As you're probably already aware if you're reading this, I help PMS sufferers to resolve their symptoms so that they can feel great in body & mind, no matter the time of the month.
But many menstruators who suspect PMS ask me "how do I know for sure if it's PMS or something else?" - the answer? Track your cycle!
What is cycle tracking?
In simple terms, cycle tracking means logging your menstrual cycle on a day-to-day, month-to-month basis. Many cycle trackers also find it useful to include emotions, energy levels & other symptoms alongside the physical aspects & timings of their menstrual cycle
The benefits of cycle tracking are numerous - cycle tracking can help you to know yourself & your body better, predict (& prepare for!) your period in advance, understand if your symptoms are linked to PMS or something else, plan your life around the natural ebb & flow in your energy levels throughout your cycle, as well as gain fertility awareness.
How can you begin tracking your cycle?
The first steps is to understand your unique cycle, the second, to log your cycle & associated symptoms.
We are all different, and our cycles are different lengths. For the purpose of this post, I will base the example on a typical 28 day cycle - yours may be shorter or longer, which is perfectly okay!
Each cycle has two distinct phases, across the four seasons:
Menstruation (Period) / 'Winter'
When the nutrient-rich uterine lining breaks down and is released through the vagina
Pre-Ovulation / 'Spring'
When an egg is maturing in an ovary and the uterus builds a nutrient- rich lining
Ovulation / 'Summer'
When a mature egg, which may or may not be fertilized, is released from an ovary
Pre-menstruation / 'Autumn'
When an unfertilized egg fades away and the nutrient-rich uterine lining detaches from the uterine walls
Your cycle begins on the first day of your period in full-flow - Menstruation (Period) / 'Winter' - this is day 1
There are numerous ways to track your cycle - the most basic form is known as Simple tracking:
Place a marker—a sticker, stone, or other object—on Day 1 of your menstrual cycle tracking chart (downloadable here).
Move the marker to Day 2 on the second day of your period, and continue around the chart until you bleed again.
You can reuse the chart, as the marker is not permanent.
Some menstruators also wish to include further detail, such as...
Starting with Day 1, note down your emotions, thoughts, feelings or general state of being each day, using words, sentences, or a color.
Continue all around the chart as you move through your cycle; over a few months, you may begin to notice certain patterns that repeat themselves.
Starting with Day 1, note how your body feels: bloated, heavy, light, tired, sleepy, energetic, painful belly, etc.
By observing changes in your body, you create opportunities for yourself to give your body whatever it may need that day.
You can also note the type of bleeding you have each day of your period, and any other discharge throughout your cycle.
Starting with Day 1, note down any dreams you had the night before and how vivid they were. If you do not remember a dream, note that as well and keep following your cycle around the chart.
In addition to any of the tracking methods, or on its own, you can note down the phase of the moon for each day of your cycle, starting with Day 1.
If you suspect PMS to be a struggle for you, I highly recommend starting with simple + emotional + body tracking.
The Go with the Flow Guide & Journal was designed to get, & keep, your menstrual cycle in check.
Picture this: Your period is approaching, but instead of feeling low, spotty, anxious, bloated, irritable, fatigued...you're feeling calm. Together. Present. In-tune with your body. Grateful for the job it's doing keeping you alive, fertile.
You're able to celebrate being a beautiful, wonderful, menstruator!❤️
Seems a far-off concept right now? Perhaps PMS dominates this time leaving you bloated, anxious, depressed? Maybe your cycle is too irregular to predict if you're coming or going? Or the cramps at *that* time of the month are too insufferable so when you know it's approaching you just want to hide under the covers? I hear you.
Enter the Go with the Flow - Guide & Journal! ❤
I'm on a mission to help as many menstruators as possible to connect with themselves & their bodies in order to overcome mesntrual cycle issues - empowering you to reclaim your month from PMS (& other menstrual cycle issues!) so you can feel your best, no matter the time of the month. 👇
I've gathered together my top mindset, lifetyle & diet tips for how to get started on this journey to your best self, the person you dream of becoming & so deserve to be.
Cycle Tracking for Beginners - what, why & how to get started with cycle tracking, including a template to get you going right away
Behaviour breakthrough - overcoming the beliefs & behaviours that have been holding you back from consistent healthy habits & implementing new, empowering beliefs in their place
Nutrition & lifestyle guide (including a shopping guide & recipes!) for re-balancing your hormones so you can feel your best, no matter the time of the month
All this, packaged neatly alongside the Go with the Flow Journal - so you can keep track of your cycle, symptoms & progress along the way!
Sound good? Sounds great! I created this because I wish I'd had it myself! 😌 But even better...
With the Guide also comes access to our tight-knit like-minded community of Flowers (pronounced flow-ers, geddit?❤) - connect with other menstruators on your cycle, share experiences, tips & inspire each others journeys. It's a beautiful safe space; an online menstruator's circle of love & connection.
With purchase you'll gain instant access to the Guide, Journal & Community.
Available now at premenstrualsynergy.com