
There has been some extreme PMS. This is no surprise while we are under such stress, drinking more alcohol, eating more sugar and moving less. Alcohol particularly makes it hard for the body to process its soothing chemical mechanisms. I’m all for women doing whatever it takes to get through this time but wigging out monthly for a week probably isn’t doing us any good. We could make whatever effort we have available that week to go easy, nourish, invest, bath, hydrate, magnesium up, retreat, whatever it takes. An older sister of mine once told me “it’s okay to give your children cake for breakfast from time to time” – I turned that into a whole mothering philosophy. Pretty sure I didn’t ever give them cake for breakfast but I knew I could! A week off from the sourdough, structured play, home-schooling, kombucha making, artisan life path will do everyone the world of good! I’m reminded of the blog I once read clearly shouting it’s no good shouting self-love at a woman that needs community and family love – reach out and support your women with a text, a call, a package, a story, a song, a meal. A little effort may go a long way.
A few have noticed a decrease in their PMS symptoms. Feeling they have more room to honour feelings, rest and retreat when necessary.
Others feel their Circadian rhythm is completely off-kilter. Lots of time indoors, late nights, and too much blue light from screens is giving our bodies a different message to what’s really happening in our day.
Much more intense bleeding. Some feeling it’s the super moons we have experienced pulling on their internal tides. All those things that affect your PMS affect your bleed too. One woman told me she notices she seems to let go of all she has stored with her bleed. Women of the world are collectively grieving with their wombs. Clearing the way. Shedding. Healing.
Much lighter bleeding. For sure we are right in the middle of a major threat to life. We don’t say it out loud while we soldier forward blitz spirit style but it’s there running in the background slowing down our speed. Some feel they haven’t ovulated over this time. The body that is super stressed can make a calculation not to conceive. Maybe this is how the bleed ought to be for this woman when she’s not running around, back and forth, doing the work of about twenty as we do.
Some are having two cycles a month. Sometimes the super stressed body makes a different calculation to conceive! We see birth rates going up not down under challenges like these. The brain can tell us to make love not war. Prioritise what’s really important.
A “period app” has reported this morning that around half of all women using their app are affected. That’s a huge number. I’m ever interested. Please send me your thoughts and experiences. The question to ask is do we need a solution? I think we will all have slightly different ideas about what that looks like so I’m not going to provide you with a ten-step 30 day blog style plan but we can list below some useful things to try if you feel led to.
- Rest more
- Check magnesium intake and maybe bathe, and oil and up your dietary intake of magnesium rich foods
- Don’t forget your woman’s health herbalist, aromatherapist, homeopath, traditional midwife, asian medicine doctor and general herb witches will all have remedies that can ease difficulties. Western medicine has very little unfortunately. We need another post about how it’s mainly centred around the health of white men!
- Look for your womb specialists in particular – Arvigo and Mizan practitioners can really help you if you are suffering. They can show you old ways of steaming and massage that you can continue yourself.
- Put some of your blood in the earth. Pretty much all indigenous people understand this as grounding for you and healing for the planet. Western women see blood as dirty. We need to get through that and out the other side. It’s not helpful.
- On that note finding some rituals that honour this incredible process can really help you integrate how you are feeling. We can also hook you up with amazing women doing this work.
- Retreat. In any way you can even for a few moments especially from that screen
- Get out in the natural light and put your bare feet on the ground as much as you can (not when it’s cold though!)
- Little less alcohol
- Little more good food going in
- Take a walk
- Take a holiday from your “standards”
- Connect with women and talk about what’s happening for you. It really helped me to hear I wasn’t alone in this.
- If it’s really getting to you reach out for a therapist – so many are online now. We have three exceptional women we recommend at Red Tent. Reach out for a recommendation.
- Get my sister from another mister Maisie Hill’s incredible book Period Power so you can really understand not just what’s going on but how to harness the seasons of your cycle.
Our wombs speak to us. They weep. Go on strike. They direct. They lead us. Talk to her. Journal with her. Gift her rose oil and wrapping. Listen.